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Appeals Court Holds Condo Cannot Foreclose On Property If Bank Files Foreclosure Suit First

A Florida appeals court recently held that a condominium association that filed a foreclosure complaint to recover unpaid assessments could not foreclose its lien because of an existing lis pendens placed on the property by the first mortgagee. The court held that, if a bank files a lis pendens on a property, this lis pendens bars others that have an interest in the property from enforcing liens and levies against the unit unless that party intervenes in the first mortgagee’s case. While the decision is only binding in Broward and Palm Beach Counties for now, courts in other Florida counties could rely on it as persuasive authority. This decision has important implications for community associations; if an association does not record a lien against a property before the bank records a lis pendens, a court can bar the association from foreclosing on that property. Therefore, it is important for associations to record liens early so that they can “get in front of” the bank’s lis pendens. Of course, community associations must still comply with the statutory waiting periods in pre-suit collections. Condominium associations must wait thirty days after sending a demand letter to record a lien against the property, and another thirty days after recording the lien to file a complaint. Homeowners associations must wait forty-five days between each step in order to file a foreclosure complaint against a delinquent owner.

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Categories: LitigationCondominium AssociationsHomeowners' Associations
Tags: CollectionsCondos and HOAsCovenants and RestrictionsJamie A. ColeEdward G. GuedesJoshua D. KrutMichael S. PopokJoseph H. SerotaMiami Commercial Litigation AttorneyMiami Commercial Litigation LawyerFort Lauderdale Condominium Association AttorneysMiami Condominium Association AttorneysSouth Florida Condominium Association AttorneysMatthew H. MandelFort Lauderdale Homeowners' Association AttorneysMiami Homeowners' Association AttorneysSouth Florida Homeowners' Association AttorneysFort Lauderdale LitigatorsMiami LitigatorsSouth Florida LitigatorsFlorida Community Association LawFlorida Condo Association LawFlorida Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Civil Litigation AttorneysMiami Litigation Attorney
Author(s): Joshua D. Krut & Brooke P. Dolara

It’s the Law: Broward Community Associations Must Provide Specific Reasons to Applicants When Denying Applications to Rent or Buy

On September 10, the Broward County Commission passed an amendment to the County Code of Ordinances that would require community associations to provide written notices to applicants regarding the status of an application to rent or purchase a dwelling, including specific reasons when rejecting an application.

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Categories: Condominium AssociationsHomeowners' Associations
Tags: Condos and HOAsGoverning DocumentsCovenants and RestrictionsJoshua D. KrutFort Lauderdale Condominium Association AttorneysMiami Condominium Association AttorneysSouth Florida Condominium Association AttorneysFlorida Community Association LawFlorida Condo Association Law
Author(s): Joshua D. Krut

Florida Legislators Consider Changes to Existing Foreclosure Laws

For the third time since 2010, Florida lawmakers introduced a bill designed to accelerate the foreclosure process in the state. House Bill 87, otherwise known as the "Fair Foreclosure Act,” offers a number of changes to civil procedures in foreclosure cases, including limiting discovery time available to owners and requiring lenders to file the original note or certification that they have the note. The bill makes these changes retroactively, so pending cases would be affected as by the legislation. Proponents of the Fair Foreclosure Act argue that it provides community associations with leverage against banks that file foreclosure lawsuits against delinquent owners and then fail to litigate the case aggressively. By speeding up the foreclosure process, they argue, the Fair Foreclosure Act helps community associations get rid of delinquent owners who incur massive arrearages during the pendency of a long foreclosure process. Detractors counter that the bill does not incentivize the banks to prosecute a foreclosure aggressively, and that most of the changes place too great a burden on homeowners.

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Categories: LitigationCondominium AssociationsHomeowners' AssociationsCivil Procedure
Tags: CollectionsCondos and HOAsGoverning DocumentsCovenants and RestrictionsJamie A. ColeEdward G. GuedesJoshua D. KrutMichael S. PopokJoseph H. SerotaFlorida LegislatureMiami Commercial Litigation AttorneyMiami Commercial Litigation LawyerSouth Florida Commercial Litigation AttorneySouth Florida Commercial Litigation LawyerFort Lauderdale Condominium Association AttorneysMiami Condominium Association AttorneysSouth Florida Condominium Association AttorneysMatthew H. MandelFort Lauderdale Homeowners' Association AttorneysMiami Homeowners' Association AttorneysSouth Florida Homeowners' Association AttorneysFlorida Commercial Litigation LawyerFlorida Community Association LawFlorida Condo Association LawFlorida Litigation AttorneysFort Lauderdale Civil Litigation Attorneys
Author(s): Brooke P. Dolara

WSH Partner Josh Krut Discusses Condominium Associations and Permissible Religious Displays by Unit Owners

Earlier this month, WSH Partner Joshua D. Krut sat down with Aventura News to discuss permissible displays of religious faith by condominium unit owners on the doors to their units. The topic stemmed from a legal battle in Connecticut in which a condominium association threatened to fine a unit owner $50 per day until she removed a mezuzah from her doorpost. Arguing that other unit owners were permitted to display crucifixes and wreaths on their doors without penalty, the owner and her attorneys persuaded the condominium association to permit the unit owner to display the mezuzah without incurring any fine.

You can read a copy of the article here.

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Categories: Condominium Associations
Tags: Condos and HOAsGoverning DocumentsCovenants and RestrictionsRule EnforcementJoshua D. KrutFort Lauderdale Condominium Association AttorneysMiami Condominium Association AttorneysSouth Florida Condominium Association AttorneysFort Lauderdale Constitutional Law AttorneysMiami Constitutional Law AttorneysSouth Florida Constitutional Law AttorneysFlorida Community Association LawFlorida Condo Association Law
Author(s): Brooke P. Dolara

Dog Ownership in Condos - What's Everybody Barking At?

Rule enforcement at community associations can be problematic enough when dealing with delinquent owners and rowdy neighbors. However, managers and board members may have an equally difficult time enforcing the rules when it comes to owners’ most beloved companions – their pets.

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Categories: Condominium AssociationsHomeowners' Associations
Tags: Condos and HOAsGoverning DocumentsCovenants and RestrictionsRule EnforcementJoshua D. KrutFort Lauderdale Condominium Association AttorneysMiami Condominium Association AttorneysSouth Florida Condominium Association AttorneysMiami Homeowners' Association AttorneysSouth Florida Homeowners' Association AttorneysFlorida Community Association LawFlorida Condo Association Law
Author(s): Joshua D. Krut & Brooke P. Dolara

MRTA Puts An Expiration Date On Land Restrictions...But HOAs Can Protect Their Covenants

Most people who buy houses in a homeowners' association are cognizant of the covenants and restrictions contained in their deeds. These restrictions allow associations to maintain uniformity in design and appearance among the various parcels. However, what some homeowners don't know is that if these covenants and restrictions aren't renewed within thirty years of recording, they expire and become unenforceable.

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Categories: Homeowners' Associations
Tags: Condos and HOAsMRTAGoverning DocumentsCovenants and RestrictionsJoshua D. KrutFort Lauderdale Homeowners' Association AttorneysMiami Homeowners' Association AttorneysSouth Florida Homeowners' Association AttorneysFlorida Community Association Law
Author(s): Joshua D. Krut & Brooke P. Dolara