Articles Posted in Default & Foreclosure

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hoa-foreclosure-article.jpgBe sure to check out Steve Tinnelly’s latest article he authored for the “OC View,” an educational bi-monthly magazine published by the Orange County Regional Chapter of the Community Associations Institute (CAI).

The article, entitled “Foreclosure Face-Off,” compares and contrasts the two foreclosure processes available to California HOAs in their assessment collection efforts (non-judicial and judicial foreclosure). It discusses the primary advantages and disadvantages associated with each process, and how they may be impacted by economic factors and issues unique to each delinquency. Our firm is privileged to have the opportunity to work with CAI and to contribute to its educational efforts. For more information on CAI, we encourage you to visit its website at caionline.org.

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Tinnelly Law Group is proud to provide its clients with access to comprehensive, attorney-supervised assessment collection services through the use of its affiliate, Alterra Assessment Recovery (“Alterra”). Alterra’s service offering includes both foreclosure processes, and an array of ancillary services developed to resolve delinquent matters as quickly and efficiently as possible. For more information on Alterra, visit its website at alterracollections.com.

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hoa update 2014Our “Annual Legislative & Case Law Update” newsletter for the year 2014 is now available in our library!

The Legislative & Case Law Update provides an overview of the new legislation and case law impacting California Homeowners Associations (“HOAs”) as we head into 2014. The new legislation includes, among other items, the re-organization of the Davis-Stirling Act (now in effect), and a bill that clarifies contractor licensing requirements for HOA managers. The new case law includes rulings that may impact HOA election rules, membership rights to attend Board meetings, use of HOA media outlets during election campaigns, insurance defense coverage, attorney’s fees recovery in HOA disputes, and assessment collection procedures.

Click here to read our Annual Legislative & Case Law Update (2014)

Have questions on any of the new legislation or case law? Click here to send us a question online.

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Earlier this year, we blogged about an appellate court case that underscored the necessity for a homeowners association (“HOA”) to strictly comply with the statutory procedures and requirements applicable to assessment collection. That case focused on various requirements pertaining to the transmittal of notices (i.e., assessment lien notices, notices of right to request alternative dispute resolution (“ADR”), notice of the Board’s decision to initiate foreclosure of an assessment lien, etc.) The HOA’s failure to strictly comply with those requirements ultimately resulted in the invalidation of the HOA’s assessment lien and also an award of attorney’s fees and costs to the delinquent homeowner.

The case of Multani v. Witkin & Neal et al., (2013) 216 Cal.App.4th 590, (“Multani“) similarly involved allegations of procedural defects by a HOA’s collection agent. However, the Court’s ruling in Multani is significant in that it addresses the statutory, ninety (90) day “right of redemption” afforded to a homeowner that may have lost ownership of her unit through nonjudicial foreclosure of a delinquent assessment lien…

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hoa lawsOur annual “Legislative & Case Law Update” newsletter for the year 2013 is now available in our library!

The Legislative & Case Law Update provides an overview of the new legislation and case law impacting California Homeowners Associations (“HOAs”) as we head into 2013. The new legislation includes, among other items, bills that impact Bank foreclosures, the re-organization of the Davis-Stirling Act, EV Charging Stations and fees charged by HOAs in producing certain records. The new case law includes rulings that may impact the architectural restrictions placed on the installation of solar panels, arbitration provisions for construction defect disputes, “no-cost” HOA collections contracts, election disputes and defamation claims. The Legislative & Case Law Update also addresses some new Fannie Mae and FHA regulations impacting condominium insurance and certification requirements.

Click here to read our Legislative & Case Law Update (2013)

Have questions on any of the new legislation or case law? Click here to send us a question online.

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hoa law firm*New Library Article

AB 805, effective January 1, 2014, will make existing California law pertaining to Homeowners Associations (“HOAs”) more logical and user-friendly. The bill’s primary effect is (1) to renumber and reorganize the Davis-Stirling Common Interest Development Act (“the Act”), and (2) to make various minor changes to the substantive content the Act. Other than renumbering of the Act from Sections 1350-1378 of the Civil Code to Sections 4000-6150, the bill reorganizes the Act in a more logical manner. It also standardizes terminology, eliminates outdated references to other authorities, groups provisions pertaining to the same subject matter, and reorganizes longer sections into more convenient subparts. While most of the Act’s content will remain the same, this blog post provides an overview of what substantive changes will go into effect as of January 1, 2014.

Our HOA lawyers have also published this information in our new library article entitled “The Basics of AB 805,” available for download from our library.

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*Asked & Answeredhoa law firm

Asked As a HOA member, do I have the right to see a copy of a lease agreement pertaining to a home that was acquired by my HOA through foreclosure of an assessment lien?

Answered – Yes, you may request to see a copy of the lease agreement. Under Civil Code §1365.2(a)(1)(D),a HOA member is entitled to inspect certain “Association records” for any “proper purpose reasonably related” to her interests as a member of the Association. “Association records” include “[e]xecuted contracts not otherwise privileged under law.” 1365.2(a)(1)(D).

The term “privileged” in Civil Code §1365.2(a)(1)(D) essentially pertains to confidential or sensitive information, as well as records/communications which are protected by attorney-client privilege. A standard lease agreement between a HOA and a renter is generally not a “privileged” contract and is therefore subject to inspection as an “Association record.”

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The lease agreement may, however, include confidential information such as social security numbers. The HOA Board of Directors and/or management should ensure that such confidential information is adequately redacted from the lease agreement prior to providing it to a member for inspection. A HOA that has questions or concerns regarding the disclosure of HOA lease agreements and the information contained therein should consult with the HOA’s legal counsel.

To submit questions to the HOA attorneys at Tinnelly Law Group, click here.

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Homeowners Association (“HOA”) Boards and industry professionals are keenly aware of the financial impact that the economic downturn has had on HOAs throughout California, especially with foreclosures. The difficulty in identifying/contacting the bank who foreclosed on a property, as well as delays in the recording of certain property transfer documents, has hampered the ability of HOAs to quickly reestablish the assessment revenue stream from the new owner of the foreclosed property (often, the bank).

Fortunately, AB 2273 was recently signed into law to add new Section 2924.1 to the Civil Code and amend current Section 2924(b) of the Civil Code. AB 2273 serves two important functions:

  1. It requires the foreclosing party to record a sale within 30 days of the sale to help the HOA identify new owners; and
  2. It shortens the time for HOAs to be notified by the foreclosing party of the change in ownership: 15 days from the date of sale. However, this only applies if the HOA has recorded a “Request for Notice” prior to the property receiving a Notice of Default.
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AB 2273 is another step toward helping HOAs reduce the financial impact the economic downturn is having on their budgets. It also underscores how important it is for a HOA to record a blanket “Request for Notice” pursuant to Section 2924(b). HOA Boards and Managers that are dealing with defaulting properties should contact their HOA attorney to ensure that all appropriate steps are taken to help the HOA quickly reestablish the assessment stream from a foreclosed property.

To read the text of AB2273, click here.

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bankruptcy1.jpg*New Resource

Community associations (“associations”) often deal with owners overburdened by debt and unable to pay their assessments. These owners may file for bankruptcy to seek financial relief. How does this affect an association? What must an association be aware of? How can an association protect its interests? This blog post addresses these questions while providing a basic outline of the three (3) types of bankruptcies that can affect an association: Chapter 7, Chapter 11, and Chapter 13.

This information can also be found in our new resource entitled “Bankrupt Owners in Your Community”, available for download from our library.

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House-and-dollar-sign.jpgA new subsidiary of a national asset management firm has been founded to help resolve some of the problems experienced by Homeowners Associations (“HOAs”) and the mortgage industry in the resale of foreclosed and defaulting residential properties. A press release by the newly formed company, Sperlonga Data and Analytics, states that HOA claims for unpaid dues “frequently create problems and delays” in the sale process. Sperlonga believes that these delays cause “hundreds of millions of dollars in losses for the mortgage industry annually, largely because parties have no means to contact one another.”

Sperlonga seeks to help facilitate contact with HOAs, lenders and other lien holders. Their goal is to resolve outstanding HOA obligations before they can negatively impact the resale process. “After hearing again and again of homeowners’ associations creating issues at closing for parties wanting to buy and sell assets, it became evident that this problem was costing the industry tremendous amounts of time and money…With no single source of reliable association data or standardization in place to manage this process, we saw an immediate opportunity to deliver a solution with real value for all parties.” (Sperlonga’s chairman and CEO).

Sperlonga will provide a “centralized repository” for HOAs to submit their demands for unpaid assessments. These demands will then be directed by Sperlonga to the appropriate party for payment–usually a bank or other financial institution.

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It is great to see the attention being given to the difficulties experienced by HOAs attempting to collect on unpaid assessment obligations and how HOAs are suffering from significant foreclosures and vacancies. Any efforts made by service providers and those in the mortgage industry to provide a more efficient resale process for distressed properties will certainly help HOAs and their communities.

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This economic downturn has dealt a serious blow to the assessment revenue of Associations throughout California. Almost every Association is dealing with several delinquent homeowners. One Board Member recently submitted a question on our site asking what happens to an owner’s delinquent assessments if the owner sells his property in a short sale.

In an effort to avoid foreclosure, an owner may elect to sell his property in a “short sale” by selling the property for less than is owed on the mortgage. Because the lender will take a loss on the property, the lender ‘s approval is required before the sale can take place.

Any outstanding liens on the property must be satisfied for the sale to proceed. Provided that the Association has liened property for the delinquent assessments, then it stands in a strong position to recoup at least some money.

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Though the Association is under no obligation to release its lien, it should realize the benefit of having a new, dues-paying owner in the property. The Association should negotiate with the parties involved by seeking contribution from the lender, buyer, and realtors in exchange for the Association waiving some of the late fees and interest that may have accrued on the outstanding assessment amount. This type of reasonable approach will (1) help the Association recover at least some money, (2) provide the Association with a dues-paying owner, and (3) help prevent the new owner from harboring resentment for the Association.