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Category Archives: Current News

New FHA Policy Guidelines

For those of you who live in condominiums, you know how important FHA approval can be.  Without such approval, purchasers can have difficulty obtaining financing for purchasing a condo.  (After all, FHA-insured mortgages are between 30 and 40 percent of all condominium mortgages, and FHA insurance is typically required on mortgages where there is less than a 20 percent down payment.)


 FHA approval requirements have been in flux for many months.  Last week the FHA issued a “Consolidation and Update of Approval Requirements” that formalizes many of the requirements.  At a minimum under the guidelines, to be eligible for FHA financing a condominium must:

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Religious Sect Foreclosure Scam

Religious sect making fake claims on homes in Charlotte area, officials say

ForeclosureWEDDINGTON, N.C. (AP) – Officials at Charlotte-area courthouses say they are seeing an epidemic of frivolous paperwork filed by people claiming the right to seize foreclosed property.

The bogus deeds are being filed by people who claim to belong to the Moorish Science Temple of America, an obscure religious sect founded in the 1920s with beliefs loosely connected to Islam.

In one incident, a real estate agent and a couple viewing a foreclosed $700,000 home in the Union County town of Weddington were confronted on June 1 by two men who produced a deed claiming the home in the name of the Moorish Science Temple, The Mecklenburg Times reported.

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ADA Pool Regs – Do they apply to me?

HOA Self Test to Determine Whether Your Association Must Comply with ADA Pool Regulations

Unlike the Fair Housing Amendments Act (FHAA) the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) applies to “places of public accommodation” and not to private property, such as an HOA swimming pool.  However, certain circumstances may exist that transform private facilities into public facilities and bring a private community under the purview of the ADA.  Take the below tests to see if your community pool is subject to ADA requirements.

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HOA Bank Sold to PNC

Pittsburgh-based PNC bank buys RBC Bank for $3.45 billion

In a move sure to negatively affect Homeowners Associations, Condominium Associations and Property Owner Associations and the professional association management companies who use their services, Pittsburgh-based PNC Financial Services Group is buying Raleigh-based RBC Bank in a deal worth $3.45 billion.  The deal was announced early Monday after media reports over the weekend said PNC Financial had topped Winston-Salem based BB&T in the bidding for RBC.  


“The addition of RBC Bank provides PNC a great opportunity to enter attractive southeast markets in a way that will create value for our shareholders,” said James Rohr, PNC’s chairman and chief executive officer, in a statement. “This transaction represents an outstanding growth opportunity for PNC.”  Citing “people with knowledge of the matter” as its sources, Bloomberg said over the weekend that PNC would buy RBC. The Wall Street Journal also reported the deal in advance of the official announcement.  The purchase price is made up of cash and stock.  PNC reportedly will also acquire credit assets from RBC, pushing the deal total to $3.62 billion,  Bloomberg said.  PNC, which is buying RBC from its parent firm, the Royal Bank of Canada, is already targeting cost savings, which could translate into job cuts.  In the statement, PNC said it expected to “achieve a reduction of approximately $230 million, or 27 percent, of RBC Bank (USA) and SmartStreet the RBC HOA bank division non-interest expense through operational and administrative efficiency improvements.”    


This move will directly impact clients of the SmartStreet®division of RBC Bank, including associations and homeowners in those associations, through potential new fees for existing services that have been free under RBC Bank.  The potential new fees would be charged for using lockbox payment processing (check by mail), Credit Card Merchant Services (online credit card and eCheck payments), ACH (automatic monthly debits from owners accounts), association loans, and monthly analysis fees for checking accounts associated with PNC’s Treasury Service Division. All of which are currently used every day by SmartStreet® Banking Customers and their management companies.    


In 2006 when RBC Bank aquired SmartStreet® in its purchase of Flag Bank, many clients experienced issues with making deposits in RBC branches, inaccessibility of funds, and customer service issues. It has also been suggested by industry officials that many of the SmartStreet® clients would be adversly affected during the merger and integration with PNC in many of the same ways. 


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