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Old 11-16-2012, 10:26 AM
 
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Need to find an attorney to handle HOA matters in the Fort Collins area. Several homeowners in the HOA submitted a letter asking for certain members on the HOA Executive Board to step down, if they didn't a new HOA would be formed. The letter was signed by 6 of 12 homeowners in the association but there is some question of validity of signatures. Bylaws state that Executive Board members can be removed by a vote of homeowners, there was not meeting. The authorized HOA has had no money to fight this until we recently received past due assessments from a unit in foreclosurer, now the other group has made some type of a stink with the bank where the authorized HOA is banking so the account has been but on hold. Because of all the problems the original firm handling HOA business has chosen not to represent the Board and so we are need to find another firm to represent the authorized board and try and settle this matter.

One gal who was on the authorized HOA and a signer on the account went and did a cash withdrawal of money from the HOA account and she hasn't had anything to do with the original HOA is a year. We are hoping that we can get fraud charges pressed against her, but things just don't seem to be going our way.

Thanks for any input.
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Old 11-16-2012, 11:21 AM
 
Location: Denver, CO
9,132 posts, read 5,446,371 times
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Default What you need

Wow, that is a tough situation. I know several good ones in the Denver area, but it would be cost prohibitive to have them drive to Ft. Collins. I led an HOA board for three years in filing suit against the builder of our townhome complex. Builder really screwed it up--and the lawsuit/"abritration" has been ongoing for almost TEN years. Looks like near the end now.

But any attorney you get, first and foremost, get a copy of your covenants to take to him/her when you go in the office door. Also be sure to ask how many cases they have handled, if there are other HOA's that can recommend him. Remember, many of these attorneys have represented individuals who are suing an HOA as well. They have seen both sides of the fence. Do your due diligence and check them out on the internet prior to signing any agreement for representation.

Good luck
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Old 11-17-2012, 11:45 AM
 
2,818 posts, read 3,329,602 times
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Is this actually an HOA or a condo corporation? You mentioned "units" and most HOA homeowners don't live in "units".

Seems like the existence of the HOA corporation is nothing but a source of contention for quite a few homeowners. Perhaps you would be better off without it if you can get rid of it.
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Old 11-20-2012, 12:16 AM
 
Location: Denver, CO
9,132 posts, read 5,446,371 times
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Default Difficult to end an HOA

Quote:
Originally Posted by IC_deLight View Post
Is this actually an HOA or a condo corporation? You mentioned "units" and most HOA homeowners don't live in "units".

Seems like the existence of the HOA corporation is nothing but a source of contention for quite a few homeowners. Perhaps you would be better off without it if you can get rid of it.
It's not that easy to do away with an HOA---and, yes, condos have HOA's, too. The HOA generally exists within the covenants that must be accepted to buy into the community. Doing away with one might require 100% of owners. Then what do you do with the ownership of common walls between units, typically owned by the HOA---as are the roofs. A legal nightmare without a simplistic solution. The OP's community is going to have to fight it out or meet together to find a common solution.

I suggest the two sides try binding arbitration. Slightly less expensive than a lawsuit, but no picnic.
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Old 11-23-2012, 10:56 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wardendresden View Post
It's not that easy to do away with an HOA---and, yes, condos have HOA's, too. The HOA generally exists within the covenants that must be accepted to buy into the community. Doing away with one might require 100% of owners. Then what do you do with the ownership of common walls between units, typically owned by the HOA---as are the roofs. A legal nightmare without a simplistic solution. The OP's community is going to have to fight it out or meet together to find a common solution.

I suggest the two sides try binding arbitration. Slightly less expensive than a lawsuit, but no picnic.
No condos do not "have HOA's". A condominium is a statutory form of ownership and there is always a involuntary membership condo corporation. Don't confuse SFH HOAs with condos. Not all condos have such shared elements. In any event, terminating a condo is more involved than terminating an HOA. The question was what type of involuntary membership corporation is involved.

Arbitration is often more expensive than litigation. In addition, the board will use the assessment payments to fund their agenda.
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Old 11-23-2012, 11:40 PM
 
Location: Denver, CO
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Default Yes they do IC

Quote:
Originally Posted by IC_deLight View Post
No condos do not "have HOA's". A condominium is a statutory form of ownership and there is always a involuntary membership condo corporation. Don't confuse SFH HOAs with condos. Not all condos have such shared elements. In any event, terminating a condo is more involved than terminating an HOA. The question was what type of involuntary membership corporation is involved.

Arbitration is often more expensive than litigation. In addition, the board will use the assessment payments to fund their agenda.
IC go to Lawyers.com and read about HOAs and discrimination. They include condo associations. I was president of an HOA in Denver metro for three years. We were a town home community in the process of suing the builder over serious structural failings and we worked from both a lawsuit AND an arbitration standpoint. Too complicated to explain succinctly.

In addition I worked as the administrative assistant to the President of a medium sized Homeowners Management Company. We serviced around 60 associations, everything from single family homes, to town home communities, to high rise condominium operations. Virtually all covenants are structured similarly although content varies widely. The attorneys that serve such associations make no distinction between the various types, just in the fees requested and services provided.

And I can tell you that builders in the last dozen years almost universally write mandatory arbitration clauses in their covenants with some ridiculously HIGH percentage of owners having to opt out to go from arbitration to lawsuit. I know, I knocked on doors, sent out mail, made phone calls, and worked religiously along with the rest of my Board of Directors after our workday to get the 2/3's percent signatures we needed.

But arbitration frequently favors builders. The OP's problem is between two groups of owners. It's most likely going to be much less than the $275 per hour our HOA was paying for an attorney--and we had 160+ units to absorb the costs!!!

Arbitration will not be inexpensive, but it will be a heck of a lot less than both sides diving for lawyers.
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Old 11-24-2012, 08:44 AM
 
Location: CO
2,591 posts, read 5,983,344 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IC_deLight View Post
No condos do not "have HOA's". A condominium is a statutory form of ownership and there is always a involuntary membership condo corporation. Don't confuse SFH HOAs with condos. Not all condos have such shared elements. In any event, terminating a condo is more involved than terminating an HOA. The question was what type of involuntary membership corporation is involved.
. . .
FWIW, *in Colorado*, all "common interest communities" are covered by the same statutory framework, the Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act (“CCIOA”), C.R.S. 38-33.3-101 et seq.

The CCIOA rules include the three common interest types of communities to which it applies - they are (1) condominium communities, (2) cooperatives and (3) planned communities (what you refer to as SFH HOAs).
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Old 11-24-2012, 05:33 PM
 
5,048 posts, read 6,885,970 times
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As far as the fraud charge, I wonder if that can be done as a criminal charge where you can call in law enforcement...not bring the charge yourself but point it out to say the fraud dept in your law enforcement office?

Yes, check your covenants and bylaws and see what's addressed in there as far as disbanding or replacing HOA BOD members. It's usually more of a process than "several members of the HOA" writing to give an ultimatum. The exec board...they don't know their covenants and bylaws at their fingertips?
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Old 11-25-2012, 04:49 PM
 
2,818 posts, read 3,329,602 times
Reputation: 3014
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wardendresden View Post
IC go to Lawyers.com and read about HOAs and discrimination. They include condo associations. I was president of an HOA in Denver metro for three years. We were a town home community in the process of suing the builder over serious structural failings and we worked from both a lawsuit AND an arbitration standpoint. Too complicated to explain succinctly.

In addition I worked as the administrative assistant to the President of a medium sized Homeowners Management Company. We serviced around 60 associations, everything from single family homes, to town home communities, to high rise condominium operations. Virtually all covenants are structured similarly although content varies widely. The attorneys that serve such associations make no distinction between the various types, just in the fees requested and services provided.

And I can tell you that builders in the last dozen years almost universally write mandatory arbitration clauses in their covenants with some ridiculously HIGH percentage of owners having to opt out to go from arbitration to lawsuit. I know, I knocked on doors, sent out mail, made phone calls, and worked religiously along with the rest of my Board of Directors after our workday to get the 2/3's percent signatures we needed.

But arbitration frequently favors builders. The OP's problem is between two groups of owners. It's most likely going to be much less than the $275 per hour our HOA was paying for an attorney--and we had 160+ units to absorb the costs!!!

Arbitration will not be inexpensive, but it will be a heck of a lot less than both sides diving for lawyers.

Wardendresden, I know all about HOAs and discrimination. Has nothing to do with the difference between condos and non-condo corporations.

One of the first mistakes made is referring to any of these things as "associations" rather than "corporations". The phrase "association" is a marketing euphemism. They are all involuntary membership corporations. However, a condo corporation is definitely not the same as a typical HOA corporation. A "unit" in a condominium development does not compare to a SFH property either with or without an HOA corporation.

The OP's problem is that one set of owners won't be spending a dime of their own money. Instead, they will be relying upon assessments, special assessments, and any insurance policy providing defense coverage.

As far as HOA management companies, I haven't seen one that didn't deserve being despised. Referring to the attorneys that prey upon owners and residents as providing a "service" is laughable. Also, attorneys have no choice but to treat condos and HOA corporations differently because they are typically regulated by different statutory schemes.

The restrictive covenants were written for the benefit of the developer first and foremost, not the homeowners.
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Old 11-25-2012, 10:10 PM
 
Location: Denver, CO
9,132 posts, read 5,446,371 times
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Default IC you are not reading

You apparently are not reading the quotes of other posters. Your definition is in conflict with Colorado statutes definition:

FWIW, *in Colorado*, all "common interest communities" are covered by the same statutory framework, the Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act (“CCIOA”), C.R.S. 38-33.3-101 et seq.

The CCIOA rules include the three common interest types of communities to which it applies - they are (1) condominium communities, (2) cooperatives and (3) planned communities (what you refer to as SFH HOAs).


The law is the same regardless of how someone defines their initial structures (common walls or no common walls for instance) and it applies equally to each common interest community. Because whether you are an individual homeowner, a townhome owner, or a condo owner, every common interest community has SOMETHING held in common (parks for instance, or the streets on which everyone drives).

And as for you despising homeowner management companies--they work well for many. But how the whole concept was sold to local governments in the early days by builders was "We wil make the owners in the community responsible for sidewalk, street repairs and for mowing around or plowing those streets because they will have a common interest." Local governments saw they wouldn't have to repair sidewalks/streets, provide snow removal and similar services--thereby saving government money. Should make those who are opposed to government very proud. Less "socialism" amd
taxation.

And since individuals living in those communities are rarely able to spend the time to hire contractors for shoveling streets in the winter, mowing grass in the summer, making repairs to various community buildings (a clubhouse) or jointly owned property (roofs), and to take care of the detailed accounting necessary--guess what, a business is born. There are quite a few out there. Some are better than others. Some fit certain communities better than others. So like it or not, its a reality with almost all new "planned" communities.

Your option: don't buy into one.

Last edited by Wardendresden; 11-25-2012 at 10:20 PM..
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