By Jan Bergemann

Published March 17, 2017

I agree with Eric and Darlys on one issue: The bill has legal flaws and needs some re-wording, but in my opinion the authors of the bill did a great job pinpointing some of the serious issues condo-owners in Florida are facing.

Otherwise the bill is a great start trying to fight scams, fraud and embezzlement in Florida’s condominiums. What I don’t understand is the fact that the bill ignores the owners of more than 2.5 million owners of property within homeowners associations (FS 720), who definitely have the same problems.

I always have a hard time understanding why many people in this country don’t seem to understand the meaning of the word "ILLEGAL". Why do so many people want to be “politically correct” – and let people go unpunished who knowingly and willfully ignore and/or violate the laws.

Hiding records, by knowingly and willfully ignoring official record requests, is pretty common in associations – and we have seen over the years that just creating stronger wording in the statutes hasn’t changed one little bit. So, maybe criminal prosecution of the guilty parties may be the right way to go.

Don’t forget: Why should boards ignore simple record requests if they have nothing to hide? They rather spend lots of association funds on their attorneys trying to drag out the required inspection of the records.

Isn’t it funny that the “specialized” law firms are loudly opposing criminal prosecution of their clients, the ones that sign their checks?

And I really get more than a good laugh when hearing the most ridiculous argument coming from these attorneys: We are losing the volunteers willing to “serve” on the boards!”

Give me a break: I consider this argument outright stupid! Who wants board members who knowingly and willfully ignore the laws serving on our association boards? There are too many board members with private agendas anyway, and, as we have seen especially through media reports in the last year, quite a few of them love to have their hands in the cookie jar.

Ignoring record requests shows me that the board – or specific members of the board, have something to hide – and allowing the association attorney to use association money to cover up the wrong-doings is definitely the wrong way to go. In the end it just creates bigger damages.

Let’s be honest: Many of our associations have serious issues caused by board members – and “their” service-providers – who act under the cover of being indemnified – and nothing can happen to them, even if they are caught with the hands in the cookie-jar.

Since nothing else helped, CRIMINAL PROSECUTION is definitely the right way to go! I’m definitely all for it!

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Jan Bergemann Jan Bergemann is president of Cyber Citizens For Justice, Florida 's largest state-wide property owners' advocacy group. CCFJ works on legislation to help owners living in community  

associations. He moved to Florida in 1995 - hoping to retire. He moved into a HOA, where the developer cheated the homeowners and used the association dues for his own purposes. End of retirement!


CCFJ was born in the year 2000, when some owners met in Tallahassee - finding out that power is only in numbers. Bergemann was a member of Governor Jeb Bush's HOA Task force in 2003/2004.


The organization has two websites to inform interested Florida homeowners and condo owners:

News Website:

Educational Website:

We think that only owners can really represent owners, since all service providers surely have a different interest! We are trying to create owner-friendly laws, but the best laws are useless without enforcement. And enforcement is totally lacking in Florida !

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