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 CAI Heads Up Archive 

2013
2012
2011
2010

2013

 Illinois CAM Board Meets July 16 (7/2013)
The Illinois Community Association Manager Licensing and Disciplinary Board (board) met for a regularly scheduled meeting July 16, 2013. The meeting was held at the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation's Chicago office. The following were items of interest on the agenda: Community Association Manager License Report and Renewal Numbers, Prosecutions Report, Community Association Manager Licensing and Disciplinary Act (act) and Rules, and Continuing Education. Read more...

 Virginia CIC Board Meets June 27 (6/2013)
The Virginia Common Interest Community Board met Thursday, June 27, 2013, for a regularly scheduled meeting. Among other business the Board discussed an update on the regulatory review process, the applicability of statute regarding bonds to insure the completion of improvements on commercial condominiums, and preparation for the 2014 legislative session. Read more...

Senators Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Replace Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac (6/2013)
Led by Senators Bob Corker (R-TN) and Mark Warner (D-VA), a bipartisan group of eight U.S. Senators has introduced legislation that if signed into law will make dramatic changes to the nation’s housing finance system. The “Housing Finance Reform and Taxpayer Protection Act of 2013” proposes to wind down the business operations of housing finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and establish a new federal agency to facilitate the flow of mortgage credit to American households. Read more...

CAI Submits Comments to House Financial Services Committee on Dodd-Frank Act (6/2013)
On June 18, 2013, Community Associations Institute (CAI) submitted a report to the U.S. House Financial Services Committee Subcommittee on Financial Institutions & Consumer Credit called, “Examining How the Dodd-Frank Act Hampers Home Ownership.” Read more…

House of Representatives Clears Reforms to FHA Reverse Mortgage Program (6/2013)
The U.S. House of Representatives has unanimously cleared legislation permitting the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) to make changes to the popular Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) program. More commonly known as reverse mortgages, HECM loans allow senior citizens to access equity in their homes. Read more...

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Faces Bipartisan Criticism over Mortgage Rule (6/2013)
On Tuesday, May 21st, members of a key U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee took the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to task over the Bureau’s new mortgage lending standards. In what may be the fledgling CFPB’s first taste of bipartisan criticism, lawmakers from both political parties expressed concern over several aspects of the Bureau’s signature mortgage lending regulation, the qualified mortgage (QM) rule. Read more...

U.S. House of Representatives Votes to Delay Flood Insurance Rate Increases (6/2013)
The U.S. House of Representatives voted 281 to 146 to halt significant premium increases for federally-backed flood insurance policies during debate on legislation to fund the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). A broad, bipartisan coalition joined together to pass a one-year prohibition on implementing a key section of the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act (Biggert-Waters Act) requiring actuarially sound premiums for government backed flood insurance policies. Read more...

New Mexico HOA Act Goes Into Effect July 1 (6/2013)
This year New Mexico Senate Majority Whip Tim Keller and Senators Steward, Baldanado, and McMillan introduced the Homeowners Association (HOA) Act. The act is a product of four years of stakeholder input, and is the first HOA bill signed into law in New Mexico. The final act provides a framework for future amendments, but offers important protections to homeowners and associations. The act applies to all homeowners associations, but does not apply to condominiums governed by the Condominium Act. Read more...

CAI Advocates Fair Taxation for Community Associations at NCSL Meeting (6/2013)
On May 31, CAI staff presented an educational session to the National Conference of State Legislature’s (NCSL) Executive Committee Task Force on State and Local Taxation. The session explored the role of community associations within a public tax structure and explained why local jurisdictions are seeking relief through this model of privately funded community living. It was a great opportunity for CAI to advocate outside of state capitals for the fair taxation and levying of fees on community associations. The NCSL Task Force on State and Local Taxation is comprised of 37 state Representatives and Senators from 24 states. For more information on the presentation contact Matthew Green at mgreen@caionline.org
 

FHA Rules Common Condo Leasing Restriction Violates National Housing Act (6/2013)
CAI has learned the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) has determined a common restriction on transient leasing in condominium association CC&Rs violates a key section of the National Housing Act. To be eligible for FHA approval and recertification, FHA is advising condominium associations to amend CC&Rs to comply with the Agency’s minimum statutory requirements. Read more...

Colorado Governor Signs Two HOA Reform Bills (5/2013)
Governor John Hickenlooper signed two of the four bills in the HOA Reform Package Tuesday, May 28. The bills are aimed at providing consumer protections for owners and residents in HOAs. House bills 1276 (HB 1276) and 1277 (HB 1277), which address HOA debt collection and the licensing of managers and management companies, were signed into law today. Read more...

Pennsylvania’s Legislative Day at the Capitol a Major Success (5/2013)
On Tuesday, May 14, members and staff of CAI’s Pennsylvania and Delaware Valley Chapter and CAI’s Pennsylvania LAC met with over 35 state legislators in the house and senate in Harrisburg, PA as part of a legislative day at the capitol. During the meetings CAI dropped off informational materials containing copies of a CAI-developed white paper addressing existing and desired legislation in the state. The talking points included summary positions of legislation in Pennsylvania affecting the common interest community industry throughout the state. Areas of interest included the Joint State Government Commission Report, tax equalization, association records and open meetings in condos and planned communities. Read more...

CAI Colorado LAC 2013 Legislative Session Report (5/2013)
The Colorado General Assembly adjourned its legislative session May 8. It was a demanding session for the Colorado Legislative Action Committee as they focused their efforts on a group of bills known as the HOA Reform Package. Read the full update and outcome of the session and summary of the bills here.

FHFA Limiting Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Loan Purchases (5/2013)
T
oday, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac announced the companies will only purchase mortgages complying with the new Qualified Mortgage standard. This policy announcement means that beginning in 2014 Qualified Mortgages will be the only option for most Americans who want to purchase or refinance a home. Read more…

FHA Hosts Condominium Approval Process Webinar (4/2013)
On Wednesday, April 24, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) hosted a 90 minute webinar to address concerns and questions related to the FHA Condominium Approval Process. Regulators presented a Power Point to all attendees and answered questions at the conclusion of the presentation. The webinar was open to the general public. A copy of the presentation given by FHA was made available to CAI and can be viewed here.

Webinar on FHA Condominium Approval Process (4/2013)
On Wednesday, April 24, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) is hosting a 90 minute webinar to address concerns and questions related to the FHA Condominium Approval Process. Members who are interested in learning more about FHA’s new mortgage qualification process are invited to participate in this event. Read more...

CAI CEO Attends Rep. Hensarling Fundraiser (3/2013)
On March 13, Tom Skiba, CAI’s Chief Executive Officer, attended a fundraiser hosted by U.S. House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling. During the private event, Skiba discussed housing finance reform, the stability of the Federal Housing Administration, the housing market recovery and community associations. Read more...

CAI Joins Coalition for Sensible Housing in Calling for QRM Rule to Sync with QM (3/2013) On March 11, during a Capitol Hill panel discussion hosted by the Coalition for Sensible Housing Policy, housing experts highlighted the need to synch the forthcoming Qualified Residential Mortgage (QRM) rule with the recently released Qualified Mortgage (QM) rule and warned of the unintended consequences of a narrow QRM definition. The panel agreed that harmonizing QRM and QM will ensure that safe and sound lending protections are put in place, but without locking lower-wealth families out of homeownership or unduly restricting the housing market from efficiently accessing private capital. Read more...

CAI Joins Coalition Cautioning Federal Regulators on QRM Re-Write (3/2013)
On March 4, CAI joined partners of the Coalition for Sensible Housing Policy in sending a letter to federal regulators and senior staff in the U.S. Department of Treasury and the Executive Office of the President. The letter urges regulators writing the new Qualified Residential Mortgage (QRM) rule to stay as close to the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection’s (CFPB) Qualified Mortgage (QM) standard as possible. The letter also cautions against very high down payment requirements for potential homeowners. The CFPB earlier issued the final rule defining “ability to repay” and the QM standard under the Dodd-Frank Act on January 10. In addition to defining safe mortgage products and mortgage underwriting standards, QM marks the maximum breadth of the QRM exception of the risk-retention rule, a rule currently under consideration by federal agencies. The coalition’s letter to federal regulators can be read here.

CAI’s Ohio LAC Holds Breakfast at Statehouse, Pushes Priority Lien Bill (2/2013)
On February 20, CAI’s Ohio Legislative Action Committee (LAC) hosted its first ever meet-and-greet breakfast with state legislators at the Statehouse in Columbus. The goal was to educate legislators and legislative staff on the importance of a limited lien priority for community associations in the state. Read more...

CAI Faces Expanding Federal Agenda in 2013 (2/2013)
With a new Congress sworn in and the pageantry of President Obama’s inauguration passed, CAI is moving aggressively in Washington, DC to make sure your voice is heard. The road ahead for CAI’s federal affairs agenda includes fairness in disaster recovery for community associations and preparing for the central role associations will play in new federal mortgage rules. Read more...

FEMA Relief for Community Associations (1/2013)
CAI’s recent member alert discussed the difficulties many CAI members impacted by Hurricane Sandy and other natural disasters are facing due to high recovery costs as community associations are being excluded from federal disaster relief. Meanwhile, local governments are being denied Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) reimbursement for debris removal and other disaster recovery expenses in community associations.

As a direct result of our action alert initiative, we established a working relationship on this issue with New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez. CAI is hoping to continue our momentum and further our grassroots campaign to secure FEMA funds for community associations. Read more...

Qualified Mortgage (Ability to Repay) Guidelines Released (1/2013)
On January 10, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released its long-awaited federal Qualified Mortgage (QM) standard. The new federal guidelines, which are required by the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (commonly known as the Dodd Frank Act), establish minimum requirements for all mortgage loans. Read more...



2012 

FEMA Denies Community Associations Disaster Assistance (12/2012) CAI members impacted by Hurricane Sandy are facing high recovery costs as local governments are being denied Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) reimbursement for debris removal and other disaster recovery expenses in community associations. Read more...

CAI Signs Letter Opposing the Use of Guarantee Fees to Pay for STEM Jobs Act (12/2012)
CAI signed on to a coalition letter sent to congressional leaders urging them to oppose the use of guarantee fees generated by the Government-Sponsored Enterprises, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, to pay for the amendments to law proposed in H.R. 6429, the STEM Jobs Act of 2012. Diverting the income generated by these fees was a bad idea a year ago and it remains a bad idea today that should not be extended. The housing industry is aware that any increase in fees by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will likely be passed on to the consumer, increasing the cost of homeownership. Read more…
 

Audit Shows Federal Housing Administration May Need Taxpayer Funds (11/2012)
A congressionally mandated independent audit of the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) projects that FHA lacks sufficient funds to cover expected losses in its Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund (MMIF). The audit estimates that FHA has a capital deficit of $13.5 billion for its forward mortgage programs and a $2.8 billion capital deficit for its reverse mortgage program. The MMIF supports the bulk of FHA program activities for single family mortgage loans, including condominium unit mortgages. Read more...

CAI Urges CFPB to Consider Community Associations in Proposed Rules (11/2012)
On November 6, CAI submitted comments to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) on its proposed integration of consumer disclosures required by the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act and the Truth in Lending Act and its proposed rule on High Cost Mortgages and homeownership counseling. CAI expressed concerns on the integration of consumer disclosures and provided recommendations in support of the community association model of housing to present the most efficient and cost effective method to proceed. CAI also expressed concern with CFPB’s proposal to amend the definition of finance charge and urged it to consider the potential impact of the proposed changes on consumers’ access to credit. Read our full comments on High Cost Mortgages and on the integration of consumer disclosures.

Slight Change to Recently Released FHA Condo Certification Has Major Impact (10/2012)
Appendix A, Project Certification, of the FHA condominium project certification approval guidelines, has been amended by FHA effective immediately. A provision (Item No. 2 of the certification) requiring the undersigned to acknowledge they have reviewed the project application and “upon the advice given by an attorney the application meets all state and local laws” has been removed from Appendix A. Read more...

CAI Submits Comments on CFPB Servicing Standards (10/2012)
On October 9, 2012, CAI submitted comments to the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection regarding proposed mortgage servicing standards. Once a foreclosure is complete, CAI members report their communities continue to face substantial financial difficulty as servicers fail to fulfill the most basic obligations of property preservation. Servicers are required under Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, and HUD guidelines to preserve properties, to communicate with a governing community association, and to ensure timely payment of applicable community assessments. Servicers disregard these requirements as a matter of routine. Read CAI’s letter here…
 

CAI Releases FHA Condominium Update FAQ (10/2012)
CAI has developed an FAQ summary in response to the Federal Housing Administration’s revision of its condominium project approval guidelines that were released on September 13th. The revisions to FHA condominium guidelines are contained in Mortgagee Letter 2012-18 and expire on August 31, 2014. The FAQ will serve as a resource to answer questions from within the community association industry. CAI’s FHA Condominium Update FAQs can be found here.

CAI Supports Legislation to Help Underwater Owners Refinance (9/2012)Federal legislation supported by CAI looks to be moving in the final days of the 112th Congress. On June 18th, CAI endorsed the “Helping Responsible Homeowners Refinance Act of 2012”. This legislation, championed by U.S. Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Barbara Boxer (D-CA), will help millions of homeowners reduce their monthly mortgage payments and rebuild equity in their homes. Stabilizing homeowner finances will lead to fewer assessment delinquencies and provide greater stability for community associations. Read more...

FHA Releases New Condominium Project Approval Guidelines (9/2012) The Federal Housing Administration released a long-awaited revision of its condominium project approval guidelines on September 13th. The revisions to FHA condominium guidelines are contained in Mortgagee Letter 2012-18 and expire on August 31, 2014. FHA states it is making temporary adjustments to its condominium standards in response to market conditions. Read more…

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Change Short Sale Requirements that Affect Community Associations (8/2012) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have announced changes to short sale policies to help more borrowers avoid foreclosure and stabilize neighborhoods. Mortgage servicing companies will begin using the new short sale procedures in early November.

A short sale allows a homeowner to sell their home for an amount less than the value of the existing mortgage. In an important change of policy, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will now allow mortgage servicers to qualify borrowers who are current on their mortgage for a short sale. Read more...

FHA Signals Release of New Condominium Guidelines (8/2012) FHA officials have confirmed to CAI their intention to release revisions to existing condominium approval guidelines prior to September 1. The new requirements are pending final approval by FHA Acting Commissioner Carol Galante. Unfortunately, it is not likely the revised guidelines will offer substantive or sweeping relief from current FHA condominium program requirements. Read more...

U.S. Government Announces Plans to Shrink Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac (8/2012) On August 17th, the U.S. Treasury Department and the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced plans to expedite the wind down of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac operations. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have been instrumental in the development of the community association model of housing. Read more…

FHFA Weighs in on Use of Eminent Domain for Mortgage Reductions (8/2012)
On August 8, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) requested public comment on the use of eminent domain authority by municipalities to seize mortgage loans for purposes of offering homeowners a reduced mortgage balance. The County of San Bernardino, California and the City of Chicago, among other municipalities, have expressed interest in eminent domain as a means to reduce the number of residents whose mortgage obligations exceed the current market value of their home. Read more...

Freddie Mac Updates Condominium Requirements (7/2012)
Freddie Mac has revised the standards lenders must use when originating condominium unit mortgages eligible to be purchased by the housing finance giant. The new standards are effective December 1, 2012, but Freddie Mac will permit lenders to immediately implement the revisions

The revisions reorganize and clarify Freddie Mac’s Single-Family Seller/Servicer Guide Chapter 42, Special Requirements for Condominiums. Freddie Mac notes the reorganization is intended to make the condominium requirements easier to understand and implement. Read more...

NJ Manager Licensing Bill Passes Assembly (6/2012)
New Jersey Assembly bill 2658, which requires community association managers to meet professional and educational requirements to become licensed and creates a regulatory board to oversee the profession, had its first major victory Monday, June 25. The bill passed the Assembly with a 51-26-1 vote and now moves to the Senate. Compliments to the outstanding effort by the New Jersey Chapter for getting the measure introduced and working with legislators and industries to produce preferred language and support for the bill in the first chamber. The Chapter is now working to secure sponsorship in the second chamber and will be assisted by CAI National in a grassroots advocacy campaign targeting key members of the Senate to bolster support for the bill as it moves forward. Click here to view the text of the bill.

FHA Instructs Lenders to Comply with State and Local Anti-Blight Laws (6/2012)
On June 20, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) reminded its lenders of their obligation to follow state and local laws while they hold title to a foreclosed property that was purchased with FHA-insured mortgage financing. Due to concerns over loss of tax revenue and other negative effects of neighborhood blight, numerous states and localities have adopted laws requiring that lenders and mortgage servicers protect and preserve abandoned homes. Read more...

RI LAC Secures Victory in Transfer Fee Legislation (6/2012)
Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee (I) signed legislation in late June prohibiting transfer fees based solely upon the resale or subsequent transfer of real property. The state LAC promoted language exempting community associations from the prohibition. The language was incorporated into the final measure which became effective immediately. Rhode Island became the latest state to enact the ban on deed-based transfer fees leaving only 13 states to address the issue. Click here to view the legislation.

CAI Endorses Responsible Homeowner Refinancing Act of 2012 (6/2012)Community Associations Institute has endorsed S. 3085, the “Responsible Homeowner Refinancing Act of 2012.” The legislation, spearheaded in the U.S. Senate by Senators Robert Menendez (NJ) and Barbara Boxer (CA), will help more homeowners with mortgages greater than the value of their home refinance and lower monthly mortgage payments. Read more...

CAI Urges Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac Regulator to Recognize Community
Associations
(6/2012)
Noting changes in housing development and modern housing preferences, CAI urged the Federal Housing Finance Agency, or FHFA, to recognize community associations as a distinct housing market. Read more...

Compliance for ADA Pool Requirements Extended (5/2012)
In mid May the U.S. Justice Department announced an extension for public pools to comply with new requirements of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA). Now community and municipal pools and pool owners such as hotels, water parks and health clubs have until January 31, 2013, to comply with the ADA requirement and install fixed, permanent lifts that assist disabled people getting in and out of pools. In general, common interest communities and owners of private pools are exempt from the ADA requirement; however, associations that open their pools to the public, whether admittance is free or accompanied by a fee, may be required to comply. CAI recommends to an association that opens its pools to the public to consult its legal counsel for compliance requirements.

Flood Insurance Extension Passes U.S. Senate (5/2012)
On May 24th, the U.S. Senate passed legislation to extend the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) for an additional 60 days. The legislation, H.R. 5740, now returns to the U.S. House of Representatives for consideration. Unless an extension is signed into law by May 31st, the NFIP will no longer have the legal authority to issue new flood insurance policies or renewals. Read more...

U.S. Senators Tee Up Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac Mortgage Refinance Legislation (5/2012)
On May 24th, the U.S Senate Banking Committee held a legislative hearing on “The Responsible Homeowner Refinancing Act of 2012” (S. 3085), introduced by Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ). If signed into law, S. 3085 will help borrowers whose mortgages are owned by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac refinance. Read more...

CT Gov. Malloy Signs Manager Licensing Bill (5/2012)
Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy (D) signed HB 5536 into law May 23, which revises requirements concerning certification as a community association manager and continuing education for a licensed real estate broker. The bill requires all community association managers to successfully complete a nationally recognized course on community association management. The bill also requires community association managers to pass the National Board of Certification for Community Association Managers' Certified Manager of Community Associations (CMCA) examination or similar examination. Read more...

CLAC Outreach on FHA Guidelines Sees Early Success (5/2012)
The Colorado Legislative Action Committee (CLAC) received word in late April that its efforts to garner congressional pressure on the Federal Housing Administration’s (FHA) condominium certification guidelines gave way to preliminary success. CLAC’s outreach to Representative Ed Perlmutter (CO-7) allowed CAI to contribute comments on a letter sent to FHA Acting Commissioner Carol Galante expressing concern over the agency’s strict certification requirements. Read more...

CAI Leads Industry Letter to FHA on Transfer Fees (5/2012) On May 2nd, CAI urged the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) to avoid creating a second, conflicting national standard governing community association transfer fees.

In 2010, FHA established a policy that all transfer fees violate its program rules and guidelines. This decision, which was taken without any examination of long-standing legal principles or understanding of market impact, has not been uniformly enforced. Read more…

CAI Testifies Before Congress on Impact of Foreclosure Crisis on Associations (5/2012)
Mr. Dick Pruess, long-time CAI member and chair of California’s Legislative Action Committee, told federal lawmakers that association homeowners suffer when lenders delay foreclosures, allowing delinquent owners to remain in their properties.

The U.S. House of Representatives Financial Services Committee asked CAI to testify on a plan to sell real estate owned (REO) held by mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to private investors. The federal agency that oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is testing a program that will sell large numbers of REO to investors who must agree to rent the properties for a minimum of three years. CAI was asked to share how bulk sales of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac REO would impact community associations and homeowners. Read more...

Federal Communications Commission Studies HAM Radio Antenna Restrictions (4/2012)
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has announced a new study on CC&Rs that impede the installation of amateur radio (HAM) towers and antenna. To assist in the study, the FCC seeks public comment on questions about the role of HAM radio in disaster response and how antenna restrictions in CC&Rs may impede the federal response to national emergencies. The deadline for comments is May 17, 2012. Read more…

FHA Action on Condos, Transfer Fees in Pipeline (4/2012)
The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) is likely to take action in the coming months that will affect community associations. FHA is preparing new policies for condominium project approvals and will soon release guidelines on the use of transfer fees by community associations. Read more...

CAI Responds to NY Times Op-Ed (4/2012)
On Sunday, April 1, 2012, the New York Times ran an editorial by Richard Benjamin titled “The Gated Community Mentality.” Mr. Benjamin’s piece did not mince words, placing the blame on the tragic death of Treyvon Martin on America’s community associations and their residents. Smug, like-minded, overzealous, wooden dolls is how Mr. Benjamin describes the more than 60 million residents of HOAs, condominiums and cooperatives. CAI responded in a strongly worded retort.

Federal Reserve Issues Guidance to Banks on REO Rentals (4/2012)
On April 5, the Federal Reserve System issued guidance to banks intended to spur the temporary conversion of Real Estate Owned (REO) to rental property. Earlier this year, the Federal Reserve strongly encouraged the sale of REO to investors for use as rental properties. With this new guidance, the Federal Reserve is offering banks the option to keep ownership of REO properties while making the properties available for rent. The Federal Reserve’s REO rental guidance will impact CAI’s members in two general areas. Read more…

CAI Urges Community Association Perspective in Bulk Sales of HUD, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac Properties (4/2012)
Many believe the answer to the national foreclosure crisis lies in bulk sales of foreclosed properties to investors for use as rental properties. Outspoken supporters of this approach include Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and Mark Zandi, Chief Economist and founder of Moody’s Analytics. These efforts have culminated in the launch of a pilot program for bulk sales of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac owned properties to investor syndicates. Read more...

CAI Files Comments on FHA Seller Contributions Rule (4/2012)
CAI has submitted comments on a proposal by the Federal Housing Administration to limit seller contributions at FHA mortgage closings. In February, FHA proposed to limit the total dollar amount of seller contributions for FHA loans to a maximum of three percent of the loan amount. FHA also proposed to prohibit sellers from offering to pay any amount of association assessments for buyers. Read more…

CAI Secures Important Transfer Fee Victory (3/2012)
On March 15, 2012, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) issued its long awaited final rule on transfer fees. FHFA had proposed a federal regulation which would have banned federally backed mortgages for any property in a community association with a deed-based transfer fee in place. As originally drafted, the proposed rule would have cut off nearly all mortgage funding for the 11 million housing units, or 49 percent of all community association housing, that have existing deed-based transfer fees. Read more…

White House Announces FHA Refinance Program Changes (3/2012)
President Obama has announced changes to the Federal Housing Administration’s streamline refinance program to help more borrowers take advantage of historically low mortgage interest rates. FHA’s streamline refinance program allows existing FHA borrowers to forgo strict loan underwriting requirements when refinancing to another FHA-insured mortgage. Read more…

CAI Prods Mortgage Loan Servicers on Assessment Delinquencies (2/2012)
On February 23rd, CAI wrote the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the Iowa Attorney General, urging that mortgage servicers be required to pay association assessments on real estate owned (REO) and properties in foreclosure. On February 9th, the federal government and 49 states agreed to a nationwide settlement on foreclosure violations by mortgage servicing companies. Read more…

HUD Files Rule Banning Seller Payment of Assessments at Closing (2/2012)
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has acted to ban the practice of sellers agreeing to pay a set amount of association assessments for a buyer when closing on a FHA-insured mortgage. The ban is included in a proposed rule limiting concessions sellers may offer buyers to complete a sale. Read more...

President Announces Housing Initiatives (2/2012)
President Obama has unveiled a series of initiatives to help move the nation’s fragile housing markets to recovery. The president’s proposals fall in four basic categories: mass refinancing program; homeowner bill of rights; foreclosure mitigation; and REO to Rental Pilot Transaction.

The president will propose legislation to Congress allowing all borrowers whose mortgage exceeds the value of their home to refinance to a mortgage insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). The administration believes that by refinancing to current mortgage rates, which are at historic lows, the average American homeowner can save up to $460 per month. Read more...

WA Manager Clarification Bills Pass Committees (1/2012)
In response to the Washington State Real Estate Commission indicating it would likely be regulating community association managers as realtors, the WA-LAC worked with key legislators in both chambers to have bills drafted clarifying that managing common interest communities is a distinct profession. The bills have passed their committees of referral and are making their way to the chamber floors. Additionally, the LAC worked to garner support for manager licensing and was successful in having a bill introduced requiring that managers be certified as a CMCA, AMS or PCAM, furthering the goal of professionalizing community management. Click here to view the clarification bill and here to view the manager licensing legislation.

President Discusses Housing Proposals in State of the Union (1/2012)
I
n his State of the Union address, President Obama announced two measures to address the ongoing housing and foreclosure crises. The programs will allow homeowners to refinance mortgages to take advantage of historically low interest rates and will crack down on mortgage fraud.

While the details and legislative language on the president’s refinance proposal have yet to be released, the Administration is planning to use the Federal Housing Administration as a vehicle to allow “responsible” homeowners to refinance existing mortgages. Interest rates for 30-year, fixed rate mortgages are currently below 4 percent. The Administration estimates borrowers could save up to $3,000 per year by refinancing existing mortgages to these lower rates. Read More...

Pennsylvania Joint State Government Commission Releases Report on Common Interest Communities (1/2012)
In December 2011, the Joint State Government Commission of Pennsylvania released a detailed study outlining the relationship between Common Interest Ownership Communities (CIOCs) and municipal governments in the Commonwealth. The commission report was ordered after the adoption of HR 350 in 2009, which directed the commission to study the relationship between state and local governments and homeowners associations. The report analyzed the impact of CIOCs in Pennsylvania by collecting information from communities and their residents to better determine how infrastructure development, the municipal tax burden on residents of CIOCs and potential access to state funding sources affects CIOCs as well as local government. Read more...

CAI Applauds Administration Guidance of GSE Foreclosures (1/2012) In a letter dated January 6, 2012, CAI has thanked the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) for guidance to banks and federal savings associations on their responsibilities in foreclosure. That guidance, embodied in OCC Bulletin 2011-49, provides notice that lenders who foreclose are responsible for payment of community association assessments. CAI survey data indicates that more than three out of four bank-owned properties do not pay required assessments, putting strain on the rest of the homeowners in the community. You can read CAI's letter here.

CFPB Director Sets Agenda (1/2012)
I
n his first remarks as CFPB Director, Richard Cordray announced the Bureau will begin to immediately exercise its supervisory authority over non-bank entities offering certain consumer financial products or services. Specifically, the Bureau will target mortgage originators, brokers, and servicers as well as entities offering mortgage modification or foreclosure avoidance services. Read more...


2011

Congress to Increase Fees on Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and FHA (12/2011)
The Congress has opted to increase fees for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and FHA to pay for a reduction in the payroll tax. As part of an economic stimulation package, the Obama Administration ushered in a reduction in employee payroll taxes. The temporary reduction is set to expire on December 31st unless Congress votes to approve an extension. Read More...

Subcommittee on Capital Markets & GSEs Moves Housing Finance Bill (12/2011)
On December 14th, the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Capital Markets voted 18 – 15 to advance the Private Mortgage Markets Investment Act (PMMIA) of 2011. The proposal will next be considered by the House Financial Services Committee. Read More...

Congress Passes Short-term Flood Insurance Extension (12/2011) Congress has included an extension of the National Flood Insurance Program through May 31, 2012, in a fiscal year 2011 omnibus appropriations package, which awaits the president’s signature. To allow the president time to review the expansive appropriations package, which funds several Cabinet departments and agencies, Congress also passed a short-term funding bill that extends the flood insurance program through December 23rd. Read More...

Colorado LAC Moves on Manager Licensing (12/2011) CAI’s Colorado LAC’s efforts to move forward with manager licensing legislation in the state got a boost today with additional positive press coverage. Increases in favorable press coverage not only enhances the profile of the LAC’s mission but also helps readers better understand the significance of manager licensing. Read the story here.

City Council Adopts CAI-backed Condo Trash Bill (12/2011) A short time ago, Philadelphia's City Council, by a vote of 12 for and 5 against, adopted Bill Number 110130, which provides a credit against the tax for owners of condominiums and cooperatives and planned community unites who do not receive regular City refuse, recycling and bulk item collection services, under certain terms and conditions. Read More...

Colorado Lender Plays Fast with Priority Lien Requirements (12/2011)
CAI members in Colorado have reported that a mortgage company in the state is telling lenders that in order to obtain a mortgage for a home in a community association the association must waive its priority assessment lien rights under Colorado Law. In justification for this requirement the mortgage company cites “VA, FHA and [Company name’s] internal company requirements.” CAI’s Government and Public Affairs Staff have reviewed the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs’ (VA) requirements, discussed this matter with officials at FHA and examined FHA’s ongoing and active lending in the 19 states with priority assessment lien laws. We have concluded that there is no federal regulatory or statutory requirement that would require an association to waive its priority assessment lien rights under Colorado Law to obtain a FHA or VA backed mortgage. We are working with the CAI’s Colorado Legislative Action Committee to bring this issue to the attention of legislators. Read more...

FHA Responds to CAI on Transfer Fees (11/2011)
In October, CAI called on the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) to take action and address the issue of deed-based transfer fees in community associations. Early this year FHA issued an “interpretation” of its regulations which concluded that it cannot underwrite mortgages in community associations with deed-based transfer fees, which exist in close to half of all community associations. CAI called on FHA to address the issue through a waiver or other regulatory means. You can read the October letter here.

On November 23, 2011, FHA responded. In a short letter FHA indicated it recognizes such fees have value to homeowners and community associations and it was working to take action in the coming months to address the issue. CAI will continue to pressure FHA to take quick action on this matter. You can read the response from FHA here.

CAI Delegation Meets with FHA Head (11/2011)
On November 17, 2011, CAI led a delegation to meet with Carol Galante, the Acting Commissioner of the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). The delegation included representatives from the National Association of Realtors and the National Association of Home Builders. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss ongoing concerns with the FHA condominium guidelines. The meeting was a follow up to CAI’s July 25 and October 12 letters expressing concerns on new criteria found in FHA’s Mortgagee Letter 2011-22. Read more...

Illinois Community Association Manager Licensure Application Available (11/2011)
Individuals practicing community association management must obtain a professional license to work in the state by September 30, 2012. Click here to view the application and the specific requirements of the methods to obtaining the license – Grandfather, Examination, Endorsement and Restoration. Applicants must be 21 years of age, meet the requirements of the method of application and submit the $300 application fee. Licenses are good for two years. The state has yet to set renewal fees and continuing education requirements.

CAI White Paper on ADR Presented to Canadian Condo Institute & Members of Parliament (11/2011)
CAI’s G&PA Department prepared a white paper on requirements for alternative dispute resolution (ADR) in community associations in the United States for our friends in the Canadian Condo Institute. The paper provides an overview on dispute resolution requirements imposed by state legislatures in key states across the USA. As part of their effort examining mechanisms to address homeowner disputes with community association boards, the Canadian Condo Institute presented the paper to key members of Ontario’s Parliament. You can review the white paper here.

Leading Senator Chides FHA on Condos (11/2011)
Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown has sent a strongly worded letter to the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development expressing concerns over the development and implementation of FHA’s condominium guidelines. The letter specifically addressed the concern over the recent actions by FHA to deny mortgage funding to associations with special assessments or loans for property improvements. Read More...

Key Congressmen Express Concern with FHA Criteria, Process (11/2011)
Condominium owners struggling to meet stringent and conflicting Federal Housing Administration (FHA) underwriting requirements got a helping hand in their efforts from key members of Congress. Members of the Massachusetts Congressional Delegation, led by Congressmen Barney Frank, Michael Capuano and Stephen Lynch, sent a letter expressing their concerns with the current FHA condominium underwriting criteria and the lack of stakeholder input in the development of the guidelines. Read More…

Philadelphia City Council Moves on Condo Trash Bill(10/2011)
The Finance Committee of Philadelphia’s City Council held a hearing on Tuesday, October 18, 2011 at City Hall on Bill 110130 which would provide a credit against the tax for owners of condominiums, cooperatives and planned community units who do not receive regular City refuse, recycling and bulk item collection services. After lengthy testimony and questioning on the Bill from many proponents, and the Nutter Administration, the Finance Committee unanimously reported the Bill out of committee and to the full City Council, where it now awaits action. Read the testimony here.

CAI Cautions FHA on Transfer Fees, Calls for Waiver (10/2011)
As part of a series of training sessions on the revised, Federal Housing Administration’s (FHA) condominium mortgage guidelines, FHA informally announced that it would be issuing new regulatory guidance to address the issue of deed-based transfer fees. FHA indicated that it would likely disqualify any condominium association with deed-based transfer fees from access to FHA-insured mortgages. This news comes as condominium associations across America are still reeling from the July 2011 FHA Guidance which imposed new and confusing underwriting guidelines that conflict with condominium business practices, state law and common sense. In response to this sudden announcement by FHA, CAI has dispatched a letter warning FHA of the dire consequences to the condominium market if it follows through on its announcement. Read more...

CAI Advocates for Manager Licensing in Maryland (10/2011)
During the Maryland General Assembly’s 2011 session, CAI and the MD-LAC supported three manager licensing bills and worked with sponsors to create a model bill to serve as the vehicle. Those bills failed to receive a vote in committee and were referred to interim study, but as a result the House of Delegate’s Housing and Real Property Subcommittee hosted a study session October 12, 2011, to receive public and industry testimony on the issue. CAI and the MD-LAC testified together at the hearing and provided astute answers to the Subcommittee’s questions in addition to offering a hard copy of our statement and a white paper providing an overview of the benefits of regulating the profession and options to achieve sound regulating policy. CAI and the MD-LAC will soon meet with the Senator who championed the issue in the Senate last session to discuss revisions so an approved, model bill will be introduced in 2012.

FHA Backs Away From Management Company Insurance Mandate (9/2011)
Thanks to pressure from CAI members across the country, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) indicated that it will revise a controversial regulatory mandate that would require management companies to carry a fidelity bond if they managed a condominium association. In June, FHA released new guidelines for its condominium mortgage insurance program. The guidelines set standards that condominium associations must meet in order for any potential buyer to qualify for a FHA-backed mortgage. As FHA accounts for nearly one in three condominium mortgages, the guidelines have a significant impact on the marketability of condominiums. Read More...

CAI Engages House Committee on FHA Condo Program (9/2011)
The House Financial Services Committee’s Subcommittee on Insurance, Housing and Community Opportunity hosted a hearing on September 8 examining the role of FHA in the mortgage markets. Acting FHA Commissioner Carol Galante testified to FHA’s role in the post crash housing market and noted progress made by FHA in ‘improving’ the condominium insurance process. Her testimony stands in sharp contrast to the statement submitted to the subcommittee by CAI. Read more…

CAI Mortgage Teams Deliver a Message to Congress (8/2011)
In July, CAI set a goal of working with state LACs to target 40 members of the House Financial Services Committee and the Senate Banking Committee. LAC appointed “Mortgage Matters Teams” were empowered to set up visits with targeted members to discuss three key issues, FHA condominium underwriting standards, Qualified Mortgage Rules and Qualified Residential Mortgage Rules. All of these federal proposals have the potential to have a substantial negative impact on access to affordable and fair mortgages for residents in Community Associations. So far state LACs have met with close to half of the targeted members during the month of August! Read more...

CAI – OC Meets with Local Congressman to Discuss Mortgage Situation Impact on Community Associations (8/2012)
Earlier this week, several members of the CAI-OC Chapter met with the local representative, US Congressman John Campbell. They spoke with the Congressman about the unique impact on community associations of the mortgage situation. Earlier this week, several members of the CAI-OC Chapter met with the local representative, US Congressman John Campbell. They spoke with the Congressman about the unique impact on community associations of the mortgage situation. Read More...

CAI Files Comments on Qualified Mortgages (7/2011)
CAI has filed extensive comments on proposed federal regulations defining Qualified Mortgages. These regulations are the result of the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2011. The law made important changes to the types of mortgages lenders will be able to offer consumers. These loans are called Qualified Mortgages or QM. QM regulations focus on a borrower’s ability to repay a mortgage. The draft regulations will include mandatory payments associated with a mortgage in qualifying applicants. This will include association assessments. The government also sought comment on the impact of special assessments and transfer fees on borrowers. CAI provided detailed comments to help ensure that any final regulations do not have a negative impact on community associations. You can read the comment letter here.

CAI Files Administrative Challenge to FHA Guidance (7/2011)
On Friday, July 22, 2011, CAI filed a challenge to provisions of the FHA Mortgage Insurance Guidance with the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. CAI’s letter asserts that FHA failed to perform neither the necessary due diligence nor appropriate research prior to issuing Mortgagee Letter 2011-22. Under federal policy embodied in Executive Order 12866, federal agencies are required to meet procedural and substantive requirements prior to issuing regulations. CAI challenged the FHA guidance in four areas: the fidelity insurance mandate for management companies, the 30 day delinquency standard, project certification requirements and provisions related to deed restrictions. Read More...

CAI Comments on IL Manager Licensing Regulations (6/2011)
On June 15, 2011, CAI submitted comments to the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation concerning proposed regulations to implement the state’s community manager licensing act. The draft regulations provided additional details on defining who would be covered by the Act, what types of credentials and education will be required of licensees and what fees would apply to the program. Read More...

CAI Surveys Members on Proposed Mortgage Rules (5/2011)
CAI has engaged its members for input into shaping the future of mortgages. In response to draft Qualified Residential Mortgage regulations issued by the federal government, CAI has asked its members to weigh in with their thoughts on the proposed new lending standards. The new regulations will reset the rules for mortgages for nearly all homebuyers. In addition to the survey, CAI has put together a short Frequently Asked Questions document to give members background on the standards set by the proposed regulations. CAI will use the data from this survey to help us in our comments to the government on their draft regulation. Read More…

Governor Signs Maryland Priority Lien Bill (5/2011)
On May 10, 2011, Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley signed HB 1246, The Maryland Priority Lien Bill, into Maryland state law. The bill was originally passed by the Maryland Senate on April 11, 2011, after previously being passed through the House of Delegates. The bill establishes a 4-month priority ahead of lenders of up to $1,200 for condominium and homeowner association assessments when there is a lender foreclosure. It applies to new loans obtained after October 1, 2011. Read More...

CAI-New Hampshire Chapter Donates CAI Publications, Meets with New Hampshire House Speaker (5/2011)
On April 27, 2011, CAI’s New Hampshire Chapter hosted a legislative breakfast for New Hampshire legislators at the state capitol in Concord. The meet-and-greet served as a means to educate representatives and senators on the activities of CAI-New Hampshire and CAI’s national role across the country. New Hampshire legislators had the opportunity to discuss CAI with both state and national staff. Each legislator was also provided with hand-outs and informational materials covering the many different aspects of CAI’s mission. Read More...

Arizona Legislature Adjourned (4/2011)
The Arizona Legislature adjourned on April 20. Governor Brewer has signed six HOA-related bills and one is on her desk. All bills will become effective on July 20, 2011. The bills that will impact associations are: HB2245 will permit owners to audio or video record annual membership meetings, special membership meetings, and board of directors meetings that are open to the membership. The board of directors can adopt REASONABLE rules and regulations regarding the recording, but cannot preclude the recording. Read More...

CAI Comments on Revised FHFA Transfer Fee Regulation (3/2011)
CAI has submitted a second set of comments in response to the revised draft regulatory guidance issued by the Federal Housing Finance Agency on private, deed-based transfer fees. FHFA issued a revised draft regulation on private, deed-based transfer fees in late January 2011. The revisions reflect input from more than 2,600 interested parties. As originally drafted, the FHFA private, deed-based transfer fee regulation would have prohibited federally backed mortgages for any property in a community with a private, deed-based transfer fee. Read More...

CAI Members Defeat Manager/Condo Deregulation in Florida (3/2011)
CAI’s work at both the national and local level in Florida preserved community associations and the community management profession throughout the state. By pooling their resources together, CAI’s Florida Chapters and LAC were able to work with CAI members and lobbyists to prevent the deregulation of community association managers and condominium trust. Read More...

FHA Issues Waiver on Leasing Restrictions (3/2011)
Leasing restrictions have been one area of the FHA condominium guidelines that has caused problems for associations seeking to get FHA approvals. CAI has brought this issue to FHA’s attention and has petitioned FHA to review these criteria. On March 18, 2011, FHA issued a waiver that will provide greater flexibility on leasing restrictions under the FHA condominium insurance program. This means that many condominium associations whose FHA approval was rejected due to rental restrictions may now qualify under the FHA waiver. Read More...

CCAL and CAI Attorney Member Surveys Guide CCCAL Board (3/2011)
The College of Community Association Lawyers (CCAL) Board of Governors met on March 10 and 11 to map out the future of the College. Founded in 1993 to recognize excellence in the practice of community association law, the College has had a growing role in shaping the law and the business environment for community associations. The College’s premier event is its sponsorship of the Annual Law Seminar which has seen attendance growth over 50% in the past five years. Read More...

CAI Fights Community Manager Deregulation in Florida (3/2011)
Florida Governor Rick Scott has prioritized the deregulation of various professions in Florida. As a result, The Florida House of Representatives Business and Consumer Affairs Committee has introduced legislation to deregulate community association managers. Read More...

CAI Calls on FHA for Stakeholder Input, Transparency in Condo Guidelines (3/2011)
CAI has reached out to the leadership of FHA to express concern over continued problems and mismanagement of the condominium insurance program. The program requires condo associations to get FHA approval for the entire association in order for any buyer to qualify for FHA financing to purchase a condominium unit. As FHA’s share of condominium mortgages has exploded during the housing crisis from less than 5% to 30% of all mortgages, sound underwriting guidelines and administration are critical to ensure appropriate qualification criteria are adopted. To date, FHA has continued to issue guidance with no public notice or stakeholder input. The result is an increasingly troubled program that is needlessly disqualifying healthy condominium associations and burdening homeowners with added compliance costs. Read More...

CAI’s NC-LAC and Chapter Team up for Law Day (3/2011)
CAI’s North Carolina Chapter and Legislative Action Committee (NC-LAC) teamed up to host their second Law Day for Community Associations on Saturday, February 26, 2010 in Durham, North Carolina. With more than 300 attendees, the even was an unqualified success. Read More...

Georgia LAC Raids Capitol, Pushes Priority Lien Bill (3/2011)
On February 22, 2010, CAI’s Georgia Legislative Action Committee (GA-LAC) hosted its second meet and greet with state legislators in the Capitol building in Atlanta. The goal was to educate representatives and senators on the importance of priority lien legislation supported by the LAC.Read More...

CAI issues an IAF Grant to Support Texas Legislative Battles (2/2011)
With Texas community association residents and managers facing more than 40 bills specifically targeting community associations, CAI’s Government and Public Affairs Committee has issued a $15,000 grant from the Issues Advancement Fund (IAF). The grant is to match funds raised by CAI chapters to support legislative efforts on behalf of CAI by the Texas Community Association Advocates (TCAA), which functions as CAI’s Legislative Action Committee in the state. Read More...

CAI Member Efforts on FHFA Regulation Featured in National Press (2/2011)
Ken Harney of the Washington Post Writers Group has recognized the work of CAI members and their grassroots effort to block the FHFA proposed regulation on deed-based transfer fees. In his article, which ran in the Sunday, February 13, 2011 Washington Post, and was picked up by papers across the country, he credits CAI members strong response for forcing the agency to rethink its efforts. Calling CAI members action “was swift and intense” and forced the FHFA into a posture of “Oops, sorry.” Read More...

FHFA UPDATE: FHFA ISSUES MAJOR REVISIONS TO DEED-BASED TRANSFER FEE PROPOSAL (2/2011)
Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has issued a revised draft of their proposed regulation on private transfer fees and their revisions reflect the comments expressed by CAI and its members. CAI expressed strong concerns over FHFA’s assertion that such fees do not benefit community associations. The new draft proposal will be open for public comment and CAI will follow up with a full analysis and sample comments in the coming days. Read More...

Utah LAC’s Capitol Kick-Off (1/2011)
On Friday, January 21, 2011, the members of CAI’s Utah LAC and over 80 of their CAI colleagues kicked-off the legislative session with a luncheon at the Utah State Capitol. To memorialize the event the Governor declared January 21 as Community Association Day. Read More...

CAI Joins Stakeholder Groups with Concerns on Qualified Residential Mortgage Regulations (1/2011)
CAI has signed on to a letter urging the federal government to take a studied approach to overhauling the mortgage finance system. Under provisions of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010, 7 federal agencies were empowered to draft regulations defining Qualified Residential Mortgages (QRM). The goal of developing QRM is to provide strong underwriting requirements and incentives for responsible lending and borrowing. If a mortgage does not meet the requirements established under the QRM regulations, a lender will have to retain partial ownership of the loan. This would be a strong disincentive to lending. For community associations the outcome of the QRM regulatory process could very well determine the future mortgage-ability of units in associations. Read More...

CAI Members Meet with FHA to Discuss Condominiums (1/2011)
On January 7th, a delegation of CAI members met with policymakers at the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), presenting the agency with practical difficulties condominium associations face when qualifying for FHA’s condominium mortgage insurance program. CAI’s member delegation focused on three problem areas that are preventing homeowners in many condominium associations from using FHA programs. Read More...

CAI Takes Action on Mortgage Regulations (1/2011)
In 2011, a host of federal agencies will be issuing regulations that will create Qualified Residential Mortgages (QRM). These regulations are required under provisions of the Financial Services Reform Act passed in 2010. Under a provision titled “Risk Retention,” lenders will be required to retain an ownership interest in each mortgage they lend unless the mortgage meets the requirements of a QRM. The effect of this new law will be to reset the rules governing mortgages including mortgage qualifications and lending criteria for properties in community associations. Read More...


2010 

 FHA Announces Delay in Condominium Project Approval Expiration Deadlines  (12/2010) 
FHA has announced a revised schedule for condominium project approval expirations and urged all condominium communities wishing to retain FHA approval to complete the recertification process. CAI strongly encourages all condominium communities with FHA approval to be mindful of the new expiration deadlines and to begin the recertification process in a timely fashion to avoid disruption in the sale of units. Read more...

 FHA Condominium Project Approval Recertification (Update) (11/2010)
Continuing its implementation of the new condominium project approval process, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) has released guidance for condominiums seeking project recertification. To review FHA documentation on project recertification and to verify required information for recertification, please click here. To view general information on FHA’s condominium program, click here. To view CAI’s FAQ on the recertification process, Read more... 

 FHFA Comment Period Closes - What Happens Next? (10/2010)
On Friday, October 15, 2010, the comment period for the proposed Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) regulation on private transfer fees closed. Prior to the comments closing, more than 2,600 organizations and individuals submitted comments to the FHFA. CAI submitted comments opposing the regulation and included a copy of our member-developed deed-based transfer fee survey. CAI G&PA staff worked with other stakeholder organizations and shared our survey data on the impact of the proposed FHFA regulation. CAI’s survey was cited in the comments of several other organizations including the National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB), The Coalition to Save Community Benefits and The Leading Builders of America. CAI members from across the country also submitted comments in opposition to the proposed FHFA regulation. Read more...

 Pennsylvania Representative Stands with Community Associations in Opposition to the FHFA Transfer Fee Regulation (10/2010)
As CAI members know, the proposed regulation on banning federally backed mortgages for any property in a community with a deed based transfer fee would have a devastating effect on community associations. Forty-nine percent of community associations utilize deed-based transfer fees to fund reserves, capital projects or to supplement operating expenses. If enacted, the FHFA regulation would ban any federally backed mortgage for property in a community association with such a fee, rendering properties unmarketable. Read more...

 CAI Comments on FHFA Proposed Transfer Fee Regulation (10/2010)         CAI has submitted comments to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) in response to their proposed regulation on so-called “Private Transfer Fees.” CAI’s comments call on the FHFA to rescind the proposal, allow time for state and federal legislators to address the issue and to consider the reality of how such fees are used by community associations in any future regulatory proposal. CAI noted that the application of such a regulation to community associations, which would impact the ability of property in community associations to qualify for most mortgages, would be catastrophic. Read more...

 CAI FAQ on FHA Condo Approval Recertification: (8/2010)
Continuing its implementation of the new condominium project approval process, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) has released guidance for condominiums seeking project recertification. Read more ...

 FHFA Proposed Ban on Private Transfer Fees - FAQ (8/2010)               
On August 13, 2010, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) issued a proposed regulation to ban the use of deed-based or covenant-based transfer fees. The proposal would prohibit Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and all federal home loan banks from purchasing mortgages for properties in communities with deed-based transfer fees. While the target of the regulation appears to be private transfer fees that require a payment to a third party each time a property is sold, the proposed rule, as currently written, would include deed-based transfer fees used by many community associations. Read more ...

  CAI Engages White House on Mortgage Issues: (8/2010)
CAI has engaged the White House on critical issues affecting the future of mortgage financing. Responding to a request for information from the White House, CAI, through its Federal Affairs Task Force, submitted comments on how the evolving federal requirements for mortgage qualification are affecting the more than 60 million residents of community associations. The comments also provided feedback on proposals to overhaul the entire federal mortgage finance system. Read more ...  

 FHFA Issues Draft Guidance on Deed Transfer Fees (8/2010)
On August 12, 2010, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) issued draft guidance on so-called deed-based transfer fees. Under the draft guidance, communities that have deed -based transfer fees that require a payment at time of sale or transfer of property will not be eligible for mortgages underwritten by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac or other federally supported mortgage underwriters. The guidance is in draft form and makes no distinction between transfer fees that go to support a community association and controversial transfer fees that require a payment to the developer or other third parties who have no ongoing relationship with the property. Read more ...  

 CAI Alerts Congress on Financial Services Reform Issues (6/2010) 
Seeking to reign in the excesses of the banking system, Congress has passed a sweeping bill to reform the financial services industry. The bill would create a new agency, the Bureau of Consumer and Financial Protection, which would be empowered to regulate a broad array of financial transaction. As drafted, community associations and management companies could be considered financial institutions and fall under the regulatory scope of this new agency. In addition, a last minute amendment by Senator Mary Landrieu would create the potential for radical changes in the mortgage markets that could threaten community associations. In response to these challenges, CAI has sent a detailed letter to the chairs of the House and Senate Banking and Finance Committees. Read more ...

 Health Care Reform FAQ (6/2010)
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is the name of the key bill passed by Congress to overhaul the provision of health care in the United States. The law makes many consumer-friendly changes to health insurance, mandates that individuals obtain health insurance or face fines, and requires certain employers to provide health care insurance for their employees. The provisions of the law will be implemented in phases between 2010 and 2018. Read more ... 

 Governor Crist Signs Key Florida Senate Bill (6/2010)                             On June 1, 2010, Florida Governor Charlie Crist signed the final version of SB 1196, passing the bill into law. CAI members’ timely emails to Governor Crist played a crucial role in communicating the necessity of this bill. The Florida community association industry will benefit from many of its provisions. By coordinating with CAI’s Florida Legislative Alliance, CAI’s members were able to send a clear and unified message to Tallahassee. All members that voiced their support to the governor for SB 1196 share in this victory. Read more...

 Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule Now in Effect (6/2010)        Most Americans have long been aware of the dangers of lead, particularly in paints. Recognizing these dangers, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently finalized its Lead Renovation, Repair and Painting (RRP) rule to protect people from the lead generated by renovation activities like sanding, cutting and demolition. This work can create hazardous lead dust and chips by disturbing lead‐based paint, which can be harmful to adults and children.    Read more...

 Data Protection, the Next Big Thing from the Feds? (6/2010)
Over the past several years, greater attention has been paid to issues related to protection of sensitive consumer data collected by businesses, government and other organizations as more consumers utilize the Internet for a host of personal and business transactions. High profile news reports of theft of millions of credit card numbers, social security numbers or other personal data are not uncommon. In fact, fear of identity theft has led to the emergence of data protection companies like Lifelock, which claim to protect consumers from identify theft. Read more ...

FTC Delays Red Flag Rules: (6/2010)
The FTC has announced it will again delay its so-called red-flag rules from taking effect pushing the date to December 1, 2010 from June 1, 2010. The new rules require businesses and organizations to take affirmative steps to protect consumer financial data from identify theft. The regulations have been criticized for being overly board and applying to too many organizations. Find out what the rules are and what they mean for you here 

 New Hampshire LAC Priority Lien Bill Enacted! (5/2010)
CAI’s New Hampshire Legislative Action Committee successfully passed legislation to protect community association finances. Working with the state legislature the LAC supported House Bill 1340 which establishes a limited priority lien right for associations. Read more ...

 CAI Seeks Additional Revisions of FHA Condo Guidelines (5/2010)
As the federal government props up the finances of mortgage giant Fannie Mae and struggles to restructure the nation’s mortgage finance system, federal agencies are also re-examining their criteria for mortgages within condominium associations. Recently, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) has indicated that it may revisit its most recent set of requirements for financing purchases within condominium associations. Read more ...

FHA Red Flag Rules Effective June 1, 2010 (5/2010)
The repeatedly delayed FHA Red Flag Rules are scheduled to take effect on June 1, 2010. The rules require that certain institutions adopt written policies to “flag” potential identity theft of customer data. The broadly written rules, while targeting financial institutions, may be applicable to some community associations. To make sure your association is in compliance, please review CAI’s guidance on this matter here and review our compliance template here.|

 Congress Fails to Act on Flood Insurance Reauthorization (4/2010)
Congress adjourned on Friday, March 26th without taking action to reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). As a result the NFIP program expired on Sunday, March 28th 2010. While the program will be reauthorized at some point after Congress reconvenes in April, the immediate effect is that insurance providers will not be able issue new policies, renew current policies or amend existing ones. 

 CAI LACs Work to Protect Association Finances (3/2010)
In 2009, CAI LACs in Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Nevada successfully passed or expanded state statutes that grant associations priority status in collecting past due assessments in foreclosures. Such legislation, referred to as “Super Priority Liens,” help ensure that associations can adequately fund operations and the foreclosed properties continue to pay part of their obligation to maintain the common elements of the association.  Read more ...

 North Carolina Legislature Focuses on HOAs & Condos (3/2010)
The North Carolina legislature has established the House Select Committee on Homeowners Associations, a standing legislative committee focused exclusively on community association issues, which has held public hearings across the state. CAI’s North Carolina Legislative Action Committee (NC-LAC) worked to make sure that the committee heard the full story about the benefits of community association living. Read more ...

 FHA Condo Guidelines: Why Should You Care? (3/2010)
CAI’s CEO Thomas M. Skiba, CAE, provided an overview of the changing world of mortgage finance to attendees at the CAI Michigan Chapter Annual Trade Show on March 12, 2010. In his keynote address, he walked attendees through the recent changes to the FHA Condominium Insurance Guidelines, why CAI members should care about these changes and what it means for community associations across the country. Read more ...
 

 Maryland LAC Spikes So-Called Freedom of Speech Bill (3/2010)
Maryland LAC members pull out all the stops to block passage of Senate Bill 212 (SB212), a bill that would have gutted association rule enforcement and required associations to allow non-residents access to private association property for “Non-Commercial” purposes. The bill died on the floor of the Senate by just four votes. Read more ...

 Georgia LAC Launches Legislative Agenda (3/2010)
The members of CAI’s Georgia Legislative Action Committee (GA-LAC) began the 2010 legislative session by hosting a breakfast for lawmakers in the State Capitol in Atlanta on February 3.  More than 30 state legislators and other attendees stopped by to grab a bite to eat while discussing GA-LAC’s agenda for Priority Lien legislation in Georgia while also preventing the ban of covenants regulating the display of flags on homeowner property. Read more ...

 Maryland LAC Stands Up for Associations & Residents (3/2010)
The Maryland Legislative Action Committee has hit the ground running in the 2010 state legislative session. The LAC is supporting legislation to advance the interests of community associations and their residents and also taking a tough-line with legislators on particularly onerous or silly legislative proposals. Read more ...

 UCIOA Bill Advances in Kentucky (2/2010)
The Kentucky LAC supported Common Interest Ownership Act (UCIOA) was passed out of the House Judiciary Committee on February 17, 2010. Read more ... 

 Utah LAC’s Legislative Kick Off: (1/2010)
The members of CAI’s Utah Legislative Action Committee (UT-LAC) kicked off the 2010 legislative session at the State Capitol on Friday, January 15. The more than 70 attendees were briefed on CAI’s priorities in the current session which include passage of the Uniform Common Interest Ownership Act (UCIOA) and amending or blocking legislation which would ban transfer fees charged by associations. Read more ...

 CAI, NBC-CAM & CAI Alabama Submit Comments to Alabama Taskforce: (1/2010) Looking to update the state’s legal infrastructure for common-interest communities and to examine issues of potential regulation related to professional community association management, the Alabama Real Estate Commission appointed a Community Association Taskforce in late 2009. Inspired in part by the passage of manager licensing legislation in Illinois, the taskforce is examining issues related to consumer protection in communities such as resale disclosures and potential regulation of community association managers in the state. Read more …

 Alabama Appoints Taskforce on Community Association Issues: (1/2010)
Inspired in part by the passage of legislation in Illinois to regulate community association managers, the Alabama Real Estate Commission has appointed a taskforce to examine two critical issues related to community associations: professional manager licensing and legal protections for homeowners. Read more …

 50 State Session Summary and Legislative forecast (1/2010)
The 2010 legislative calendar kicks off another exciting year in politics and policy. For CAI and our state Legislative Action Committees (LAC), it means continued involvement in the legislative arena to ensure that the voices of our community association boards, managers and businesses are heard. Currently, there are 31 states in session, joined by the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Congress. Additionally, California, Tennessee and Wisconsin are currently in the midst of a special session. Before the conclusion of January 2010, an additional four state legislatures will be convening sessions. Read more … 
 

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