Condo Buyers Should Never Buy Blind Without Insider Info

Consumers should never buy blind when it comes to shopping for a condo or a residence in a homeowners association (HOA), experts advise. “Novice buyers often fall in love with the decorative staging or the lakefront view of a for-sale unit,” said Sara E. Benson, a Chicago real estate broker and appraiser with more than […]

Hefty Condo Document Fees Questioned By Realtors

Are Chicago condo buyers and sellers being gouged by greedy management firms who jack up the price of mandatory documents and disclosures needed to close a sales transaction? “Many condo management companies now charge prospective buyers and sellers excessive fees of hundreds or thousands of dollars for providing condo documents that should be free for […]

You’ve Discovered HOA Fraud: When Is It Time for Legal Advice?

Last week, we discussed how to react when you discover HOA fraud. This week, we discuss when it’s time for legal advice. The short answer is, never! Going to court against your homeowners association is equivalent to suing yourself. Amazingly, the aggrieved homeowner is simultaneously paying for both the prosecution and the defense at the […]

How To React to HOA Fraud

This week, we discuss how to react if you do not bulletproof your HOA against embezzlement and discover your HOA is the victim of fraud. Finding the proper authority to investigate allegations of fraud can prove to be extremely difficult. If your association has been a victim of the “condo confidence game,” gather as much […]

Bulletproof Your Homeowners Association’s Funds Against Fraud – Pt. 2

Last week, we gave tips to bulletproof your HOA against embezzlement and asked, “Who is guarding the guardians?” This week, we continue our discussion about HOA fraud and how to protect your investment. Frank Abagnale, one of the nation’s most respected authorities on the subjects of forgery and embezzlement, knows about thievery. He was credited […]

Bulletproof Your Homeowners Association’s Funds Against Fraud – Pt. 1

Last week, we discussed some clues that your HOA might be the victim of embezzlement. This week, we give tips to bulletproof your HOA against embezzlement and ask, “Who is guarding the guardians?” Unless boards are vigilant, the answer is: “No one. No one is watching. Absolutely no one and nothing.” There are no state […]

Omaha HOA Homeowners Disagree Over Park Improvements

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities, CHPPI Today’s article is a reminder: when you buy into a homeowners association, you agree to common ownership of assets and liabilities for that Association Governed Community. Take Harrison Woods HOA, for example. The community of roughly 185 homes, a mix of detached single family homes, townhouses and villas, […]

DISPATCHES FROM THE FRONT: NEVADA LAWYER DEFRAUDS HOA OUT OF MORE THAN $1M IN “DESPICABLE” SCHEME

Las Vegas Review-Journal:  Lawyer who stole $1M from clients gets eight more years in prison By Jeff German August 13, 2015 Suspended attorney Barry Levinson, a convicted player in the scheme to take over and defraud homeowners associations, was handed a second stiff prison sentence Thursday, this time for stealing more than $1.1 million from […]

BROKER BEWARE: LAWSUIT FILED AGAINST LISTING BROKER FOR NONDISCLOSURE

Being sued is everyone’s worst nightmare. According to a Realtor.com article: A Florida appellate court has considered whether a purchaser’s lawsuit adequately stated claims against a listing broker for failing to disclose latent defects on the property. Paul and Mary Cummings (“Sellers”) entered into a contract to sell their townhouse condominium to Erik and Carol […]

35 Ways To BULLETPROOF Your Condo Association

Over the past few weeks, we’ve discussed what ALL board members and officers of community associations in America should read: the 35-point bulletproof list of financial procedures detailed in “Escaping Condo Jail“, and consider it a survival manual. Divided into four segments:   Inheriting Old Books Guarding and Vigilance Cyberbanking Procedures Efficiency Maximization and Return […]

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