Barker Martin

Condo-HOA Blog - Community Association Collections

Don't Avoid Issues, Investigate Them and Consider Options

People often focus on the negative ramifications associated with litigation. It can be costly, time consuming and often not the most efficient method of resolving disputes. Associations will sometime actively avoid dealing with an issue because it might result in litigation and often fail to consider the ramifications of not pursuing, or at least considering, litigation. For example, associations will sometimes avoid investigating the extent of a problem because they fear what they might find. An association may become aware of water intrusion and avoid investigating the extent of their problem, fearing it might lead to extensive repairs, insurance claims and perhaps litigation. Avoiding the issue will never make it go away. Associations do not avoid issues by ignoring them. The issues and resulting damage compound while the options for relief become more limited. Eventually, a potential insurance claim or litigation is barred by applicable statutes of limitation and repose. Increased damages and no ability to pursue relief is not a good combination. read more

Washington Legislative Update

In Washington, there were several bills impacting collection of association assessments passed in the recent legislative session and signed by the governor that become effective July 28, 2019. read more

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

Last Minute Budget Advice for Washington Communities

By now, many communities in Washington will already have prepared, and maybe even had budgets approved, for 2019, but we wanted to get in one last reminder that because WCIOA's budget section applies to all condos and HOAs, your budget may be a little different this year, and you may have a little explaining to do at the budget ratification meeting. But whether the application of the WCIOA budget provision at RCW 64.90.525 is simple or not depends upon whether you are working with an HOA or Condo. Below are some highlights of the differences you may have to explain to owners. read more

The Insurable Interest Vortex

There is a roadside attraction in Oregon called the Oregon Vortex, where purported paranormal forces cause a number of optical illusions and oddities. It is definitely on my bucket list of Pacific Northwest attractions I want to visit. I have, however, made several visits to what I call the "Insurable Interest" vortex. While I doubt paranormal forces are at work with this vortex, it is worth a word of warning. read more

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