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ACCORD AND SATISFACTION CASE STUDY BACKGROUND

ACCORD AND SATISFACTION CASE STUDY BACKGROUND

  • Posted: Feb 21, 2016
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ACCORD AND SATISFACTION CASE STUDY BACKGROUND The underlying dispute followed an association’s foreclosure of its assessment lien against a condominium unit. The St. Croix Lane Trust (the “New Owner”) was the third party purchaser of the unit at the Association foreclosure sale. After a certificate of title was issued to the New Owner, the Association demanded that the New Owner pay years of delinquent assessments and related interest, late fees and costs of collection of over $38,000 not paid by the prior, foreclosed, owner – a consistent practice in association collections in Florida. In response, the New Owner’s counsel tendered a check to the Association’s counsel for a small portion of the amount due, $840.00, together with correspondence that provided that “this check is tendered in full and final satisfaction of all claims made against the [New Owner] and the property for the amounts demanded… negotiation of the enclosed check shall be deemed an acceptance of the offer of settlement made herein, and shall be in full and final satisfaction of all claims against the [New Owner] and the property…” The Appellate Court considered this tender to be an “offer of settlement.” In response, the Association’s counsel advised that he had instructed his staff to apply the payment as a partial payment upon receipt (despite the restrictive endorsement). In advising the New Owner of the Association’s intent, the Association’s counsel relied upon the ruling of the Third District Court of Appeal of Florida in Ocean Two Condominium Association, Inc. v. Kliger. In that case the Third District Court of Appeals cited to Section 716.116(3) of the Florida Condominium Act which provides that payments tendered by unit owners shall be applied as specified in the statute notwithstanding any restrictive endorsement, designation or instruction placed on or accompanying a payment. As advised by the Association’s counsel, the Association deposited the $840.00 check, and threatened to sue the New Owner for the remainder the Association claimed due. The New Owner filed suit first, including claims for declaratory relief and lost rental income asserting that seeking lease approval would be futile. The trial court entered a summary judgment finding that the Association’s acceptance of the partial payment did not create an accord and satisfaction. The New Owner appealed this ruling to the Appellate Court….

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SPECIALIZED EXPERTISE MEANS MAXIMUM RECOVERY FOR YOUR ASSOCIATION.

SPECIALIZED EXPERTISE MEANS MAXIMUM RECOVERY FOR YOUR ASSOCIATION.

  • Posted: Feb 21, 2016
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Over the past few years, Community Associations have been seriously challenged by the number of delinquencies. Collecting can be expensive, time-consuming – and there’s no guarantee of success. And when worse comes to worst, you sometimes are forced to retain a lawyer who generates a lot of fees, and usually ends up waiting for the bank to foreclose or for a short sale to take place. The bills keep coming in from the lawyer, whether anything is recovered or not. That’s why you need SNAP Collections. SNAP Collections is focused on getting errant homeowners back on track, and recovering maintenance fees in the most cost-effective manner possible. A complete end-to-end solution by experts. Working with us is easy. • No out-of-pocket cost to the Association throughout the collections process. We work to recover all fees from the Owners can pay: homeowner through the collection process. • By check, e-check, ACH, cash, credit card or debit card • From unit submission, through escalation, to case resolution  • Online, by mail, or walk in to over 40,000 locations – we seek to maximize the recovery and limit write-offs. nationwide. • We steadily escalate efforts and costs to the homeowner,  creating an urgency to resolve the debt quickly. Board and Management: • We work with owners to establish reasonable payment plans. • Online reports and service request available online • We liaise with credit reporting agencies. • Highly-responsive call center for management, • When an owner can’t pay, we try to work with them to boards and owners facilitate a short sale of the unit. It takes experienced specialists to do all that – and • We work with the homeowner to resolve the delinquency,    SNAP offers the wherewithal to make it happen. without adding unnecessary financial burden. And best of all, there are no out-of-pocket costs to • We have a lien filed to protect the Association’s interest. the Association. So find out more about SNAP • In many cases, SNAP Collections helps avoid expensive litigation. Collections’ specialized financial recovery skills for • We are collection specialists. In fact, it’s all we do – every day. Community Associations. Call 866-736-3069 now or visit SNAP collections.com National Headquarters Association Financial Services 4400 Biscayne Blvd, Ste. 550 Miami, FL 33137 Tel: 305-677-0022…

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Outgoing board members to return all official records

Outgoing board members to return all official records

  • Posted: Feb 21, 2016
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Florida a new law goes into to effect that was legislated under HB 807 to section 718.111(12) of the condominium act.   This new law obligates “outgoing board members to return all official records … to the incoming board.” Now as benign as this may seem it speaks to a greater problem and that issue is: Where are all the association’s records? Why did the legislature have to go out of its way to create a specific law to obligate a proper transition from one board to the other? There must be a problem here.   The problem is that community associations have a lot of records and it goes beyond what a board of directors has control of because managers and management companies also have control of essential documents that very often go missing. Let’s take a few examples to demonstrate the problem. A big wind comes and knocks off a couple of roofs in your association, it happens all the time. Well, the first thing that the insurance company wants are the maintenance records roofs going back seven years before they pay for the claim. No records…claim denied and its lawyer time. Another good one relating to community association collections, is that the board has decided to foreclose on Mister Delequaint for non-payment of assessments for the past five years. Mr. Delequaint arrives in court and his lawyer asks the association’s attorney to provide the proof of mailing for the budgets for said five years and they are nowhere to be found. As a matter of fact even the budgets are stone cold lost. The judge can very well possibly rule in favor of Mr. Delequaint (no association foreclosure) and even award him prevailing attorney fees. All these maladies could have been avoided if the association had a document retention policy and followed the protocol. Let’s face the facts and understand that community associations are volatile environments and calling them dynamic is kind. Boards of Directors change, emotions run high, management companies are dismissed frequently, as are attorneys, vendors and whoever else gets an opportunity to work for an association. In the middle of all of this mess records, contracts, ledgers, insurance policies, minutes, proof of mailings, warranties, governing documents, proof of meeting notices, notes and everything else that can be put on paper fall into a deep dark abyss never to be found again. Sometimes by accident and often by design by disgruntled board members, dismissed employees (managers), or untrained office staff who may feel that the round file is for everything that is over a year old. So now that the problem has been identified what is the solution?   First as mentioned above, the board of directors must establish a record keeping policy and protocol (vote on it and put it in the minutes). Don’t lose those minutes and approve them at the next meeting. Said policy should identify all the records that an association must keep and for how long. This is easy because it’s all in the statutes (for Florida condos 718.111 and Florida HOAs 720.305) and I doubt that any state does not address this issue. The next thing is: HOW can an association keep these records from disappearing never to be found again?   There are many ways to go about this and technology may have the answer. Although it might seem to be expensive it is possible that all documents be kept electronically and not just on paper. Have them scanned and put them away on a remote server. This technology also gives an association a backup just in case that big wind comes and blows away your office or the management office. Once again referring to Florida condo statutes 718.111(12)(b) it is crystal clear that documents can be maintained in digital format. In Florida HOA statutes 720.303(5) the legality of keeping records in digital form is not so clear but it is still a prudent idea. No matter what your board comes up with you should be able to easily get your hands on the minutes of a meeting from five years ago or all the maintenance records for the roofs. Try it and if you cannot put your eyes on them it proves that your community association has a problem that needs to be fixed right away. Read more informative articles on our blog, Written by Industry Professionals, Legal by KBR Legal, and members of SFPMA.com  …

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When are Budgets due?

When are Budgets due?

  • Posted: Dec 10, 2015
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Within 90 days after the end of the fiscal year, or annually on such date provided in the bylaws, the association must have prepared a financial report on the financial activities of the preceding fiscal year. Within 21 days after the financial report is completed, but no later than 120 days after the end of the fiscal year, the board must provide each member with a copy of the financial report or, at a minimum, provide written notice that a copy of the financial report is available upon request, at no charge to the members. The financial report must consist of a complete set of financial statements prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. The level of financial reporting that must be prepared by the board is based on the total annual revenue (including reserves) of the association, as follows:   1. An association with total annual revenues of $150,000 or more, but less than $300,000, shall prepare compiled financial statements. 2. An association with total annual revenues of at least $300,000, but less than $500,000, shall prepare reviewed financial statements. 3. An association with total revenues of $500,000 or more shall prepare audited financial statements. 4. An association with total annual revenues of less than $150,000 shall prepare a report of cash receipts and expenditures.   Interestingly, if the board desires to raise the level of financial reporting, it may be increased without membership approval by board action alone, unless the governing documents provide otherwise. In addition, if the board is not inclined to approve a heightened level of reporting, but the members want to do so, then upon twenty (20%) percent of the parcel owners petitioning the board to increase the level of financial reporting from that required by Statute for that fiscal year, the board must notice and hold a membership meeting within thirty (30) days of receipt of the petition. To raise the level of financial reporting, a majority of members present at such meeting must cast their vote in favor of doing so.   However, lowering the reporting threshold is a different matter entirely because only the members can make that decision. To accomplish this, a majority of members present at a properly noticed membership meeting must cast their vote in favor of lowering the level of financial reporting. The meeting must take place prior to the end of the fiscal year in question.  …

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SPECIALIZED EXPERTISE MEANS MAXIMUM RECOVERY FOR YOUR ASSOCIATION.

SPECIALIZED EXPERTISE MEANS MAXIMUM RECOVERY FOR YOUR ASSOCIATION.

  • Posted: Dec 10, 2015
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SPECIALIZED EXPERTISE MEANS MAXIMUM RECOVERY FOR YOUR ASSOCIATION. Our Members have the ability to use our Industries Top Company  SNAP COLLECTIONS. Over the past few years, Community Associations have been seriously challenged by the number of delinquencies. Collecting can be expensive, time-consuming – and there’s no guarantee of success. And when worse comes to worst, you sometimes are forced to retain a lawyer who generates a lot of fees, and usually ends up waiting for the bank to foreclose or for a short sale to take place. The bills keep coming in from the lawyer, whether anything is recovered or not.   That’s why you need SNAP Collections. SNAP Collections is focused on getting errant homeowners back on track, and recovering maintenance fees in the most cost-effective manner possible. A complete end-to-end solution by experts. Working with us is easy. • No out-of-pocket cost to the Association throughout the collections process. We work to recover all fees from the Owners can pay: homeowner through the collection process. • By check, e-check, ACH, cash, credit card or debit card • From unit submission, through escalation, to case resolution  • Online, by mail, or walk in to over 40,000 locations – we seek to maximize the recovery and limit write-offs. nationwide. • We steadily escalate efforts and costs to the homeowner,  creating an urgency to resolve the debt quickly. Board and Management: • We work with owners to establish reasonable payment plans. • Online reports and service request available online • We liaise with credit reporting agencies. • Highly-responsive call center for management, • When an owner can’t pay, we try to work with them to boards and owners facilitate a short sale of the unit. It takes experienced specialists to do all that – and • We work with the homeowner to resolve the delinquency,  SNAPoffers the wherewithal to make it happen. without adding unnecessary financial burden. And best of all, there are no out-of-pocket costs to • We have a lien filed to protect the Association’s interest. the Association. So find out more about SNAP • In many cases, SNAP Collections helps avoid expensive litigation. Collections’ specialized financial recovery skills for • We are collection specialists. In fact, it’s all we do – every day. Community Associations. Call 866-736-3069 now or visit SNAPcollections.com National Headquarters Association Financial Services 4400 Biscayne Blvd, Ste. 550 Miami, FL 33137 Tel: 305-677-0022…

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