As a community association attorney, I attend a lot of homeowner meetings to discuss legal issues and provide education to boards and owners. I enjoy the opportunity to meet the people who live in my client’s communities. It’s always great to put faces to names and get a feel for the relationship dynamics that make themselves apparent in the meeting space. Often, I stand out as the only person in the room wearing a suit, and I quickly get introduced as the association’s attorney or “the board’s attorney” or simply “our attorney.” This introduction provides a chance for me to answer a question that many owners in the room have: Who do you represent, Suzanne? In fact, I try to answer the following questions, quickly and concisely, with any group of owners that I am meeting for the first time:

Who does the association attorney represent? My firm represents the community association entity, not its board of directors, any of the individual directors, the manager or management company, or the members of the association.


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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

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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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

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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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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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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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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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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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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