The Board of Trustees for the national Community Association Institute has issued a plea for a halt of HOA foreclosures for non-payment of HOA assessments, until June 1. The current crisis is affecting all of us, and Offit Kurman whole-heartedly agrees with CAI’s request, including that liens should continue to be filed – in anticipation of a jump in consumer bankruptcy filings and other debt collection proceedings. Having a lien in place when a homeowner files bankruptcy or when creditors are jockeying for position greatly improves the odds of the HOA receiving payment.
The full text of CAI’s press release follows:
As the world faces unprecedented challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s unsettling to think about business issues when our neighbors may be fighting for their lives or facing financial hardships. This is the moment for communities around the world to lead, support, and unite. Community associations comprise neighbors sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals. As community leaders, we are here for our neighbors when they need us most.
Today, CAI releases a Statement of Moratorium on Foreclosure Actions urging communities around the world to immediately suspend all foreclosure activity and not begin new foreclosure actions until June 1. CAI calls upon all community association stakeholders—board leaders, residents, managers, and business partners—to lead with flexibility, understanding, and business continuity, while keeping the health and safety of all community members in mind. CAI is dedicated to building better communities, and that mission is more important now than ever before.
The collection of community association assessments is a very serious and important responsibility of a governing board. Failing to collect assessments may impair a community association’s ability to pays its bills, provide essential services, acquire financing for continued operations, and may impact the ability of a potential purchaser to obtain a mortgage. Due to this national emergency, the CAI Board of Trustees has developed the following set of principles for community associations to adopt for addressing homeowners who can’t pay their assessments during this crisis.
- If an owner is unable to pay assessments on time, the owner should notify their community association to work out a payment plan. Homeowners with a financial hardship should be encouraged to apply for government assistance, if available.
- Community associations should adopt a moratorium on foreclosures for 60 days (or until at least June 1, 2020).
- Community associations should waive late fees and penalties for owners who face temporary financial hardships due to COVID-19.
- Community associations should amend, temporarily relax, or follow existing non-foreclosure collection policies that are fair and applied equally to all members.
- Community associations should continue to record liens to protect their interests.
- Community associations should emphasize the importance of owners paying their assessments on time, if possible.
Click here for the full Statement of Moratorium on Foreclosure Actions due to COVID-19.
The CAI Board of Trustees applauds the actions community association board leaders and managers are taking and for their dedication to the residents, employees, and business partners in their communities. For updated resources related to COVID-19 and community associations, visit www.caionline.org/coronavirus.
Stay healthy and be well.
Thomas M. Skiba, CAE
CAI chief executive officer
Ursula Burgess, Esq.
CAI president board of trustees
ABOUT MIKE HUNTER
Mike Hunter’s practice focuses on community and condominium association law. He represents more than 700 associations across North Carolina.
Mike’s background includes real estate and litigation, with a concentration in the area of creditors’ rights, including debt collection, bankruptcy, foreclosure, lien enforcement, and collateral recovery.
From 1995 to 2006, Mike served as an assistant attorney for the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office, primarily in the areas of civil process and judgment enforcement.
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