… no matter how much they want to. Many planned community and condominium declarations have a confession of judgment paragraph. These are usually towards the back and written in all caps (just like my father-in-law sending an email). They seem to permit associations to bypass all of the demand letters and District Justice courtrooms, and just enter a judgment against the Unit Owner. But what looks good on paper doesn’t always work in practice. Pennsylvania Courts just re-affirmed the long-time rule that Associations cannot confess judgment against Unit Owners.
Residential condominium or homeowner association assessments are a “consumer credit transaction.” This means that the assessments are used to pay for goods or services that are primarily for personal family or household use. Pennsylvania law says that a person cannot enter a confessed judgment against another for a debt that comes from a consumer credit transaction. In the case that I read, the Association and the Unit Owner entered into a payment plan. When the Unit Owner stopped making payments, the Association entered a confessed judgment against him. The Court struck the confessed judgment on its own – it did not even wait for the Unit Owner to make a request.