By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities
Sometimes I read an editorial opinion letter that just screams “propaganda” and oozes hubris.
This is one of those times. As you read this arrogant spin on why HOAs ought to be able to pursue assessment collections without any reasonable limitations, keep in mind its author: Aaron Gordon, General Counsel for LM Funding Company.
House bill could damage Florida’s real estate recovery
Let’s see, Gordon thinks that better disclosure of the HOA’s collections policy is redundant and useless. He thinks there should be no minimum time limit before an HOA begins foreclosure proceedings or transfer of lien. He’s against the idea of a monthly payment plan. And he thinks that open access to financial records on the HOA’s website is a bad idea.
Gordon seems to be saying that it’s better to keep homeowners completely in the dark, and use maximum collection bully tactics to intimidate those owners into paying up or forfeiting their home to the lien holder.
The bill Gordon refers to is FL HB 1357. It offers additional disclosures, limitations on Association powers, and other transparency-related legal requirements, meant to provide a minimal level of protection to owners of housing in Association Governed Residential Communities:
GENERAL BILL by Representative Mike LaRosa
Companion Bill (Similar) : SB 1716
Community Associations; Requires specified documents to be provided on association’s website; revises duties of outgoing board or committee member; provides director & officer conflict-of-interest requirements; provides requirements for board membership; prohibits association from enforcing certain traffic & criminal laws; provides requirements for amendment of association declaration; provides meeting notice requirements; provides election requirements; requires developer to deliver certain information to association; provides powers of association related to past due assessments owed by member; provides requirements for association transferring right to collect past due assessments to third party; provides requirements for association transferring lien to third party.
Effective Date: 7/1/2016
For more information – http://www.ccfj.net/PB16HB1357.html
What Gordon fails to mention is that the lien holder’s interest he is protecting is LM Funding’s, and that paying up to avoid a foreclosure is certain to include hefty fines and collection fees, all of which directly benefits Gordon himself, and his employer, LM Funding.
The homeowners’ or condo association won’t see a penny of the money LM Funding collects, because, based on their business model, LM Funding buys the HOA’s uncollected debt up front – often for a fraction of its true value. When that happens, the lien transfers from the HOA to LM Funding.
So, of course LM Funding, the controversial HOA company facing two serious lawsuits – possibly heading toward class action – would not be in favor of any reasonable attempts to curb excessive, abusive, or usurious collection tactics.
As it turns out, all of Florida’s proposed homeowners and condo association legislation has died in committee, including HB 1357. See for yourself.
Makes you wonder if Legislators actually believe the self-serving spin of those opposing any and all efforts to rein in abuse and mismanagement of Association Governed Residential Communities.
Want more details on LM Funding? Read on.
Lawsuits attack business model of Tampa’s LM Funding (Tampa Bay Times)
Susan Taylor Martin, Times Senior Correspondent
Tampa-based LM Funding America is off to a rocky start as a publicly traded company.
The firm — which buys the rights to collect delinquent homeowners association dues — is under attack in two lawsuits accusing it of illegal practices.
One suit, filed by a Miami condo association, alleges that LM Funding concocted a “criminally usurious lending scheme” that targeted struggling community associations.
The other suit, by a company that buys distressed assets, accuses LM Funding and its CEO, Tampa attorney Bruce Rodgers, of demanding payment of fees to which they are not entitled.
Both lawsuits seek status as class actions, a move that could vastly expand the number of plaintiffs trying to collect from LM Funding.
Read more here: