Barker Martin

Condo-HOA Blog

Working From Home

As we approach day 26,789 of the Covid-19 crisis, many of us have come to the realization that our "work from home" experiment is proving to be more permanent than we originally planned. Suits and ties have been replaced with sweats and t-shirts, the business attire "mullet" has been created for Zoom calls (business on top, leisure on the bottom), and desks have been replaced by comfy sofas. And, while many of us are adapting to this new normal, there are some insurance issues you may not have considered. read more

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Fireworks During a Pandemic

No, this article is not claiming that fireworks will scare off COVID-19, although that would be nice. Quite the opposite is occurring. COVID-19 is causing the cancellation of most of the large-scale firework shows we are so used to seeing on the Fourth of July. While that is not a direct concern for Association's, the fallout is. In the absence of big firework shows, many association residents may want to buy and set off their own fireworks. This year, more than ever, associations should think ahead and remind residents about local government and association restrictions on the use of fireworks. read more

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Board Collaboration With Care

Programs that allow users to share notes and other work product in real time have increased in popularity in recent years. However, the pandemic and resulting business closures have made services like Microsoft Teams indispensable for some industries. Some community association boards in Washington and Oregon may experience the utility of these programs in one context, and want to translate the same connectivity to assist their work on the board. While most governing documents probably do not expressly prohibit using a shared system for notetaking and discussion, there are some potential issues your association should consider before deciding to use one of these programs. read more

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Recent Case Highlights Dangers of Collections in a Bankruptcy

Bankruptcies are governed by federal (national) statutes and case law. Under current authority, an owner may be shielded from the collection of certain HOA assessments. In general, a bankruptcy begins with the filing of a bankruptcy "petition." At the conclusion of the bankruptcy, with limited exceptions, debts incurred prior to the filing of the petition ("pre-petition debts") are "discharged" meaning the debts are wiped away and can no longer be enforced against the individual. read more

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Dance Like Nobody is Watching, But Email Like Everyone is Watching

You've probably all heard the saying, "dance like nobody is watching." It is likely hung on a friend's wall right now, just feet away from a Live, Laugh, Love sign. And, while I wholeheartedly support that sentiment, I offer some practical advice: email like everyone is watching. read more

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