In many respects an association foreclosure mirrors a bank foreclosure, with some minor differences.
Once an account is delinquent, the association is permitted under Florida Statutes to place a lien on the subject property for nonpayment of assessments.
Prior to recording this lien, the association is required to send the offending homeowner a Notice of Intent to Lien and to provide a period of time with which to bring the account current (30 days for a condominium association, 45 days for a homeowners’ association).
If the account is not brought current during this time period, the association is permitted to record its lien and institute a foreclosure action in the subject property and against the offending homeowner.
Prior to filing the lawsuit, however, the association is required to offer the offending homeowner one last chance to bring the account current.
Because of Florida’s boom in development during the 1990s and early 2000s, many properties are included in planned unit developments, more commonly known as homeowners’ and condominium associations.
If a property is located within one of these developments, activities conducted on and uses of the particular property are governed by the association charged with overseeing the day-to-day operations of the development.
Although we tend only to notice the activities of the association as they relate to aesthetic matters (landscaping, trash disposal, pool maintenance, etc.), much of the association’s duties relate to community finances and enforcement of the association’s governing documents.
While the legal principles involving associations is vast, this blog will focus on one small aspect of the association puzzle: association foreclosures for nonpayment of assessments.
How many times have you looked around your home and thought, “Wow, that stain on the ceiling is huge. I need to fix that water leak.”
How about, “I’m so glad those termites haven’t come back.” Or, have you moved that potted plant to cover the water stain that seeped up through the hardwood floor?
While these are things we’ve probably all done or thought at one point or another, these instances can have big effects if not properly disclosed during the sale of your home.
Even something as minuscule as a bump in the floor can signify a larger structural issue and cause you a massive headache months or years after the sale of your property. Sometimes there can be confusion about which defects warrant disclosure.
Powers of Attorney (POAs) are legal documents that allow an individual, the “Grantor,” to nominate an agent, their “Attorney In Fact,” to sign and execute anything that the Grantor chooses, on their behalf, as though they were doing it themselves.
This can include contracts, loans, deeds, stock purchase, applications for government services, sale of real property, medical forms and virtually anything else that can be contemplated.
In real estate transactions, a Power of Attorney or POA is commonly seen when a party to the transaction such as the buyer or seller is either unavailable because they cannot attend the closing, or they are too ill or unable to physically sign the closing documents.
Many states have laws which essentially require a POA to be accepted at face value, so long as there is no reason to suspect fraud or unlawful inducement in the use of the POA.
Unfortunately, because a POA can provide an Attorney in Fact with near-limitless powers to act on behalf of another person, fraud is a very real risk that must be taken seriously.