Barker Martin

Condo-HOA Blog

Misadventures in Rulemaking

Arguably the most challenging task a community association board of directors can undertake is drafting rules and regulations for their community. Good intentions, but bad drafting, can lead to unanticipated results and make enforcement difficult or impossible. read more

Join Us In Welcoming....

Please join us in welcoming Lucille Jo Vincent (I call her "Lulu") to the Barker Martin team (sorta) as of April 4. Collin is getting plenty of parenting advice from the rest of us (good and bad). Feel free to add your two cents! read more

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Delinquency Notice Letters

As the lead attorney in Barker Martin's Collections Department, I am often asked whether an Association is required to send an owner a delinquency notice letter before turning an account over to an attorney for collections. While there is a requirement under Washington and Oregon state law to send budget notices to all owners, the Association is not required under state law to send a delinquency notice letter to an owner before turning the account over to an attorney for collections. However, as you may have suspected, an Association's governing documents may require that a notice be sent to an owner prior to turning over their account for collections. For example, the Association's Rules and Regulations may provide that a "delinquency notice shall be sent" prior to sending an account to an attorney for collections. Please note, Oregon state law and/or an Association's particular governing documents require the Association to send notice to an owner before commencing a foreclosure lawsuit; however, this article is focusing on whether a delinquency notice letter must be sent to an owner by the Association prior to contacting an attorney to assist with recovering the owner's unpaid assessments. read more

Documentation and Litigation

Clients sometime ask: "Will we get sued if we do this?" Beware of the attorney who answers this with "Yes" or "No". No attorney can know if or when a client will be sued. People sometimes sue when they shouldn't. The key is putting your association in a position to defend any claim, frivolous or otherwise. Having the proper documentation really helps a defense and can greatly reduce the time and expense involved. read more

Do You Swear to Tell the Truth, the Whole Truth, and Nothing but the Truth . . .

There are a number of ways an upset homeowner could choose to express their discontent with their association, the board, or another resident. They could raise concerns at a meeting, complain in writing, or even run for the board to try to make policy changes. Instead, unfortunately, sometimes they choose to interrupt, disrupt, shout over others, and generally hijack the meeting. One way we've seen this play out is when an owner insists upon recording a meeting. read more

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