Budget Season is Upon Us – Is Your HOA Prepared?

Budget season can be a headache, but with the right preparation, you can make the process as pain-free as possible. To help your Board through this year’s budgeting cycle, we’ve compiled some tips to help you prepare your community for budget season. As your HOA 

School is in Session – Does Your Board Need Education?

  As a board member and/or homeowner, you have an incredible opportunity to make a difference in your community. But your role as a leader is only as effective as the knowledge you bring to the table. While there are no guarantees that your neighbors 

Extension of Limitations on Debt Collection Actions Coming!

The 2021 Legislative Session is here!  On January 13, 2021, the Colorado Legislature gaveled into session.  While the Legislature intends only to swear in new legislators and handle emergency legislation at this point, and then recess until February 16th (at the earliest), there is already work to be discussed where it concerns HOAs, and specifically, debt collection. 

On January 13, 2021, a bill which would extend the previous limitations on certain debt collection actions (which were in place through February 1, 2021) was introduced.  It sped through both houses and has been sent to the governor for signature.  Once signed, the bill will extend protections from extraordinary collection action through June 1, 2021.   

We discussed this in a previous blog post, but what exactly does that mean?  First, the bill provides that extraordinary collection action means any action or proceedings in the nature of an attachment, garnishment, levy, or execution to collect or enforce a judgment on a debt.  Second, the bill provides that prior to the execution or service of an extraordinary collection action, the creditor must provide a written notice to the debtor.  The notice must be sent to the debtor at least ten (10) days, but not more than sixty (60) days, prior to the execution or service of a writ.  The notice provides the debtor with notice that he/she has the right to temporarily suspend the collection action if he/she is facing hardship due to the COVID-19 emergency.

The extension of this law will certainly continue to impact your association’s ability to collect delinquent assessments.  Can you still bring suit to obtain a judgment against a delinquent owner?  Yes, and you absolutely should still be following your collection policies to do so.  Can you file a lien against a property due to delinquent debt?  Yes (and remember that associations have a statutory lien as well on any property that has a delinquent balance).

We know that we continue to be in a strange time dealing with the COVID-19 virus, but I’m hopeful that we are in the home stretch, with application of the vaccine being implemented in the state. 

However, incomes of many homeowners (inevitably in our communities due to the scale of the impact of this pandemic) have been significantly reduced and/or eliminated.  Boards should continue to consider the hardships that their residents may be experiencing and to be willing to work with residents to ensure that homeowners and our associations are both able to meet their needs to support their families and communities.  So, while we may not be able to collect on judgments that are in place or that will be in place as we continue down this path, we can still work with owners.  What does this mean?  It may mean a number of things: agreeing to a waiver of late fees/interest for a duration of time, if requested from owners on accounts.  It may also mean allowing a longer payment plan that is required or generally allowed.

In summary, we have to remember that many people are having to make hard choices on which bills to pay.  We also have to remember that associations are non-profit corporations with Boards that have a fiduciary duty to protect, preserve, and enhance the property values in the community.  Part of that is ensuring that the governing documents for the association are followed, and to determine on a case by case basis waivers for members of your community.  While we can’t take action to garnish at this time, we can still work with our owners who have fallen on hard times.  And it’s important to keep educating members of our communities about the obligations of the association and the importance of members continuing to meet their obligations to pay assessments. 

Continue to be kind and be good to yourselves and others – and if you have any questions regarding this bill and/or other collection issues, feel free to reach out to our office!

Polis Signs Bill Limiting “Extraordinary Collection Actions” Through November 1, 2020

Yesterday, June 29, 2020, Governor Polis signed into law SB20-211, a bill concerning limitations on certain debt collection actions.  This bill was fast-tracked when the legislature reconvened.    The legislature declared in the language of the bill that the COVID-19 epidemic has the potential to 

Call to Action – We need your help now!

Call to Action – We need your help now!

Members of our Community Association industry – we need your help now! There’s a link to the Call to Action at the end of this blog if you want to skip there – but the meat of it is important too. I hope you read 

Governer Polis VETOES Manager Licensing Bill

HB 1212, the bill introduced to Recreate Homeowners’ Association Community Manager Licensing was vetoed by Governor Polis late Friday night. Because of this action, the Community Manager Licensing program will no longer exist as of June 30, 2019.

Governor Polis stated in his veto letter that “Our hope is that this will allow more people to work, to access various services and to make sure that licenses protect consumers from harm – not industry insiders from competition.” Additionally, he argued that certification of occupational skills “is best done by guilds, unions and professional associations” rather than the state and that state licensing is only appropriate in “cases that are compelling for consumer safety and economic reasons.”

Update Regarding Community Association Manager Licensing

HB 1212, the bill introduced to Recreate Homeowners’ Association Community Manager Licensing passed on Friday, May 3, 2019. It is currently awaiting the governor’s signature. The governor has thirty (30) days to sign the bill. If the governor takes no action , the legislation will become law 

Xeriscaping Bill Sent to Governor

HB-1050 has passed both the House and the Senate and has been sent to the Governor for signature. The bill prevents a homeowners association from prohibiting the use of drought-tolerant landscaping in common areas of a covenant controlled community. Under current law, a homeowners association 

Manager Licensing Bill Has Now Been Introduced!

Manager Licensing Bill Has Now Been Introduced!

We knew it was coming and on February 25, 2019, HB 1212, which would reinstate Community Manager licensing, was introduced in the House.

As you will recall, last year, the bill to extend manager licensing was defeated. As of right now, if no legislative action is taken by the legislature in 2019, manager licensing will no longer exist after June 30, 2019.

The following is a message from the CAI’s Colorado Legislative Action Committee regarding the bill:

This past summer, CLAC conducted a two-month outreach process with Colorado CAI members to better understand their opinions on Community Association Manager licensing, their interactions with DORA, and what they would like to see the future of management licensing to look like. We conducted five Road Shows across Colorado in South Denver, Vail, Fort Collins, Westminster and Colorado Springs. We also conducted an online survey of the Colorado CAI membership for additional feedback. The survey generated 316 responses and more than 60 people attended the Road Show events. You can review the presentation we did on the findings here.

From the Roadshow and the survey, we learned that more than 60% of Colorado CAI members wanted continued licensing of managers and 72% of Colorado CAI members wanted continued licensing of management companies. There was also significant  feedback about the complaint process and lack of industry knowledge by DORA regarding the licensing program. CLAC took this feedback, and, when we learned several bills were coming to recreate the licensing program, we worked to get all of the potential bills combined into what is now House Bill 1212. We still have some more work to do and will continue to work with legislators on additional amendments.  We did get several improvements and modifications to the existing program that we asked for per the Colorado CAI member feedback. CLAC has also been in close communication with CAI National throughout this process regarding national public policies for states that propose mandatory regulation. Lastly, CLAC has initiated meetings with DORA since the inception of the manager licensing program and, more recently, in an attempt to negotiate aspects of the bill. 

As introduced, House Bill 1212 will do the following:

  • Extends the licensing program until September 1, 2024, when it will again undergo a sunset review process.
  • Creates an advisory committee to DORA that will make recommendations to the director regarding changes to rules, adoption of guidelines and the process for handling complaints. The committee is made up of seven members; three of which are licensed community managers, two homeowners, a CPA, and an attorney. This committee was added at our request after hearing about the need for DORA to better understand the industry. Our original request, per Roadshow feedback, was for an oversight board; however, that request wasn’t financially or politically feasible after discussion with legislators.
  • Clarifies certain administrative functions that do not require a license.
  • Clarifies the apprentice program and supervision requirements.

We are continuing to work on the complaint process with DORA to find a better solution. Stay tuned for more news on this section as this develops.
We will be reaching out to you in the coming days to solicit your help in advocating to legislators on the importance of CAM licensing. We will also be updating the 
CLAC website  regularly with additional information.

Make sure to check back here for updates regarding this bill. Cornerstone will also be blogging on major developments with the bill. Stay tuned!

Wage Garnishment Bill Introduced

On February 19, 2019, a bill which would significantly affect a creditor’s ability to collect through wage garnishments was introduced in the House. Under current law, the amount of an individual’s disposable earnings subject to garnishment is (in general) 25% of the individual’s disposable earnings