By Jan Bergemann

Published October 1, 2021


Any catastrophe attracts vultures who are looking to make money out of the misery of others. We already read the news stories about the arrest of folks who used the ID of Surfside victims to make big bucks.


Now itís up to the attorneys to make lots of money. Lawsuits have been filed Ė and rumor has it that there are more to come.


Normally e always hear: Let the unit-owners decide their own fate and make the necessary decisions. But as we have seen that doesnít always work. 98 lives can testify to that!


Now itís in the hands of ONE JUDGE to make the decision that will influence the future of all these families.


The big question: How much money will there be in the end when it comes to distribute funds to the victims and the families who lost their homes?


One thing Judge Hanzman definitely got right so far: The families who lost their homes need money fast in order to buy new homes.


But the fight among the survivors is already on: Should there be a big Memorial, should the site be sold to the highest bidder or should a new hi-rise be built on the property for the families who lost their homes. One thing is sure: The money that is expected to be paid by the insurance will definitely not be sufficient to pay for a replacement building. According to Judge Hanzman the amount of the insurance payment will be about $50 mill. That surely doesnít pay for a new hi-rise.


So, what can we expect to happen? Lot more court fights, attorneys fighting to get their share of the cake for their clients Ė and more headlines in the media.


But hopefully Judge Hanzman will achieve one important goal: To not let the vultures take big amounts of money from the funds that will finally be available for distribution.


We all can only hope for one thing: That we all, including our legislators, learned from this catastrophe that cost 98 lives. We need laws that will prevent another such catastrophe, laws that protect condo owners Ė even if they donít like these new laws since it most likely will increase their monthly maintenance fees. But safety is definitely more important than money!

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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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