Category Archives: Federal Laws

Employment Law and Your HOA

New Federal Regulations Covering Disabled Employees Will Affect Greater Numbers of Associations

By: Mark A. Trank, Esq.

On March 25, 2011, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued its final revised Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations in order to implement the ADA Amendments Act of 2008. These new regulations will affect virtually...

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Purple Haze: Medical Marijuana Laws..

Purple Haze: Medical Marijuana Laws Are Clouding the Smoking Debate in Community Associations

By Stephen Marcus

Take a deep breath these days, and you may detect the unmistakable, sweetly pungent aroma of marijuana – even if you’re not on a college campus or at a rock concert. Sixteen states (Rhode Island, Maine and Vermont among them) have enacted laws or approved Constitutional amendments legalizing medically-related uses of marijuana and 10 states (including Massachusetts) are currently considering medical marijuana laws.

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Federal Housing Finance Agency Publishes Rule Regarding Capital Contributions, Membership Fees, Flip Taxes, Transfer Fees, etc.

 

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (“FHFA”) recently published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking  directing Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Home Loan Bank System to regulate transfer fees paid to community associations. While the revised FHFA draft will allow community associations to continue to use deed-based transfer fees (i.e., capital contributions, membership fees, flip taxes, etc.) to fund association operations, the rule would still allow  FHFA to limit how associations use the funding raised by such fees. FHFA’s rule would ban transfer fees paid to investors, but will allow transfer fees payable to a community association. This would apply to investors only prospectively, which should mean that any existing transfer fee paid to an investor or used by an association or any purpose is still valid and enforceable.

 

Per the rule, community associations could use revenue raised by new transfer fees for very narrow purposes, and would be regulated

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Possible State Attorneys General Plan to Make it Harder for Banks to Foreclose to Further Damage Community Associations

 

Five of the country’s largest banks recently received a list of demands from state attorneys general with respect to their defaulted mortgages and resulting foreclosures. Unfortunately for community associations, if the banks give in to the government’s demands, these community associations will only be further burdened by homes and units that are typically behind or not paying assessments and/or maintenance fees at all. A bank’s foreclosure and then sheriffs/judicial sale is a tremendous benefit to a community association as that bank is thereafter responsible for the payment of assessments and/or maintenance fees accruing from that date forward. 
 

If these banks meet these government demands, they would be prohibited from commencing a foreclosure while a borrower was actively trying to lower the interest rate or alter other mortgage terms (i.e., ‘mortgage modification’). Additionally, per the demands, any borrower that made three payments pursuant to a trial mortgage modification would then

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