Why Do I Have To Pay For A Resale Package?
We have many homeowners who think that because they pay assessments every month they should not have to pay for a resale package. They are of the opinion that it is a bunch of pages all put together that just sits and waits for us to “push the button” when they place their order.
I would like to clarify why it is essential that management companies prepare these documents individually for each owner. First, it is a legal document required by law in many states as it protects the buyer from purchasing into a community association without first obtaining “full disclosure”. It contains a disclosure statement that includes the legal or pending legal status of litigation involving the association. It contains up-to-the-minute information about the assessments owed, outstanding special assessments and even pending assessments as required in many states. It provides the association’s financial status and any outstanding loans owed by the association. It also provides any covenants restrictions or violations on the unit. All of these questions are answered and are entered in real time by a staff member when the order is placed. The document is not static; it requires keen oversight as the questions are researched and completed.
The Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) excludes from an association’s taxable income those amounts which are properly kept and used for capital contributions. In several significant Revenue Rulings, the IRS considered special assessments for major repairs and replacements to be capital contributions in addition to capital contributions to reserve funds from annual assessments.
One of the primary business duties of community associations is maintaining and preserving property values of homes and the common property. To do this properly, associations must develop funding plans for future repair or replacement of major common area components, such as roofs, boilers, elevators, swimming pools, balconies, asphalt surfaces and decks.
An association has several funding options, including periodic assessments over the life of assets, special assessments at the time of replacement, borrowing funds when needed, a combination of the above or the most common method – and in many states the only lawful alternative: setting aside funds in a special category commonly called reserve funds.
Since assessments are fees for maintenance and use of utilities and not consumer debt, many association board members wonder if their communities are subject to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). Some may be surprised to learn most state and federal courts consider assessment to be “debts” according to this definition: