By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities
Last week I shared the news of investigations of condominium association abuse and fraud in the South Florida. Today I am sharing two editorial opinion letters published in the Miami Herald, both calling for serious investigation and enforcement actions against individuals who commit acts of fraud and theft.
The abuses include condo election and financial fraud.
Crack down on condo association abuses (Op-ed)
Allegations of fraud by condominium associations in South Florida is nothing new, but the latest case to come to light is shocking in its scope.
And it reveals something else: That investigation into such abuses by local authorities is too infrequent, and many condo residents are left frustrated without the help of the agencies created to protect them.
Last week, el Nuevo Herald reporters Brenda Medina and Enrique Flor, focused the spotlight with their in-depth investigation into possible fraud at The Beach Club condo complex in Fontainebleau Park and other condos in South Florida.
Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/opinion/editorials/article67241137.html#storylink=cpy
State must improve policing of condo fraud (Op-ed By Roberto C. Blanch)
An investigative report in el Nuevo Herald chronicled the growing problem of election fraud at South Florida condominium associations. Based on the episodes of possible fraud uncovered by the reporters and the growing number of complaints by local condo associations, it has become apparent that it’s time to put teeth into Florida’s laws and enforcement actions addressing this type of fraud.
And let’s not forget to add corrupt receivers that harm Association Governed Residential Communities rather than help them. It turns out that some court appointed receivers charge hefty fees and penalties to Association members, paying themselves far more than they are able to recover for the Association through collection of rent or delinquent assessments.
According to the article, it appears some judges are appointing receivers based upon the choice of the condo or homeowners’ association board. Now, let’s think about that. If the board is corrupt, chances are, their choice of receiver will continue the corruption.
Condo owners face financial losses under receivers’ watch
Critics of the receivership system say that judges give receivers too much power over the homeowners’ associations and then do little to monitor their performance. In fact, they add, some receivers work hand-in-hand with companies and lawyers that focus only on their own profits while the associations receive few if any benefits.
“The court appoints these people, and it should be responsible for what those people do with the powers that it grants them,” Pazos said. “A receiver should be someone neutral, appointed randomly by a judge. But in these cases, it was the owners’ associations that proposed the person they wanted appointed as receivers.”