WLPP Welcomes Douglas Stallworthy

Winzenburg, Leff, Purvis & Payne, LLP, is pleased to announce that Doug Stallworthy will join the firm on February 10, 2014.  Doug previously focused his practice on real estate, commercial leasing, corporate law, civil litigation, community associations, and employment law.  At Winzenburg, Doug will focus on the transactional and business needs of community associations throughout Colorado.

Doug holds dual citizenship in the United States and New Zealand, and before becoming an attorney he obtained a Bachelor's degree in surveying and worked as a Planner and Survey Project Manager. 

I personally am very excited to have someone around to translate metes and bounds descriptions!

Please join us in welcoming Doug to the firm!

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Be Careful What Your Neighbors Surf For...

As community association attorneys, we are experienced in negotiating contracts with broadband service providers for our clients.  These contracts allow the provider to enter a condominium's common areas to install wiring and provide service to the individual units, as well as to undertake other activities related to these services.  As a content creator, I value my intellectual property rights.  As a computer geek who went to college in the time of Napster, I understand the inevitability of file sharing.  I recently read this article discussing copyright protection activity by broadband service providers and thought, "Wow, I'm going to have a lot of work to do in a few years."

The article discusses the voluntary actions being taken by many large broadband service providers to discourage inappropriate file sharing and other copyright violations.  It noted that many condominiums share internet service by a single central connection.  This could mean that one flagrant violator with a habit of frequenting shady torrent sites could cause the internet for an entire condominium to be throttled back or even terminated.

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Thank You!

As we head into the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, all of us here at Winzenburg, Leff, Purvis & Payne want to express our THANKS TO:

  • our CLIENTS for allowing us to assist with legal matters and help strengthen their communities through good governance practices, sound decision-making, and recuperation of delinquent assessments
  • the COMMUNITY MANAGERS who lend their expertise to our clients and model professionalism under fire
  • all the BOARD MEMBERS who read our articles and seek to educate themselves in their volunteer roles
  • OWNERS who arm themselves with knowledge and constructively work to problem solve the difficult issues inherent in community living
  • the INDUSTRY PROFESSIONALS who understand how community associations function and contribute to the aesthetics, infrastructure, financial well-being, and smooth operations of associations throughout Colorado.

We have a lot to be thankful for in 2012! As the year winds to a close, what are you most thankful for about community association living, volunteering or working?

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Atypical associations are subject to CCIOA too!

I spent the last ten days in upstate New York, fishing, eating good food, drinking bad beer, and spending time with family and friends. I’m fortunate that I married into a family with a cottage on a good-sized lake near Canada. The walleye, crappie, pike, and bass were out in full force, and when they weren’t biting, I was tubing and swimming, trying to forget the teeth of the fish I’d caught earlier that day.

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So...What Brings You Here?

I really enjoy checking out the keywords and search queries people submit that lead them to our blog.  Sometimes they are simple - looking up the attorneys or the firm.  Sometimes, I have no idea how that particular search query sent the individual to our site. 

 Today I thought I would give a quick and dirty rundown of some of the more recent searches that have brought people to www.cohoalaw.com.

1. "Homeowner responsibility if foreclosure when no equity is in home."  If your bank forecloses on your home, and you have no equity or are underwater, you may be sued for the deficiency between what the bank gets out of the foreclosure, and what you owed on your note.

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New Lending Rules Continued - HUD Requirements

You will remember from a recent posting that we discussed the new Fannie Mae guidelines, and the anticipated HUD regulations. As noted,  HUD did in fact adopt new temporary regulations that went into effect on December 7, 2009, and remain effective until December 31, 2010, at which time the new permanent HUD regulations will become effective. The new HUD temporary regulations are found in HUD Mortgagee Letter 2009-46 A, and can be found  here. The new HUD permanent regulations are found in HUD Mortgagee Letter 2009-46 B, and can be found here. It is important to note that condominium projects under developer control and under construction or being converted have different standards. This posting does not address those standards.

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New Lending Rules - Fannie Mae and HUD

The fallout from our current economic crisis is hitting all of us, sometimes in ways we least expect. While many homeowners are struggling to hold onto their homes, many are faced with the prospect of having to sell. In the present economy, that is difficult enough. However, for those whose homes are condominiums, Fannie Mae has implemented new guidelines that can make it more difficult than previously to complete a sale. HUD has adopted similar new temporary regulations which went into effect on December 7, 2009 and remain effective until December 31. 2010, at which time more restrictive permanent regulations become effective.

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Who is Responsible for Assessments

We have received many questions regarding when a homeowner’s obligation to pay assessments terminates as a result of being in or having completed a divorce, bankruptcy or foreclosure proceeding. The quick answer is that an owner is responsible for all assessments for as long as he or she is an owner as evidenced by a recorded document, a deed. For purposes of discussion it does not matter what type of deed is recorded to prove ownership or how the party came into ownership. Also, this article will only deal with collection cases, not lawsuits for foreclosure or receiverships. 

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What Would John Wayne Do

In reviewing the law regarding construction of restrictive covenants, I ran across a case I read a couple of years ago.  As I was leisurely re-reading this case I was struck by the appellate court’s interpretation of the covenants dealing with the heart of the lawsuit. No, not the validity of the developer unilaterally modifying the restrictive covenants after the sale of lots or tracts.  It was how the court concluded that sheep could be maintained on the property when under the original 1984 covenants they were specifically prohibited.

 

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Five Delinquent Homeowners You Will Meet in Court (and One You Won't)

When homeowners become delinquent in their assessment payments, their accounts are usually turned over to the association’s law firm for collection. Generally, these delinquent owners fall into one of six categories.

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Sex Offender Alert Scam

On August 1, 2007, the Denver Police Department notified Denver City Council members of a scam that has raised some concern among residents in the Denver metropolitan area.  If you recently received a flyer on your door about a sex offender relocating to your neighborhood, please continue reading the following announcement from the Denver Police Department:

Neighborhoodredalert.com has been distributing flyers door-to-door throughout the metro area [ ].  This company uses this type of "marketing" to get people to visit their website and ultimately subscribe to a pay service which lists registered sex offenders in their neighborhood.  Their tactics scare quite a few people - most don't realize just how many registered sex offenders live in the city (approx. 1300).

If your offices receive calls on this flyer please inform your constituents that this is a marketing ploy by this particular company.  The information on Denver registered sex offenders is available for free on the Denvergov.org website. In addition, the Denver Police Website has a link to CBI which provides state-wide sex offender information for free.  The CBI site also allows for a free notification service through e-mail.
We previously discussed sex offenders in this postCommunity associations encountering any issues related to sex offenders should consult with legal counsel.

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Identity Theft - Additional Ways to Protect Yourself

Sometimes we want to pass on information that has nothing to do with community associations in particular, but which might be of interest to our readership in general. This is one of those times. This article was published in Life at Ken-Caryl, a bi-weekly publication of our friends at the Ken-Caryl Ranch Master Association, and is re-printed with their permission. It is advice from the Jefferson County District Attorney on how to keep businesses and charities from selling your name, therefore minimizing the number of people who have access to your name and vital information. Please take a couple of moments to help protect yourself with these simple steps. Posted In Off the Top
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Mark Payne to Speak at Law Seminar

Winzenburg, Leff, Purvis & Payne is proud to announce that partner Mark K. Payne will be co-chairing and speaking at CLE International’s Community Association Law Seminar at the Grand Hyatt in Denver on June 11, 2007.

Mark will provide an in-depth analysis of the Fair Housing Act and its application to community associations. In an environment where Fair Housing claims against associations are on the rise—and often with high stakes—it is critical for community association professionals and volunteers to understand how this Act applies to their communities and how they can comply.

This comprehensive, one-day program boasts some of Denver’s top attorneys and experts in the industry and addresses topics that reflect the gamut of issues facing community associations everyday. From a discussion of CCIOA’s application to pre- and post-CCIOA associations to a litigation panel designed to improve your association’s ability to manage litigation, this Seminar has something for everyone.

If you would like to join us at the conference, please click here for registration information. We look forward to meeting you there.

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Not Your Ordinary Collections Case

Below is a trial story from Larry Leff, senior partner here at WLPP:

Not Your Ordinary Collection Case

In the not too distant past our firm took on a collection case for one of our associations that took an interesting twist. We filed a lawsuit in our county court, jurisdiction under $15,000.00, against a homeowner for the non-payment of assessments. The debtor homeowner filed a counterclaim against the Association, asserting claims that the association breached its contract with him – failing to maintain the property – and   that it breached its fiduciary duty to him, among other claims. He also requested exemplary damages. During the course of litigation, the homeowner brought his account current, minus the attorney fees and costs. At trial, the Association was granted an award for its attorney fees and costs, and the court dismissed all the homeowner’s counterclaims.

The homeowner refused to satisfy the judgment, so garnishment proceedings were initiated.   The garnishment was successful and the Association collected the full amount.

Subsequent to the satisfaction, the homeowner decided he wanted to do landscaping work to enhance his property. He put up a retaining wall of concrete, railroad ties, gravel and Continue Reading Posted In Covenant Enforcement , Off the Top
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Community Association Summer Events: Licensing Your Music and Movie Use

The first day of Spring and the recent sunshine and warm temperatures may have prompted you to start thinking about your Association’s Summer event calendar. If your Association’s list of events includes outdoor movie nights, concerts, or other performances, the Association may need to pay licensing fees. United States copyright laws protect composers, lyricists, music publishers, and movie producers and distributors, among others. Community associations that play music in recreational facilities, at festivals or at other events likely need to obtain the appropriate licenses to use the music. With few exceptions, showing movies also requires licensing. 

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Trial Story 1

County Court, where most collection cases are heard, tends to judge a case more by equity rather than the letter of the law. Each County Court Judge or Magistrate has their own interpretation of what is fair and reasonable. Thus, we must proceed with caution when going to trial, even if we know the law is on our side. Our first trial story took place last summer and illustrates this point.

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Attorneys Attend CAI Law Conference

The Community Associations Institute (CAI) held its annual Law Seminar this year from February 22-24 in New Orleans.  All the attorneys from our office were able to attend and discuss current trends in HOA law with colleagues from around the country.  Topics this year included "Cyber Issues and Electronic Voting", "7 Deadly Fair Housing Sins of Community Associations", and "The Latest Trends in Rental Restrictions".  Much was learned and a good time was had by all.

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Mark Payne quoted by the Denver Post

This past Sunday's edition of the Denver Post featured an article on the delay homeowners associations are experiencing with the removal of holiday lights and decorations by owners.  The article states that due to the unusually harsh winter, associations are relaxing their normal enforcement of restrictive covenants that require decorations to be removed within 30 days of a holiday.  Mark Payne is quoted as saying that given the circumstances it is OK for an association to grant a reprieve in taking down holiday lights.  To view this article in its entirety, click here. Posted In Covenant Enforcement , Off the Top
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