Archive for the ‘Condominiums’ Category

Bray Admitted to College of Community Association Lawyers   Leave a comment

3259734_1 Amy H. Bray, Esq., partner at Andersen, Tate & Carr, P.C., has been granted membership in the College of Community Association Lawyers (CCAL)—of fewer than 150 attorneys nationwide to be admitted to the prestigious organization. Members of the College are among the most respected community association attorneys in the country.

CCAL was established in 1993 by Community Associations Institute (CAI), with membership consisting of attorneys who have distinguished themselves through contributions to the evolution and practice of community association law. CCAL members are also recognized for committing themselves to high standards of professional and ethical conduct.

Ms. Bray’s practice focuses on real estate, encompassing both commercial and residential closings and extensive experience in community association law. She is also an experienced mediator, who applies her knowledge to the practical and efficient settlement of real estate-related disputes.

Celebrating its 25th anniversary, Andersen, Tate & Carr, P.C. was founded in 1988. In that time the firm has grown from two to almost thirty attorneys and over sixty employees, making it the largest business law firm in Gwinnett County. The firm’s roots in Gwinnett County reach back much further; however, as some of its attorneys have practiced here since the mid-1970s. Andersen, Tate & Carr has become one of the preeminent law firms in suburban Atlanta by offering unparalleled legal representation in a wide variety of practice areas, such as real estate and banking, corporate and business transactions, civil litigation, land use and development, estate planning, criminal defense, and family law.

CCAL provides a forum for the exchange of information among experienced legal professionals working for the advancement of community association governance. Its goals include promoting high standards of professional and ethical responsibility, improving and advancing community association law and practice, and facilitating the development of educational materials and programming pertaining to legal issues.

CAI is a national membership organization dedicated to helping homeowner and condominium associations meet the expectations of their residents. The organization accomplishes this mission by providing information, tools and resources to homeowner volunteer leaders and community managers who govern and manage common-interest communities. By helping its members learn, excel and achieve, CAI strengthens the governance and management of community associations throughout the country, making them better places to live.

More than 62 million Americans live in an estimated 325,000 homeowner and condominium associations, cooperatives and other planned communities.

More News on the Proposed Community Association “Superlien” in Georgia

English: Symbol of Georgia State Senate .

English: Symbol of Georgia State Senate . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Senate Banking and Financial Institutions Committee is poised to consider Georgia Senate Bill 56 and a priority lien for community associations this Friday, February 22, 2013.

Georgia ranks in the top of the nation for the number of foreclosures, and communities across our state continue to feel the devastating economic impact of foreclosures. A priority lien would help community associations by requiring that a foreclosing bank satisfy up to six months worth of homeowners or condominium owners’ association fees that are due at the time of foreclosure.

For more information regarding how to contact your legislators regarding the bill, go to https://www.facebook.com/#!/cai.georgia provided by the legislative action committee of the Georgia chapter of the Community Associations Institute for a more extensive discussion and contact information for the legislators.

 

Georgia Community Association “Priority Lien” Bill – A New Year, Another Chance

For years now, there has been an ongoing push to try to pass a bill in the Georgia legislature that would give community associations that are subject to the Georgia Property Owners Association Act (as opposed to “common law associations”) and condominium associations a special “Priority Lien.”  In 2013, the push continues.  The proposed legislation would allow Georgia associations to collect up to 6 months of past due assessments at a foreclosure sale, if any assessments were due at the time of foreclosure. In 2013 expect this push to continue.  Similar bills have been adopted in 18 states and the District of Columbia in the wake of the home foreclosure crisis.
This would be a huge help to associations. Often assessments are one of the first bills to go unpaid when a homeowner gets into financial trouble and at the time of a foreclosure there may be significant amounts overdue. As the law currently stands the lien of the association for the past due assessments is wiped out in condominiums and associations subject to the Georgia Property Owners Association Act (and generally in common law associations too). Associations typically have no other income stream and so this can really hurt the association’s ability to fund its obligations, often to the detriment of the other property owners that are members of the association.
However, bank lobbyists have lobbied extensively against the passage of such a bill and stand strongly opposed to its adoption.
Also, if such a bill were passed, the distinction between “common law associations” and Georgia Property Owners Association Act associations (aka “POA Act associations” or “statutory associations”) would continue to grow.

This is a situation that bears watching, especially if you are a member of an association that would be affected by such a change in the law.

By: Amy H. Bray, a partner in our Commercial Real Estate Department

Possible Amendment to Georgia Condo Act   Leave a comment

Georgia State Capitol

Image via Wikipedia

The Georgia legislature has a bill pending for the next legislative session (SB 136) which, if passed into law, may help owners in condominium associations where the developer/declarant remains in control of the condominium association.

Essentially, the bill amends O.C.G.A. 44-3-101 to provide that certain failures to act, by the declarant, would allow owners a way to gain control of the condominium association via petition to the superior court of the county in which the condominium is located. 

For condominium unit owners, particularly those in condominiums that “stalled out” due to the economic downturn, this bill is worth watching.  Note though, that it is ONLY applicable to Georgia condominiums, and not other types of homeowner or property owner associations.  If you are unsure if you are dealing with a condominium or another type of association, you should seek knowledgeable legal advice.

HUD Issues Update of FHA Condominium Approval Requirements   1 comment

Seal of the United States Department of Housin...

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In Mortgagee Letter 2011-22 dated June 30, 2011, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”) consolidated and updated the requirements and procedures for its condominium approval process.  The new requirements clarify, expand, consolidate, and update the preexisting guidelines and replaces exisitng mortgagee letters (2009-46a, 2009-46b, and 2011-03). 

The new requirements will take effect 60 days after ML 2011-22 was issued for all project approval packages submitted to HUD for review.

New and existing condominiums ( meaning association board of directors as well as condominium developers) should take heed of these new guidelines.  The status of a condominium as approved (or not approved) can have an impact on the ability of unit owners to sell units, as qualification for FHA conventional loans hinge upon whether the condominium is approved. 

If you have questions or uncertainty about how this affects you, as a condominium unit owner, developer, or lender, we urge you to contact your legal counsel for further discussion.

 

Georgia Poised to Gain Transfer Fee Prohibition   Leave a comment

Georgia may soon be the newest state to adopt legislation regarding transfer fees that are payable to third parties (such as developers, community associations, and nonprofit foundations).  HB 129 has been adopted by the Georgia House of Representatives and has crossed over to the Georgia Senate for consideration. 

This particular iteration, as approved by the Georgia House of Representatives, permits transfer fees payable to condominium associations, associations that are subject to the Georgia Property Owners Association Act, and associations formed for the purpose of acting as a property owners’ association (as described in the bill), but otherwise prohibits all other transfer fees. 

FHA has Extended Condominium Project Approval Deadlines   3 comments

Today FHA announced extension of condominium project approvals with an expiration date of December 7, 2010. 

The extension dates based on five-year time frames (with the exception of those condominium projects with original approval dates from 1972 -1985) are as follows:

Initial Project Approval Dates     Current Expiration Date        New Expiration Date

1972 – 1980                              December 7, 2010               December 31, 2010

1981 – 1985                              December 7, 2010               December 31, 2010

1986 – 1990                              December 7, 2010               May 31, 2011

1991 – 1995                              December 7, 2010               July 31, 2011

1996 – 2000                              December 7, 2010               August 31, 2011

2001 – 2005                              December 7, 2010               September 30, 2011

2006 – 2008 (Sept)                    December 7, 2010               March 31, 2011

FHA encourages lenders and/or other interested parties to begin the re-approval or recertification process as early as possible as it is not anticipated that any further extensions of project approvals will be issued.

The Condominium look-up page and the FHA Connection databases were updated on December 7, 2010 and now reflect the extended expiration dates.  The links to the sites are:

Condominium look-up page: https://entp.hud.gov/idapp/html/condlook.cfm

FHA Connection: https://entp.hud.gov/clas/index.cfm

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