Unnecessary budget expenses a growing concern for unit owners
DEAR BENNY: Our association has 120 owners and nine board members. What is your opinion on a board member getting between an owner and renter, and siding with the renter? --Charlete
DEAR CHARLETE: That's an interesting question, but I need more facts. If, for example, an owner is violating the rules and regulations of your association and the renter is trying to stop that violation, then it might be appropriate for a board member to intervene.
However, in general, boards of directors -- and individual board members -- should refrain from getting involved (and/or taking action) when there is a dispute between owners, or between owners and renters. Obviously, if the dispute rises to a situation where the health, safety or welfare of the association is involved, then of course the board should step in.
But then, it should be a board action and not a decision by just one board member.
If you want to provide me with more facts, I may be able to provide you with a specific response.
DEAR BENNY: If I have a good cause to postpone a trustee sale date, can I (as the real estate broker involved) or the owner sue to stop the sale? I have one right now, for example, and may need an attorney's help.
Briefly, the facts are as follows: The first-trust lender approved a short sale, which has to take place within 120 days from date of approval. There is a second trust, but the sellers did not know that it was transferred from one bank to another. It took us a couple of weeks before we learned the name of the new second-trust lender. Accordingly, we are still waiting for second-trust approval.
Unfortunately, the lender will not postpone the foreclosure sale until the second trust provides approval of the short sale. The foreclosure sale is scheduled to take place very shortly.
What can I do to help these people? Can we file to stop on the trustee sale? And, if so, what do you charge, as I will be paying it, or can I do this if you do not have time, and how? --Patrick
DEAR PATRICK: Thanks for thinking of me, but even if I were licensed to practice law in your state it would be unethical for me to get involved. I practice law and I write real estate columns, but never write about a case in which I am involved. Of course, if I get a good decision from a judge, I will report that in a future column, with full disclosure.
Your interest in helping salvage the short sale is commendable. You should immediately find a lawyer in your area who has experience with stopping foreclosure sales. As you no doubt know, there have been numerous cases throughout the country where judges challenged (and stopped) foreclosures on technical grounds, such as (1) the lender does not have the promissory note; (2) the lender did not follow the notice requirements in the deed of trust (mortgage document) regarding default; or (3) the foreclosing party was not authorized to proceed to foreclosure.
I find it interesting -- indeed shocking -- that banks continue to pursue foreclosure when a cheaper resolution (such as a short sale) is imminent. Quite often, when there is a foreclosure, the bank ends up owning the property. Thus, it has to pay real estate taxes, carry insurance, and pay a real estate broker a management fee and/or sales commission.
But, I am not a banker.
Benny L. Kass is a practicing attorney in Washington, D.C., and Maryland. No legal relationship is created by this column. Questions for this column can be submitted to email@example.com.
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