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Can You Disclose Who In Your Community Is Delinquent In Payment Of Their Assessments?

I’ve recently been following a blog that has been discussing how the paying members of a homeowners association can find out who is delinquent in paying their assessments. We’ve been asked many times over the years whether it is lawful,

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What To Do If You’re Facing Foreclosures in Your Homeowners Association

As a Board member of a homeowners association (HOA) you will be faced at times with making decisions to foreclose on homes in your Association. This is not a pleasant task, but it is a necessary one at times. Some

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Court Again Reaffirms the Requirement to Strictly Comply with HOA Laws

The recent case of Diamond v. Superior Court (Casa Del Valle Homeowners Association) has reaffirmed the importance of a Homeowners Association (“HOA”) strictly complying with statutory requirements, in this case to foreclose on a lien for delinquent assessments.   Read more…….

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(FL) Another recent 4th DCA opinion underscores importance of verifying “starting balances” in assessment foreclosure

On Wednesday, the Fourth District Court of Appeals issued another opinion that has significant ramifications for Florida community associations. In Yang v. Sebasian Lakes Condominium Assoc., Inc., the Court reversed a summary judgment on behalf of the association. The 4th

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How super-liens help your HOA collect on delinquent assessments

Freddie Mac caused a quiet stir in the CAM industry in the past few days with their announcement of new revisions on the policy governing assessment delinquencies in Super Lien states. If that last sentence wasn’t gobbledygook to you, this

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Bank awarded fees after condominium association pushes too far!

On August 14, 2013, Florida’s Third District Court of Appeal ruled that a bank which had taken title to two condominium units was entitled to its attorney’s fees from a condominium association just as any other condominium owner would be

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Essential Documents in a Collection Trial

Has your association been involved in a collection matter that went to trial?  Very few of our collection cases make it to trial, but when they do, it can be unnerving for board members and managers because it may be

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Coping With Arrears: When Residents Fall Behind

The foundation of any properly run condo association or co-op building rests on residents paying their monthly maintenance fees on time and in full, with no delays or delinquencies. However, in the wake of the recession, with many shareholders and

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What is“Zombie Debt” and What Is Your Community Association Doing to Collect It.

The classic definition of a Zombie simply put is “the undead.” That is to say a person is dead but still has some features of being alive so in essence they are not “totally dead.” It sounds creepy, and it

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Davis-Stirling: Foreclosure Notice Requirements are Strictly Construed

The Sixth Appellate District holds that the pre-foreclosure notice requirements of the Davis-Stirling Common Interest Development Act must be strictly construed to create a valid lien. Only valid liens may be recorded and subsequently foreclosed by the association. The case

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The Importance of the Declaration of Covenants and Restrictions for Community Associations Filing Liens

Community associations should always record their respective Governing Documents and this becomes of particular importance if the documents provide for the creation of a lien upon failure to pay assessments. This is never more true than as reflected in a

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Appellate Court Reverses Foreclosure Judgment for Lack of Proper Notice to Unit Owners by Association

A decision earlier this month by the Third District Court of Appeal serves as a good lesson to community associations and their attorneys about the importance of working closely with their process servers to ensure that all of the statutory

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Effective Collection Techniques within Your Association

The success of an association, in large part, depends on its fiscal wellbeing. Associations rely on its members to pay their dues in order to ensure maintenance of all the common areas that owners not only enjoy, but that increase

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Catching Up: Chasing delinquent owners? Follow these leads

Community association leaders should be prepared to give no quarter when one of their neighbors falls behind in paying assessments, says attorney William Ward of Stamford, Conn.   Read More……PDF

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Court Of Appeal Makes Condominium Association Foreclosures More Costly

The Third District Court of Appeal recently issued an opinion that is a game changer for third-party purchasers of condominium units at foreclosure sales. The Third District’s opinion in Aventura Management, LLC v. Spiaggia Ocean Condominium Association, Inc., Case No.

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Should boards reveal the names of delinquent owners?

A blog reader recently asked me what I thought about boards mentioning the names of delinquent owners at meetings when the question “who isn’t paying their assessments?” is raised.   Read More……

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When Should an Association Consider Forgiving an Owner’s Debt?

Owners in your community may frequently request that the board forgive their debt. Can, and should, the board do this? First of all, as many of you are aware, the Board has a fiduciary duty to collect assessments on behalf

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The Shakedown In Homeowner Associations

There’s a gangster in the ‘hood. He’s rough, he’s tough and he’s gonna show the board who’s boss. He’s holding his monthly assessment hostage to extort action from the HOA. It could be something he wants fixed or some rule

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Third DCA Opinion Deals Significant Blow to Condo Associations That Foreclose on Units in Advance of Banks

For the past several years we have written many articles in this blog encouraging condominium associations to aggressively move their foreclosure cases forward in order to take ownership of those units whose owners are delinquent in advance of the banks’

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All HOA and Eviction Lawyers Should Read This Case

One of the more powerful and least understood provisions of the Forcible Entry and Detainer statute allows condo associations and certain other community interest associations to evict homeowners from their units for the non-payment of assessments. The association can then

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Assessment Collection Strategies – Not All Attorneys Agree

Attorneys from the law firm SwedelsonGottlieb and Association Lien Services (“ALS”) attended California Association of Community Managers’ (“CACM”) 2013 Northern California Law Seminar in January of 2013. One of the programs dealt with assessment collection strategies. We did not like

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The Hidden Threat of HOA Liens: Why Delinquent HOA Accounts are a Threat to Investor ROI and First Mortgage Lien Positions.

Matt Martin of Sperlonga says the problem affects virtually every lender originating loans and a very large proportion of defaulted properties. In so-called “super lien” states, HOA liens for unpaid accounts can take priority over mortgages and threaten first lien

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Management Companies & Unpaid Assessments

There are two (2) concepts inextricably linked with unpaid assessments: (i) alternative dispute resolution (“ADR”); and, (ii) United States Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (“FDCPA”).  Read More……

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FL: Just released 3rd DCA opinion could harm your already struggling association

A case decided today could mean financial hardship for already struggling Florida associations. The Third District Court of Appeal’s ruling in the case of Aventura Management, LLC v. Spiaggia Ocean Condominium Association, Inc., Case No. 3D11-2545, January 23, 2013, underscores

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Federal Appellate Ruling: Management Companies Are Not Subject To Fair Debt Collection Practices Act

A Federal Appeals Court has ruled that the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”), which imposes civil liability on debt collectors for certain prohibited practices, does not apply to community management companies that provide a variety of services to common

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5 Ways to Reduce Assessment Delinquencies

Our law firm helps many HOA boards and managers collect past-due assessments (dues) from members. Collecting on delinquencies is not easy work in any event, but it can inadvertently be made even more difficult than necessary by a manager or

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Payback Time: Florida Homeowners Foreclosing on Banks

Since the housing bubble burst in Florida five years ago, more than 400,000 borrowers have had their homes foreclosed on by their lenders. But for some, it’s payback time. Hundreds of homeowners and condo associations are foreclosing on banks that

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Condo Associations & HOAs Losing Millions Nationwide

According to recent reports, more than 1.2 million worthless checks enter the banking system every day in the United States. Check fraud losses account for more than 20 billion dollars per year and the number of cases is increasing by

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Making a List and Checking it Twice

It’s that time of year again when Boards are planning for the New Year. One of the tasks on their list should be to make sure the Association has enacted the mandatory governance policies and that each policy is being

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Foreclosure Trends

“A new trend has surfaced as a result of numerous homeowner associations being fed up with late dues and maintenance bills largely in part to delinquent owners” writes Timothy Kingcade, “the number of HOA foreclosures is climbing as homeowner association

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Sixth Circuit rules condominium assessments qualify as debts under FDCPA

In the recent case of Haddad v. Alexander, Zelmanski, Danner & Fioritto, the Sixth Circuit held that assessments imposed by a condominium association on individual unit owners qualified as “debts” under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). Under the

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When Owners Don’t Pay: HOA Boards Struggle to Make Ends Meet

Nothing remained in the New Jersey townhome after the owner, exasperated and struggling, financially picked up and left. And took everything with him. “Not only did he walk away, but he gutted his house,” says Joseph J. Balzamo, a president

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‘Redemption’ from Uncollected Debt

Last week Gina Botti blogged about the importance of properly recording an association assessment lien. Although CCIOA states that a lien is ‘perfected’ or in place upon the recording of the association’s Declaration, it is still important to prepare and

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Neither a Community Association Nor its Management Have Liability under the Federal Fair Debt Collections Practices Act

We have had to extricate several of our clients from claims or lawsuits relating to the federal Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA). It is well settled law that the FDCPA applies to the collection of delinquent and unpaid assessments

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Assessment Collections Practices are Leading to Lawsuits

Recent lawsuits involving community associations have created quite a stir among condominiums and homeowners associations, as owners have alleged in the suits that law firms and associations are improperly seeking to collect unpaid assessments, interest and other charges in violation

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Condos/HOAs & Collection Agency Fees – Who Pays?

Obviously over the past few years association leaders have had to devote a substantial amount of time, energy, effort and money to collecting delinquent assessments. However, where there is need there is opportunity. New businesses sprung up all over the

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Assessment Collections Fees in “No-Cost” Collections Contracts

The United States Bankruptcy Court in California recently ruled in a case that may impact the terms under which Homeowners Associations (“HOAs”) contract with collections companies to pursue delinquent assessments.  Read More……

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Use of Asset Depositions to Collect Judgments for Community Associations

Community associations continue to suffer from very high delinquency rates which is a reflection of the national trends of consumer debt. However, because community associations need to be vigilant in keeping its delinquency rates manageable (as these monies are needed

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Aggressive Strategies with Foreclosure Properties Helping Many Associations

During the slow recovery in the housing market, many community associations are taking more aggressive approaches with foreclosures and rentals to recover delinquencies and gain financial strength. These associations are using their lien rights in order to avoid the issues

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How a condominium association can beat the bank to money

In today’s economy, banks and courts are processing foreclosures at a historically slow pace, evidenced by the New York Times article predicting that it will take close to 62 years for the foreclosures currently pending in New York State to

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How a Condo Board Can Collect Arrears By Using a Little-Known Tool Called DILF

With the recent economic downturn, condominium boards have been plagued by unit owners defaulting on their monthly common charge. With fewer unit-owners paying, boards are faced with the prospect of increasing common charges in order to collect the deficit from

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TV News Report on Association Lien Foreclosures Sold at Foreclosure Auctions Mischaracterizes These Investments as Deceptive, Valueless

The recent report by Patrick Fraser of the South Florida Fox affiliate WSVN Channel 7 took many of the community association attorneys at our firm by surprise. The report featured what appeared to be novice and uninformed real estate investors

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The Vicious Cycle of Collections and a Solution: Acceleration!

Situation: On January 10, 2012, your association obtains a judgment against a homeowner for the balance, as of that date, of unpaid assessments, late fees, interest, attorney fees, and costs. In June of 2012, through a wage garnishment, the judgment

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Before You Start Pointing Fingers….

I recently read an article where a homeowner was upset about her condominium association initiating foreclosure proceedings against her for her failure to pay her assessments. While people may read this article and feel sorry for the homeowner, one should

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AZ: Class Action Filed Against AZ HOA Management Companies

Class Action Lawsuit Filed by Arizona Homeowners Against Arizona HOA Management Companies Alleging Millions of Dollars of Damages for Violations of Federal Debt Collection Laws and Arizona Law  Read More……

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Rogers Towers: Defeating Homeowner’s Association Claims for Unpaid Assessments in Foreclosure Cases

When is a first mortgagee not liable for any unpaid HOA assessments that came due prior to taking title? Judging solely by the text of § 720.3085(2)(b), it would seem that a first mortgagee that takes title to property through

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Recent Trends in Collections: Increased Bankruptcy Filings and Requests for Short Sales

As many homeowner associations throughout Colorado and the country are aware, the economic conditions of the last few years have greatly impacted associations. We have seen an increase in the number of delinquencies due to missed assessments and covenant enforcement

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CA: What You Need to Know About Small Claims Court

There are certain claims where small claims court may be the appropriate venue, as opposed to superior court. Typically, this includes claims against owners for unpaid assessments, fees and/or fines that do not exceed $5000, which is the limit that

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What Is A Lien?

Lien. The word gets thrown around like a hot potato on a construction project. Here on the Lien Blog, I use the word constantly, and advocate to credit managers to “file a lien” to protect a company’s rights to payment.

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Pay Up! The Subtle Art of Collecting Arrears

In the tough economic environment of the past few years, many condo owners have faced job losses, pay decreases or just financial uncertainty. Unfortunately, this sometimes leads to owners not paying their common charges.  Read More……

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