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 […]

Foreclosures and Their Effects on HOAs

Homeowners and condominium associations everywhere are suffering. People are walking away from their properties and not paying their dues. Those still holding onto their properties are left making up for the deficit of others who are not paying these dues. However, there is a small ray of sunshine among all these gloomy issues. How did […]

The Other Foreclosure Threat

When an HOA levies assessments, it counts on being able to collect the money from every owner. It’s a reasonable assumption – both condominiums and planned communities have the power to collect both assessments and any costs incurred while chasing an owner who does not pay. Associations also have a lien on a debtor-owner’s property […]