On January 10, 2013 Delray Beach was the site of a legal summit organized by Senator Maria Sachs. Among the attorneys present were representatives from such prestigious law firms as Becker & Poliakoff, Ackerman Senterfitt, Sachs Sax & Caplan, Greenspoon Marder, and Kaye Bender Rembaum. The Legislative Consortium (comprised of The Alliance of Delray, West Boca Community Council, COBWRA, Broward Coalition, and the W. Lake Worth Rd. Coalition) was also present.
Senator Sachs describes the process as using "brainpower" for developing a bill that will help community associations.
Real Estate Foreclosure issues were of paramount interest to the group of community leaders who attended the Senator's summit. Solutions were discussed by the attorneys present which might be incorporated into future bill legislation. These included:
-Giving the association administrative priority similar as in a bankruptcy situation.
-A receivership expedited procedure where an Association can step in and act as a receiver as an emergency vehicle.
-Use the Landlord theory; not taking away ownership but taking possession of a unit so that eviction actions can be taken. This is based on the opinion that an Association should have the right to act as a landlord before it takes ownership.
-Requiring banks to pay safe harbor fees up front.
-Lender paying security deposit before filing foreclosure
-Bonding for assessments
Attention was also drawn to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac lending programs. Care is being taken in writing this bill to insure that buyers continue to have the ability to finance units.
One self-help suggestion from Rob Rubinstein of Becker & Poliakoff was for associations to incorporate an assessment escrow provision into their documents requiring new owners of units to prepay 6 months or a year of assessments. The pros and cons of this suggestion were discussed.
Senator Sachs is emerging as a champion of COAs and HOAs. The passage of her bill would reduce the financial burden on property owners in community associations.
Photo from left: Rob Rubinstein from Becker & Poliakoff, Senator Sachs, Bill Sklar of Ackerman Senterfitt.
To read some of the current foreclosure and COA/HOA Bills for the 2013 Legislative Session, click on the following: http://allianceofdelray.com/item_list.asp?subcat=659&subtitle=2013+Bill+Tracker