As many of you know, the association is entitled to collect a super lien payment from a foreclosing lender when a property enters into public trustee foreclosure. The super lien amount consists of up to six months of regular assessment charges that came due prior to the filing of the foreclosure. This is a monetary threshold rather than a requirement that there be six months of unpaid assessments due.  For example, if an association had monthly dues of $100.00, a super lien could be claimed for $600.00 so long as the account ledger showed this balance as due. The balance could be comprised of any combination of assessments, late charges, interest, legal fees or other charges.

Continue Reading The Importance of Monitoring Foreclosure Sales

Do you think that you have a struggle convincing your homeowners that a small raise in homeowner association assessment fees is beneficial for the community? You should be very thankful that you do not manage or serve on the board of an association in the Palm Springs, California area where monthly assessment fees can run as high as $900 per month. While that amount is not uncommon in some condominium associations, in a homeowners association? Gasp! Although the assessments may cover such ‘country club’ amenities such as golf courses, gated entrances and lush landscaping in a dry climate, can you imagine trying to convince homeowners that those fees are reasonable and necessary?

Continue Reading How about those $900 monthly HOA Fees?!

 In a recent decision [Houston v. Wilson Mesa Ranch Homeowners Association, Inc., 2015 WL 4760331 (D. Colo. August 13, 2015], the Colorado Court of Appeals held that an association’s covenants stating that homes could not be occupied or used for any commercial or business purpose did not prohibit a homeowner from renting out his property for short-term vacation rentals.

A homeowner in the community advertised and rented his home for rent through the VRBO website. In response to the homeowner’s actions, the association passed an amendment to its ‘administrative procedures’ prohibiting its members from renting out their properties for a period of less than thirty days without prior board approval and establishing a $500 fine for violations. 

Continue Reading Short Terms Rentals may not be Commercial Use of Property

While community association managers in Colorado have been working through the state mandated licensure process, the ‘hot button’ topic of discussion in Florida has been the Florida Supreme Court’s May 14, 2015 Advisory Opinion regarding the unlicensed practice of law by non-lawyer community association managers. While the decision is not binding in Colorado, it is likely to spark debate and conversation among community association managers for years to come. Did the Florida Supreme Court go too far? Will a similar decision issue in Colorado in the future? 

Continue Reading Food for Thought: Unlicensed Practice of Law Opinion

On January 1, 2014, new legislation went into effect requiring associations to provide a specific written notice to delinquent homeowners. This notice is required prior to turning over a matter for collections to an attorney or collection agency.

The details of the notice are as follows:

a. It must contain the amount due with an accounting of how the total was determined (a running balance ledger going back to a -0- balance is sufficient);

b.  A statement as to whether the opportunity to enter into a payment plan exists and instructions for contacting the community association manager and/or board member to enter into such a payment plan;

c.  The name and contact information for the individual the unit owner may contact to request a copy of the unit owner’s ledger in order to verify the amount of the delinquency; and

d.  A statement that action is required to cure the delinquency and that failure to do so within thirty days may result in the unit owner’s delinquent account being turned over to a collection agency, a lawsuit being filed against the owner, the filing and foreclosure of a lien against the unit owner’s property or other remedies available under Colorado law.

Continue Reading Clarifying the Collection Notice Requirements to Delinquent Homeowners

 In an improving economy, the important of monitoring a public trustee foreclosure sales has additional benefits above and beyond making a claim for payment of the association’s super priority lien. As most of you are aware, following the filing of a public trustee foreclosure, CCIOA provides for recovery of up to six months of delinquent assessment fees. For years, the importance of monitoring a public trustee oftentimes had little significance above and beyond making a claim for the super lien and determining the new owner following the sale of the property.

Continue Reading Money in your Pocket: Monitoring Foreclosure Sales

 All of us have complained about a loud and noisy neighbor or some other disturbance that we have deemed a nuisance at one point or other in our lives. However, we should all be thankful that none of us reside in the Plaza at Five Points Condominium Association in Sarasota, Florida. Apparently, the condominium association sits atop of a nightclub. As a single man I appreciate a good nightclub and having one downstairs from where I live sounds interesting. However, this is not just any nightclub but rather one which allegedly stages “drag queen pillow fighting and gelatin wrestling”. Some of the older residents did not appreciate the noise and activities downstairs from them and filed complaints with the city and police and, according to the club’s attorney, pressured the owner of the building to break the club’s lease. The efforts by the association apparently have failed and now the club’s owner has filed a lawsuit against the association claiming that it went too far.

Continue Reading A Nuisance or Not?

 I have to admit, I’m not a fan but was intrigued when I discovered that Porscha Williams from the hit show ‘The Real Housewives’ was hit with a Judgment of nearly $18,000.00 for failing to pay association assessment fees and other charges. Apparently, a garnishment was authorized to attempt to collect the outstanding debt.

Continue Reading Even ‘Real Housewives’ Must Pay Assessments!

I previously blogged about the necessity of updating association collection policies and procedures as a result of recent legislative changes effective on January 1, 2014.  

In addition to preparing a revised collection policy, associations are also required to send new collection notices which provide specific information to delinquent owners. The notices must provide the owner(s) thirty days to cure the delinquency and provide additional information about the debt before an account can be turned over to an attorney for collections. An association will also be required to offer and approve a ‘one-time’ payment plan of not less than six months to delinquent homeowners.   

To ensure that there is no disruption in the collections process, it is critical that associations obtain and approve the revised collection policies and notices NOW! Failure to have a revised collections policy in place prior to January 1, 2014 will unnecessarily delay the collections process by several weeks or more and jeopardize the association’s ability to collect delinquent assessment fees. Associations should also seriously consider immediately implementing the revised collection policy to ensure that any ‘kinks’ are worked out before January 1, 2014.