Will state bills finally bring accountability to Association-Governed communities?

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Both Florida and Pennsylvania Legislatures are considering  bills to create accountability for association-governed communities. But the type of legislation differs vastly. Florida In Florida, the legislation under consideration will apply only to condominium and cooperative associations, but not to planned communities of single family homes. SB 1682 and companion … More Will state bills finally bring accountability to Association-Governed communities?

HOA Legislation updates – March 2017 (CO and FL)

by Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Colorado Construction Defects debate heats up, but is compromise possible? A new compromise bill has been introduced in the House, in the hopes that Colorado legislators can finally address the state’s highly controversial construction defect laws pertaining to common interest, association-governed communities. In past blogs, I have criticized the … More HOA Legislation updates – March 2017 (CO and FL)

After nearly three years of legal battles, Florida condo owners find replacing their board a daunting task

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Whenever I read talking points from an industry trade group, Community Associations Institute (CAI), claiming that Association Governed Communities are “democratic” self- governance, I cringe. Nothing could be further from the truth. Perhaps in a perfect world. But most associations are far from perfection when it comes to conducting … More After nearly three years of legal battles, Florida condo owners find replacing their board a daunting task

FHA publishes new rules following HOTMA

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Very interesting development! Not long ago, I wrote about Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act (HOTMA), and what the policy might mean for the condominium industry and consumers alike. If you missed it, you can read about HOTMA here: https://independentamericancommunities.com/2016/07/29/new-federal-bill-hotma-h-r-3700-housing-opportunity-through-modernization-act/ and here: https://independentamericancommunities.com/2016/08/30/easing-fha-condo-certifications-and-the-collapsing-housing-market/ Well, it appears that the U.S. Department … More FHA publishes new rules following HOTMA

Dysfunction in Florida’s condominium regulatory agency

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities As the end of the calendar year approaches, owner-advocates are working on getting regulation of Association-Governed Communities in their respective states. One of the items on their Wish List: an official department or agency to take complaints and mediate or arbitrate disputes between property owners and their Associations. A … More Dysfunction in Florida’s condominium regulatory agency

FL condo managers get 5 years probation for conspiracy, theft

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities     Twice in one week, two different states, both involving significant Association-Governed Community theft by admitted criminals. Yesterday I wrote about Loretta Lock, Realtor/Broker and former HOA treasurer of Charleston Harbor Homes Association in Kansas City, MO, admitted to stealing more than $100,000 from her neighbors. But, instead … More FL condo managers get 5 years probation for conspiracy, theft

FL HOA homeowner: “I’m not going to give my money to crooks!”

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities   The latest report of a bully HOA board comes from homeowners in the Rivercrest HOA in the Tampa Bay area. Not long ago I passed along the report from WTSP news about the Lopez family, whose house was foreclosed over a single missed HOA dues payment of $150.   … More FL HOA homeowner: “I’m not going to give my money to crooks!”

Why aren’t foreclosure “rescue” fraudsters held accountable?

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Here’s a well-written investigative report by the Center for Public Integrity. It features one particularly well-know attorney whose law firm made millions charging clients steep monthly fees to help them avoid foreclosure. The problem, according to state and federal regulators, including the FTC: Gennady Litvin engaged in a pattern … More Why aren’t foreclosure “rescue” fraudsters held accountable?

Consumer Notice: PA HOA, Condo, Co-op pending legislation

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Well, I cannot say I am surprised, but I had hoped things would be different in my home state of Pennsylvania. Several weeks ago I wrote articles about HB 1774 (here and here), legislation proposed by State Rep. Rosemary Brown (R), intended to give the Attorney General’s office authority … More Consumer Notice: PA HOA, Condo, Co-op pending legislation

Let’s debunk some HOA and government myths

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities Myth: Because HOAs are self-governing, residents experience a reduction in government intrusion. This is a favorite talking point of strong supporters of States’ Rights and Home Rule at the local level. What could be more local than your homeowners, condo, or cooperative association? Supporters love the idea that the … More Let’s debunk some HOA and government myths