COVID-19 and the Risk of Getting Sued

By: Scott Welker In American law, there is a long, quiet history of the ill suing the people who made them ill. Dating at least back to the 1800s, defendants have been held liable in court for negligently spreading infectious diseases. These cases have run the gambit, including lawsuits for the spread of tuberculosis (1953), […]

Fostering a Sense of Community During COVID-19

By: Greg Coxey Given this unprecedented time in the history of the world, there is a lot of anxiety and uncertainty about what the future holds. Even though this is a global pandemic, with orders to stay-in-place and stay healthy, the focus shifts to our household and our communities. While practicing social distancing, we must […]

Association Liability

Without a doubt, the most common question I am asked as an attorney by my homeowners’ association clients is “What can we do to protect ourselves from getting sued?” My answer is always the same: “Nothing!” In this era of quick-trigger and frequent litigation, there truly is nothing that an association can do to stop […]

Enforcing the Oregon Trust Deed Act

Introduction In the real estate world, the years leading up to the 2008 financial crisis were characterized by massive financial irresponsibility exacerbated by a regulation vacuum. The nation’s biggest financial institutions securitized millions of loosely underwritten home loans into mortgaged-backed securities and sold them to unknowing investors. The result—now widely recognized—was the overnight collapse of […]

Holiday Thoughts from VF

It is the season of harvest and holidays again.  In the same way you reflect on family and gratitude in your personal life this season, take a moment to reflect on the state of your community and board.  This year in the community association world we have seen some dramatic examples of what happens when […]

Oregon Foreclosure Update

Oregon community associations enjoy statutory lien rights when owners fail to pay assessments. When a delinquent owner is insolvent and unemployed, an association’s best chance to recover unpaid assessments may be to enforce its lien rights against the property in a judicial foreclosure action. Although foreclosure is usually not the first option, it is a […]

Fraud and Embezzlement Challenges Handout

With difficult economic times over the last several years, the community association industry has seen a rise in thefts and embezzlement in homeowner and condominium associations. Many associations believe their money is safe and it is difficult to steal funds belonging to the association.  This is an unfortunate and incorrect assumption. For the information on […]

Lessons In Democracy From Russia:

Recently I started reading an interesting survey of homeowner associations in Russia. Don’t worry, it’s not required reading for U.S. managers and directors. But Rosa Vihavainen’s book homeowners’ Associations in Russia After the 2005 Housing Reform has a lot to say about both the challenges facing Russian HOAs and how Russians are solving those problems.[i] […]

Foreclosure Mess

Recently, Nevada has taken action to remedy their state’s foreclosure mess; will Oregon step up to the challenge? Despite the fact that [earlier this year] the federal government attempted to punish large banks for continuing the practice of robo-signing, it had little effect on their practices. The law Nevada passed now makes it a felony […]

Board of Director Orientations

Each year, numerous homeowners are elected to the boards of directors of their homeowners associations. Most directors blindly accept a position on the board with little explanation of their duties as a board member and without appreciation for the significance of the position. Instead of leaving new directors in the dark, associations should conduct an […]