BANKRUPTCY – WHAT EVERY CONDOMINIUM ASSOCIATION MUST KNOW

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Stephen M. Guerra, Esq.* and John L. Finkelmann, Esq.*

Delinquent assessments are unfortunately a frequent and practically universal problem for condominium associations. The collection of delinquent assessments is essential to the viability of any condominium association; however, these collection efforts can become problematic when a co-owner files for bankruptcy. This Article will address the two common types of consumer bankruptcies filed by co-owners, those being Chapter 7 and Chapter 13, as well as the bankruptcy filing’s affect on an Association’s ability to collect these delinquent assessments. Continue reading

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Two Condominium Bylaw Provisions That Every Board Should Review To Ensure That Assessments Are Not Unnecessarily Depleted

Attorney Stephen Guerra

By Stephen M. Guerra, Esq.*

Assessments are the means by which all associations operate, and assessments provide the necessary income to maintain and enhance a community’s assets to protect and maximize unit values. When assessment levels get too high, the very assessments that are essential to sustain a condominium community may very well end up hurting the market values the association is seeking to increase and protect.

Indeed, in addition to unit types, amenities and location, the single most important factor in condominium unit resale is the amount of association assessments.  Consequently, those communities with higher than average assessment levels will find that they are at a market disadvantage. In order to sustain and enhance market value, condominium communities must therefore find ways to lower or stabilize assessment levels, without reducing services necessary to properly maintain and enhance the community’s assets. Continue reading

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RESPONDING TO A MEMBER’S REQUEST TO REVIEW AND INSPECT YOUR ASSOCIATION’S BOOKS AND RECORDS

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John L. Finkelmann, Esq.
Member requests to review and inspect an association’s records and books are a fairly typical occurrence and should not be a reason to panic, but such requests should be dealt with in a prompt and orderly fashion for reasons explained in this article. Some members are just generally interested in the ongoing management and administration of the association and want to keep a closer eye on the details. Unfortunately, in other cases, you may have a member with an axe to grind and whose intent may ultimately be to try and find some error or oversight to justify their allegations against the association. Regardless of the intent behind these review and inspection requests, it is of utmost importance that the association address them and respond accordingly. How an Association responds and reacts to these requests may ultimately save it a great deal of time and headaches later on. Therefore, it is a good idea for your association to develop a response protocol that addresses these requests both in terms of the language of the Michigan Condominium Act, Michigan’s Nonprofit Corporation Act, and the language of your governing documents. Continue reading

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