Both sessions of ACM's "Going Green:
Delinquents to Dollars....Pearls of Wisdom from the Experts" are
complete! Thank you to all of our participants! And a big thank you to
the panel of attorney's for our second session hosted last Friday, pictured above from left to right:
Ursula K. Burgess -- Rees Broome, P.C., Mike Neall -- Michael S. Neall
& Associates, P. C., Kathleen M. Elmore and Ellen W. Throop --
Elmore, Throop & Young, P.C. We are excited to continue offering educational seminars for Board members in the future! Thank you for your support and participation!
Position: CALL Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee to Ask for Unfavorable Report Hearing: Tuesday, March 26, 2013
CAI's Maryland Legislative Action Committee alerts you to a piece of legislation that has been introduced at the last minute and will be heard by the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee Tuesday, March 26. This bill is VERY problematic for Maryland condominiums and homeowner associations (collectively: community associations or CAs) as it will place all in a precarious position with regard to recovering legal fees expended in collection and enforcement matters.
SB1062 would prohibit CAs from demanding or attempting to collect fees which are not "reasonable" in relation to the amount in "controversy" (the amount you are trying to recover) when what is "reasonable" is not determined until much later when presented to a court. A Board of Directors for a CA, typically comprised of non-attorneys, relies on attorneys to assist in collection of delinquent fees or in the enforcement of covenant/rules violations. The CA has no basis to making the "reasonableness" determination for fees incurred but will now be placed in a precarious position well before a matter may be adjudicated. There is case law already addressing the issue of what a reasonable fee is in relation to the amount in controversy: Monmouth Meadows Homeowners Ass'n v. Hamilton; 416 MD. 325; 7 A.3rd 1; 2011
The amount in controversy is already one of the factors in determining a reasonable fee under Monmouth with regard to a contract provision allowing a charge to a third party as well as under the court rules of professional conduct regarding charge to a client.
Suntrust Bank v. Goldman et al; 201 Md. App. 390; 29 A.3d 724
Involving attorney fee provisions in loan documents.
What can you do?
You are encouraged to contact the chairman and members of the Judicial Proceedings Committee (see below) and ask that the "report SB1062 as UNFAVORABLE". Also contact your individual elected representatives in the Maryland General Assembly. Click here to be sent to our action center, where you can find the information to contact your legislators. Brian Frosh, Chair -- (410) 841-3124 -- firstname.lastname@example.org Lisa Gladden, Vice Chair -- (410) 841-3697 -- email@example.com James Brochin -- (410) 841-3648 -- firstname.lastname@example.org Jennie Forehand -- (410) 841-3134 -- email@example.com Joseph Getty -- (410) 841-3683 -- firstname.lastname@example.org Nancy Jacobs -- (410) 841-3158 -- email@example.com C. Anthony Muse -- (410) 841-3092 -- firstname.lastname@example.org Victor Ramirez -- (410) 841-3745 -- email@example.com Jamin Raskin -- (410) 841-3634 -- firstname.lastname@example.org Christopher Shank -- (410) 841-3903 -- email@example.com Norman Stone -- (410) 841-3587 -- firstname.lastname@example.org Robert Zirkin -- (410) 841-3131 -- email@example.com
A quick and concerted effort is necessary. Sincerely, Craig F. Wilson, Jr., CMCA, AMS, PCAM Vice Chair
ACM would like to thank everyone involved in
making the first session of "Going Green: Delinquents to
Dollars....Pearls of Wisdom from the Experts" a huge success - most
importantly our Collections Department and the panel of attorneys (pictured above from left to right):
Cynthia Hitt-Kent-Law Office of Cynthia Hitt-Kent, LLC, Gregory Alexandrides-The Law Offices
of Gregory Alexandrides, LLC, Jason Fisher-Lerch, Early & Brewer,
Chtd. and Zinnaeah Johnson-Nagle & Zaller, P.C. Thank you to all the Board members for taking time out of their
busy schedules to attend this seminar! We look forward to our second
session scheduled for Friday, March 22, 2013!
Howard County provides the Tree Canopy Program to help enhance tree canopy throughout the county - the layer of leaves, branches, and stems of trees that cover the ground when viewed from above. Improving tree canopy provides many benefits to both your community and the environment. In order to learn more and become involved in this program, please visit the link below:
BGE has announced that it has launched the BGE Energy-Saving Trees Program, through the Arbor Day Foundation and Davey Institute, in order to assist customers with reducing energy consumption and meeting energy efficiency goals. To learn more about the available program, click the link below:
Representatives from the following firms will be present as follows: Wednesday, March 20, 2013 (6:00-8:00 pm)
Law Office of Cynthia Hitt-Kent, LLC
Lerch, Early & Brewer, Chtd
The Law Offices of Gregory Alexandrides, LLC
Nagle & Zaller, P.C.
Friday, March 22, 2013 (1:00-3:00 pm)
Elmore, Throop & Young, P.C.
Michael S. Neall & Associates, P. C.
Rees Broome, PC
you are unable to attend either session but are interested in joining a
conference call to participate, please RSVP to Amanda Lande by email, firstname.lastname@example.org
with your date of interest and we will provide the necessary conference
call information. There are still seats available in both sessions if
schedules permit you to attend. We hope to see you this week!
Homeowners have asked, and ACM has listened! We have worked with the website provider of www.acmhome.com to update the "My Corner" page to assist with navigation of the website. Under "Quick Links", you will now find buttons to enter a "Maintenance Request", an "Architectural Application" or "View Account." It is our hope that the addition of these buttons will help homeowners find exactly what they are looking for while visiting www.acmhome.com.
ACM is constantly researching ways to make our systems more effective and efficient. Thank you to all of those who have given us their feedback. We greatly appreciate your suggestions and hope that these changes will help when using "The Website for Your Home!".
ACM would like to welcome Gary Bopp, the newest member of our Property Management Department! Gary is from Poughkeepsie, New York and has experience in residential and commercial construction and development. In his spare time, Gary enjoys sports and outdoor activities. Welcome, Gary!
clients have asked how much will the registration of my community cost? That depends on what version of the legislation passes, if any.
Originally both the Senate and House version were identical and both
required a fee of $1 per unit per year with a maximum of $250 and a
minimum of $25. Since then that has changed.
House Bill 576
House bill as passed keeps the registration process but eliminated the
direct fee paid by your community. This bill also removed the cap paid
by community managers and company employees which had been set at $200
and $100 respectively. Since the registration of your community remains a
task for the new licensing board, we can anticipate that the entire
cost, originally estimated to be $2,100,000 over the first four years
will be paid by the employees of the management company. However, the
Department of Licensing & Regulation believes that cost was
understated which necessitated the removal of the caps for management
Senate Bill 794
Senate bill currently remains as it was drafted. The Judicial
Proceedings Committee has heard testimony, and is reviewing your
comments and will vote to pass the bill out of committee most likely
with amendments since the Department of Licensing & Regulation is
insistent that revenue is insufficient to pay for the legislation, or
they will kill the bill and we will attempt some version of the bill
again next year.
is our hope that you ask the Senate committee to reject the licensing
bureau and instead work to pass legislation that licenses management
companies and requires contract language and insurance that protects the
funds and records of the community.
Green: Delinquents to Dollars....Pearls of Wisdom from the Experts"
seminar will include a panel of esteemed attorneys who specialize in
the industry. We
will highlight the current best practices and procedures for
safeguarding your association against excessive cash shortfalls
resulting from delinquencies. As you know, failure to implement and
enforce your association's collections policy and escalate accounts
when necessary can lead to several issues including lack of cash to
maintain your association's common elements and meet obligations
which can in turn effect the value of your community.
accommodate your busy schedules, we are offering two dates:
March 20, 2013 (6:00-8:00 pm) and; Friday, March 22, 2013 (1:00-3:00
from the following firms will be present as follows:
March 20, 2013 (6:00-8:00 pm)
Office of Cynthia Hitt-Kent, LLC
Early & Brewer, Chtd
Law Offices of Gregory Alexandrides, LLC
& Zaller, P.C.
March 22, 2013 (1:00-3:00 pm)
Throop & Young, P.C.
S. Neall & Associates, P. C.
experienced Collections Manager, Joanne Allen, will also be present
to meet you and entertain questions throughout the event. Materials
and light refreshments to be provided. Contact Amanda Lande to
register at email@example.com
with your name, association and desired date for attendance. Due to
limited space, RSVPs are required by Friday, March 15, 2013. Please
submit questions you would like to hear posed during the session and
we will do our best to incorporate them as well.
you and we hope you are able to participate!
by American Community Management (ACM) President, Mel Herzberger, to limit the size and
scope of the legislation to establish a licensing department for community
managers was rejected by the House Environmental Matters Committee and the
Maryland House of Delegates passed the licensing bill, further amending HB576
to remove fee limits after the Department of Licensing and Regulation reported
the $2,000,000 estimated cost would be insufficient to operate the new
Herzberger believes there is justification to require the use of contracts that
specifically set out the obligation of the company to provide services,
especially any process entailing the disposition of community funds. There is
no doubt that we must hold anyone who has access to client funds accountable,
however it appears the bill’s sponsors publicized recent events to pass in the
House a very expensive piece of legislation that has failed in each of the last
legislation now moves on to the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee where
Herzberger hopes that the committee will narrow the scope of the legislation to the
services provided by the company and increase the level of protection to the
community. Hopefully we can address the issue without inflating management fees
and requiring community clients to be penalized for hiring a management firm.
ACM would like to extend a warm welcome to Brenda Van Buren, the newest member of our Community Management Department! Brenda has earned the designations of CMCA and AMS and is currently working toward her PCAM designation. She enjoys reading and traveling in her spare time. Welcome, Brenda!