LOTS OF CONFUSION?

By Jan Bergemann

Published July 24, 2020

 

There are always hot debates going on what an association can Ė or cannot Ė do in regards to posting names of delinquent owners and what kind of documents can be required from a potential renter/buyer of a unit/home.

 

Financial issues are always tricky, especially when it comes to the privacy of the owner/renter.

 

Letís make one thing pretty clear: There is no real privacy of documents once itís in the hands of the association.


Board members change, managers change Ė and so does office-personnel. And all of them can see all these documents.

 

There is absolutely nothing wrong with background checks, But then it gets complicated. We hear often that associations can check credit scores. But imagine the following scenario: First buyer gets rejected due to bad credit score, the next buyer is a foreigner, who, as a foreigner, has no credit score at all, because this country is about the only one that deals with the nonsense of credit scores. European bankers, for example, laugh about this system, because in reality a good credit score means that the person has lots of debts. Have you ever realized that your credit score goes down if you pay off a credit or even a credit card?

 

Letís say: The board approves the second buyer, even without a credit score. Wouldnít the rejected buyer have a reason to complain about selective enforcement? No matter what, there is always somebody who has a reason to complain.

 

And posting the names of delinquent owners? The solution is very easy: They canít be singled out, like posting a list of names and units of delinquent owners on the bulletin board. FDCPA is very clear about it and associations have paid dearly for violating FDCPA.

 

But there is a very easy solution:


Remember, FS 718.111(12)11.b. and FS 720.303(4)j.2. state under OFFICIAL RECORDS:

A current account and a monthly, bimonthly, or quarterly statement of the account for each unit designating the name of the unit owner, the due date and amount of each assessment, the amount paid on the account, and the balance due.

 

With other words, there is nothing wrong with publishing the complete list of all owners, including the owners who are delinquent.

 

I hope these explanations are helpful and sort out some of the confusion that seems to exist!


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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: http://www.ccfj.net/.

Educational Website: http://www.ccfjfoundation.net/.

   
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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