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Subject: FL Covenant Expiration MRTA
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Author Messages
SusanE6
(Florida)

Posts:102


02/02/2016 6:41 AM  
I haven't posted lately as I don't feel some people see how important MRTA is in Florida. Sadly, I am still going forward with my lawsuit against the Association for their poor handling of the MRTA issue. It seems to me that lawyers who state they are very experienced in HOA issues and than proceed to go forward without any knowledge of what they are doing, should be held accountable personally for their actions. The first set of attorneys preserved our Docs and missed many titles including my own. They stated the only way back into the Association was to sign an agreement stating that we wanted back in. If we refused, we were ousted from the Association. I refused to sign the agreement because I felt they improperly and illegally did the preservation. Because of this, a letter from their first attorney went out to the membership stating we were no longer members and not entitled to any Association services or rights. We have been disconnected from the cable, removed from the budget, the minutes state we are no longer members of this Association. This week we got separate billing from the cable company. We get no service from the lawn company(we didn't get anything before either). They did not send us a ballot or any info about the annual meeting or any meetings. All of this they and the first attorney have put in writing for all to see.

Just three weeks ago, our attorney related to us that the insurance company for the Association brought in their own attorneys and the first attorney group was removed. Our attorney feels this is a better move. Right now he is trying to get a deal from this attorney that since they don't recognize us as members, put it in writing and record it in the court system. They asked for a 40 day extension. I am hoping they look at the mess the previous attorney did and something might be done. I am holding my breath. Apparently my attorney is still upset with the first attorney because they never communicated with him - only directly with us. He felt with an active lawsuit, the attorney most definitely should have communicated with him.

Any how, MRTA is a complex topic and I appreciate all of the comments in this thread. You all have helped me considerably through this problem.

Okay, waiting for John46 to repeatedly ask if I attended any social events that the Association had.....No, John46, they aren't communicating with me but are having a pool party to celebrate the new pool heater that they just put in. I will be so sad to miss this.

Again, thanks to all who have contributed good advice to me and have helped in making this easier.
I will be back with more info as I get it.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:7772


02/02/2016 2:29 PM  
Susan

You beat me to it. No pool party for you.
WalterM4
(Florida)

Posts:29


02/03/2016 4:35 AM  
Glad to see everyone is alive and kicking after the holiday's! I once lived in Georgia where a neighbor of mine was a judge.
He told me that you can take a half a dozen attorney's give them one issue to resolved between them an lock them in a room for a week, and at the end of the week when unlocked no two attorney's will have come to the same conclusion; in the end it's the judge that decides. (sadly the judge was once an attorney, and still is). I recently have received opposing views on my issue pertaining to MRTA, and the most recent opinion suggested that I go in a new direction and use FS 617.1430 due to the corruption in the community. I am now attempting to unite at least 10% of the members to go forward. Any Thoughts?

Walter M.
WalterM4
(Florida)

Posts:29


02/03/2016 4:35 AM  
Glad to see everyone is alive and kicking after the holiday's! I once lived in Georgia where a neighbor of mine was a judge.
He told me that you can take a half a dozen attorney's give them one issue to resolved between them an lock them in a room for a week, and at the end of the week when unlocked no two attorney's will have come to the same conclusion; in the end it's the judge that decides. (sadly the judge was once an attorney, and still is). I recently have received opposing views on my issue pertaining to MRTA, and the most recent opinion suggested that I go in a new direction and use FS 617.1430 due to the corruption in the community. I am now attempting to unite at least 10% of the members to go forward. Any Thoughts?

Walter M.
GwenG
(Florida)

Posts:592


02/03/2016 5:50 AM  
Walter: I would be very interested learning about this.

Suggestion: Would you start a new thread on this subject so as not to get it intertwined with this subject and confuse readers? I was going to post the referenced statute but thought better of it because this thread is already extremely long and the subjects are very different ---albeit with the same goal.
GwenG
(Florida)

Posts:592


02/03/2016 6:09 AM  
@SusanE6 who posted:
They stated the only way back into the Association was to sign an agreement stating that we wanted back in. If we refused, we were ousted from the Association. I refused to sign the agreement because I felt they improperly and illegally did the preservation. Because of this, a letter from their first attorney went out to the membership stating we were no longer members and not entitled to any Association services or rights. We have been disconnected from the cable, removed from the budget, the minutes state we are no longer members of this Association. This week we got separate billing from the cable company. We get no service from the lawn company(we didn't get anything before either). They did not send us a ballot or any info about the annual meeting or any meetings. All of this they and the first attorney have put in writing for all to see.

At first flush, it appears that you are "home free!". No more financial obligation or interference with the use of your property!

I wonder what does your HOA think about the (dubious) benefits--services and rights-- to you they are withholding?? Why on earth would you "want back in?" What is the carrot that would motivate you to rejoin? Sounds like a good deal to me and if I was an owner similarly situated, I would want the same treatment.

What do the other owners think about having to pick up the financial burden which the board excused you from? Do Owners know that Owners could bring a breach action against the HOA and individuals (and possibly the attorneys)?

SusanE6
(Florida)

Posts:102


02/03/2016 11:22 AM  
My HOA has members that just don't care. Right now they are only interested in the social aspects of the community.
They now have a huge social committee which plans parties and garage sales and numerous other events. They have decided to have food at the annual meeting but didn't check with the property we have used for years(for free0 before bringing the food in. The garage sale - they forgot to check with the insurance company about liabilities - we have narrow winding streets and years ago the fire department told us that we could not have garage sales due to the liability. But that does not stop this group. Worse Board ever and they just keep coming up with new items. They have related to everyone that MRTA is over and do not disclose with new home purchases that there is an active lawsuit. Just sold three homes without informing the new neighbors.

Liability - they don't even think about this - they have removed us from the cable, the assessments - have told all the homeowners in a newsletter and put it in the minutes. They are thinking of changing their insurance company because they think they can get a better deal. However, the present insurance company is representing them in this lawsuit.

Sadly, reading HOA talk - I see that most Boards are dysfunctional and do things the way they want to do them: they could care less about the homeowner. What will it take to get enforceable laws into place and make attorneys liable for their poor actions?

Okay, John46 - no, I am not going to to the garage sale and I am not partying with the homeowners. Mingling with bafoons is not my style. But I am sure you would enjoy these people and party hearty with them........

Thanks, Gwen, for your input. February 17th is the date things will start to happen. Will let you all know what occurs with the preservation and MRTA issue in my community.
GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:2435


02/03/2016 12:38 PM  
Posted By WalterM4 on 02/03/2016 4:35 AM
I recently have received opposing views on my issue pertaining to MRTA, and the most recent opinion suggested that I go in a new direction and use FS 617.1430 due to the corruption in the community. I am now attempting to unite at least 10% of the members to go forward. Any Thoughts?

Please start a new thread for that discussion. I already have some thoughts on it but it's not MRTA per se, which is the subject theme of this thread.
ChrisP12
(Florida)

Posts:13


02/05/2016 7:04 AM  
Hey GenoS.

If the Association sends out a solicitation for payment that can be "reasonably interpreted to be an invoice" they are in violation of Florida's Misleading Solicitation of Payments Prohibited statute (F.S. 817.061) and it is a crime. An individual may file a lawsuit under Florida's Civil Remedies for Criminal Practices statute. If the solicitation for payment is sent using the US Postal service it then becomes a Federal offense as Mail Fraud. An individual can get damages (money) back according to para. (2) of F.S. 817.061. If the States Attorney presses charges for violation of F.S. 817.061 each and every solicitation of payment is a violation even if no payment was made as a result of the solicitation.

My voluntary Association was sending out solicitations that were marked as INVOICE until I filed suit with a count of Violation of F.S. 817.061. They don't call them invoices anymore and I got my money back. By the way, I sent a letter to the State Attorney and they chose not to pursue the matter but "Encouraged" me to file suit.

So it goes, they pick and chose which laws they will enforce.
KevinK7
(Florida)

Posts:1342


02/05/2016 9:11 AM  
My voluntary association was fond of sending "past due" notices with late fees added on. I used to pay thinking I was required until my other neighborhood overstepped the law and started demanding payment when we were not even members.

Once we contested they stopped sending it to us but they continued sending to others. When I complained to the attorney general at the time he directed me to the DBPR and included a photocopy of their website - the same page that said they had no authority.
GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:2435


02/05/2016 12:57 PM  
The Attorney General in Florida is quite useless and I don't mean specifically the current one.

Kevin, I'm just thinking of all the ways I'd rub their noses in it if they were sending me bogus "past due" notices. On the other hand, I don't think the angst would be worth the chuckles.
SusanE6
(Florida)

Posts:102


02/23/2016 10:32 AM  
Best news ever. I just won my case against my HOA and we are now a sovereign home. The Association attorneys agreed to my lawyers counts and we are out of our Association. It is very sad that an ill informed Board has done this to a homeowner. But that is okay. More later.
MichaelT17
(Florida)

Posts:8


02/23/2016 1:59 PM  
That is fantastic news! I have been fighting our "non HOA" that has become and HOA by abusing its deed restrictions in Florida and I am very interested in your case.

I have many questions, but to keep it simple, what attorney did you use and how much did it cost in legal fee(s)?

I really would like to accomplish what you have succeeded in doing, but I also do not have deep pockets and have to keep things in a working man's / family budget.

GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:2435


02/23/2016 2:42 PM  
Posted By SusanE6 on 02/23/2016 10:32 AM
Best news ever.

\o/

Good for you! Now hope that they don't file for revitalization in which case they can drag you back in. But it sounds like they're pretty out to lunch to begin with and their attorneys aren't much better.
SusanE6
(Florida)

Posts:102


02/23/2016 6:43 PM  
Micheal, I will get back to you but do want you to know that I do not have a lot of money, found an attorney that cared and felt he could win this case. I will get back all the money I put into it and the best news ever is that I am not subjected to the horrible Board and apathetic Association. My attorney is fantastic and really made it possible for us to terminate our association with the HOA. For once in the 32 years that I have lived in this HOA, I feel vindicated and relieved.......
And there will be no revitalization because the first attorney for my Association doesn't believe that is necessary.He preserved the docs improperly and there are still 6 to 8 titles that are extinguished that he did not preserve.
I want to thank all of you for all the great threads on MRTA - without them, I would not have survived. Gwen, Kevin, Geno, Tim - you all helped me through a really terrible time. Thank you.......
SusanE6
(Florida)

Posts:102


02/23/2016 6:45 PM  
Micheal, I have belonged to ccfj for years and will gladly share my story with them...... They are also the best to post with - help me through a lot of bad times.....
MichaelT17
(Florida)

Posts:8


02/23/2016 7:16 PM  
Susan if you could put me in touch with the attorney that would be greatly appreciated. Please drop me a line at [email protected]

SusanE6
(Florida)

Posts:102


02/24/2016 6:29 AM  
Micheal, I emailed you. If you don't get the info: My email is : [email protected] I will be more than happy to communicate with you.
GwenG
(Florida)

Posts:592


02/25/2016 5:44 AM  
@SusanE6: thanks for sending me the Final Order to read.

Your situation/outcome might be unique in Florida or even the entire nation. The reason is you were removed from your mandatory association by the Board WITH the advice/assistance of an attorney and with no Owner input or vote. You have no future obligations to the HOA and have no further financial risk by being a Member-Owner. And, you have the ability to pass this special status on to a future owner. (You are in an awesome marketing position!)

Question: Do the Covenants give your association the power to remove a parcel--with or without owner agreement--from the corporation? I have never heard of such a power but it is a private contract so it is possible.

Absent the authority to do this, what are the attorneys for the HOA thinking? Your attorney must have an idea. What will the attorneys do when/if they and the client are sued, along with the Association, for breach of fiduciary?

How are the remaining homeowners in the HOA processing this? Do they understand that THEY are picking up "your share" for the duration of the continuation of the association? How is the Board positioning its action with the Members? Do you have an idea of how much total was paid out by the insurance company to handle this for the HOA?

Curious, are there other homeowners in a similar situation as you whose title was illegally slandered by a Preservation Notice and who were already expired?

Yours sounds like a great followup story for TV Channel 6 (ref ccfj video on defeat of reform bill).
SusanE6
(Florida)

Posts:102


02/25/2016 6:44 AM  
My attorney stated the following when asked if he knew of any other homeowner that was released from their HOA;:

" I have two settlements being completed but as part of the settlement, the Hoa agreed to let my clients out and covered my clients fees and costs.The difference between those settlements and yours(mine) is that the HOA demanded a strict non-disclosure of the terms of the settlement. This was because the HOA was worried the settlements would create an avalanche of people wanting to get out of the HOA. In your case, there was no non-disclosure and it will be a matter of time before others, knowing your situation, will want to get out of the HOA."
Answer to your first question: No, the covenants do not give the Association power to remove a parcel from the corporation. It was decided on by the Board and their first attorney that any person refusing to sign an agreement to re-enter the Association would be removed. This was during the Preservation in which many titles were missed. After I wrote them a letter stating they missed my title, they came up with 5 more(had 3 before) but still missed 6 to 8 other titles. Not one homeowner was involved in this decision. I don't think when the attorneys from the insurance company took over the case that they really cared what was going on. They just wanted to get it done before it cost too much. This was in our favor for sure.
The homeowners in my community are totally apathetic. As long as they are not involved with the operation of the Board, they are happy. The new budget for 2016 shows that we are totally out of the Association and this was made before the lawsuit was finalized. The Board kept the Assessment the same but dropped the reserves by $800/month(no vote) and decreased services. I find it hard to believe with me gone and the lawyer fees, that they could keep the assessment the same. But they do take money from the reserves to pay operating costs and do not allow homeowners any access to their true financial records. When I was Treasurer, everything was disclosed using a cash basis - they are now using an accrued method that tells the homeowner nothing.
The Board told the homeowners at the improperly run Annual Meeting(didn't have a quorum), the lawsuit was completed and that I was awarded $15,000 in damages. The lawsuit was not completed at that time and I never asked for damages. The total bill that was rewarded to us was $5,000 for attorney fees and costs. What the opposing lawyers charged the insurance company, I have no idea.
The Board right now is strutting around saying that even though they didn't win, they got a trouble maker out of the Association. I am sad that I worked so hard for many years as a Board member to make the Board operate as per the covenants and law. The Board wanted to run it their way and as a social club. They are having it their way and hopefully are successful. I am happy not to be a part of their poorly run, bad behavior, and hateful tactics. I am free.....
GenoS
(Florida)

Posts:2435


02/25/2016 2:24 PM  
Posted By SusanE6 on 02/25/2016 6:44 AM
The homeowners in my community are totally apathetic.

In many ways that's the worst part, isn't it?

My HOA isn't quite as bad as yours sounds but it's getting there. Assessments have been kept artificially low for the past 10 or 15 years and the reserves are taking it on the chin. The worst part is that 40% of our owners are elderly and plan to die in their homes here. Which means they don't care about the reserves. They don't even care all that much about property values in general.

I'll keep fighting the good fight as long as I'm on the board, but my wife and I are getting to the point where we think we've got to move out before the inevitable special assessments get here and really wreak havoc on the community.

I'm very happy you finally got some relief. And vindication. After months of, "Is it just me? Maybe it's just me," angst it has to be a great feeling to realize that you were right all along.
JohnC46
(South Carolina)

Posts:7772


02/25/2016 2:48 PM  
As per the HOA Spring Dance, I would like the BOD to extend a special invitation to....nevermind....
SusanE6
(Florida)

Posts:102


02/25/2016 5:57 PM  
I was waiting for your cynical remark, John ,and right on cue, there you were. I need not worry about social events - I wouldn't share the same space with these people. I have an active life outside the Association and enjoy that immensely. However, if ever you need to share some quality time with sarcastic, rude people - I could introduce you. You might fit in well.........
SusanE6
(Florida)

Posts:102


02/26/2016 4:38 AM  
And thank you, Geno, for the great remark. Sadly, the homeowners in my community are younger but just so apathetic. They just don't care - let someone else do it. The great Board decided if they had food at the annual meeting, it would draw the masses. They took $200 out of reserves for the food and 14 people showed up out of 75. And they continued the Annual meeting without a quorum. And nobody cared. The Treasurer is not transparent with the financial reports and fills numbers in to make the community think she is doing a good job.
The Association was bankrupt when I took over as Treasurer 5 years ago and it will most definitely go that way again. Having a very poor budget plan and spending money on irrelevant items will take its toll.
People forget the Association is a corporation - a business and needs to be run as such. Knowing your covenants and the law are pertinant. However, in Florida with an HOA, there is no enforcement with the state law......
Sometimes the best thing is to move but I invested many years into my home and really love it. It is paid for and in a great area. I am sorry that things turned out the way they did as the Association was doing exceptionally well. Let some people get on the Board and it can change everything - especially if they gain control.
Good luck, Geno, with your Association.......
TomB15
(Florida)

Posts:2


03/06/2016 4:55 AM  
GwenG, Please send me your email, I'm fighting a fake HOA here and want to get your opinion to make sure my CCR's have expired, they are from 1966, but the original has our book and page listed. i'm at [email protected]
GwenG
(Florida)

Posts:592


03/09/2016 7:00 AM  
@TomB15

You now have my opinion and comments on your documents and chain of title.
SusanE6
(Florida)

Posts:102


03/31/2016 1:40 PM  
My suit is completed and for some wonderful reason, I have been given a great gift. I am no longer a member of my Association. My attorney thought that we would be subjected to some partial payments(street or common areas) but the Board wanted me out totally. So, I no longer pay the assessment and I will not be held responsible for any liability this Board may bring upon the community. My lawyer states this is very unusual but it is like a huge retirement gift to me. No more Board meetings, no more expenditures added to my bill, no more worries........ My neighbors are now inquiring - Can I be removed from the HOA also now that you have? Interesting question. Asked my attorney and he said give those people my card and I will find out for them......

Thanks to all of you for your wonderful info and best of luck to all of you that are involved with a Board that wants total controland not work as a business.
GwenG
(Florida)

Posts:592


03/31/2016 3:13 PM  
What a great outcome! And, you got all your legal fees back! Other owners are aware that you won and the board lost, cost them thousands of dollars, lost an assessment paying parcel, set a legal precedent and breached the covenants that they wanted so much. Let the games begin...

(I already have your attorney's card--my day is coming...)
SusanE6
(Florida)

Posts:102


03/31/2016 6:27 PM  
Gwen, I hope your day comes soon. I still have to pinch myself when I realize what has occurred. I don't think even my attorney thought this would happen but it came from the first attorney the Board hired; he preserved improperly and if you didn't sign to get back in - you were out totally. Hopefully, this sets precedence for other homeowners wanting to leave their poorly run associations. My (not mine anymore) Board is running this business like a social club - using volunteers and unlicensed vendors to do jobs about the community. They ran an improper Annual Meeting; have been taking money from the reserves to pay operating costs; take money from the reserves for social events; the list goes on and on. But I don't have to worry about it.....

The Board has a hate campaign going on - lies about the law suit and how we initiated the law suit and cost large amounts of money to the Association. But I don't care - I am free.........

Hopefully, you get great news too........
KevinK7
(Florida)

Posts:1342


03/31/2016 7:05 PM  
I'm sure all these cases will help each other in the long run and will build off each other. When I started my HOA journey 8 years ago I learned a lot but found virtually no information that was geared towards homeowners. Hopefully things will start to change.

It is scary when I read similar things that happen in some of these court cases, like Holiday Pines or Mattisek v Waller and how they are virtually identical to many of our situations but these associations get away with murder despite laws on the books and legal precedent.

VirginiaA1
(Georgia)

Posts:1


06/10/2016 8:25 AM  
I am a member of a voluntary association in Florida. The covenants were created in 1945 and state they are binding until 1975 and will be automatically extended every 10 years. They were reimposed/preserved in 1999. I know the requirements from 2004 on but how do I know if they were correctly revitalized according to 1999 law? My title does reference the restrictions with a book and page number. Did the "automatically extended every 10 years" keep them active until they were reimposed/preserved? (Reimposed/Preserved is the terminology used in the recorded documents.)
DonB11
(Florida)

Posts:4


06/10/2016 8:38 AM  
If the book and page of the deed restriction is on the deed OR found on the Plat Book recorded at the county (the Plat Book book and page is also on your deed), your covenants will never expire. As long as someone can find where the restrictions are found on county records, either on the deed or on the Plat Book, that is sufficient. The MRTA was enacted for cases of property where one could not find restrictions easily because the location of the book and page were not cited on the deed or on the Plat Book.
ConcernedH
(Florida)

Posts:14


08/25/2016 6:41 AM  
Is this correct information? MRTA expires covenants 30 years from recorded date if notice of preservation is not filed prior to the 30 year date. The fact that the book and page references to the covenants only enforces that the covenant recording date is the date to use to determine the expiration date due to MRTA. This is my understanding of what I have read, if opinions differ I am open to learn.
GwenG
(Florida)

Posts:592


08/25/2016 7:56 AM  
That information is not accurate.

Each parcel has its own "birthday"; typically it is the date the Developer recorded the title to the Buyer ALONG WITH the CC&R's referenced by Book/Page. MRTA expires the CCR's 30 years thereafter unless the CCR's are reimposed either by the HOA or a person.

The first recording of the CCR's by the Developer when the plat is approved by the county has no impact on individual parcels (with the exception described below.)

There are several exceptions; the most notable one is where the Developer recorded reference to the CCR's on the Plat which means that it will never be expired by MRTA. There are other exceptions but generally they do not apply to individuals.

MRTA trumps any stated terms of CCR duration of the HOA i.e. even IF the term of the HOA is stated as 40 years, MRTA will expire parcels in accordance with the parcel "birthday" in 30 years unless specifically preserved by HOA-per statute- or reimposed by individual Buyers. Specific means reference by Book/Page.

Insofar as common property, the date on which the Developer turns over the property to the HOA becomes the "birthday" and the MRTA clock starts ticking...

This is not an opinion. This was tested by me against my HOA and I prevailed and received all fees and costs back, per statute.
ConcernedH
(Florida)

Posts:14


08/25/2016 8:35 AM  
Gwen,thank you for the reply.

My title recorded 7/1986 with ccr's referenced by book and page. CCR's recorded 9/1985. Am I to understand that my "birthday 30 years" is 7/2016 and thus the NOP recorded 9/2015 indeed preserves my title and all the lot owners titles recorded after 9/1985?

My issue is our CCRs recorded 9/16/1985 and NOP recorded 9/26/2016. Are ccrs expired for me?

Looking for an attorney near New Smyrna Beach. My Board of Directors is hostile due to questions I asked them about our high legal fees and their denial of my request to see invoices.

thanks in advance
ConcernedH
(Florida)

Posts:14


08/25/2016 8:37 AM  
oops ... NOP recorded 9/25/2015... recorded after the 30 year ccr birthday
GwenG
(Florida)

Posts:592


08/25/2016 9:00 AM  
Concerned H wrote:

My title recorded 7/1986 with ccr's referenced by book and page. CCR's recorded 9/1985. Am I to understand that my "birthday 30 years" is 7/2016 and thus the NOP recorded 9/2015 indeed preserves my title and all the lot owners titles recorded after 9/1985?

oops ... NOP recorded 9/25/2015... recorded after the 30 year ccr birthday

My issue is our CCRs recorded 9/16/1985 and NOP recorded 9/26/2016. Are ccrs expired for me?

@Concerned H: Your CCR's MRTA expiration date was July "something" in 2016 since your title was recorded 7/1986.

You said that the NOP was recorded in 9/25/15 and, if your parcel was index i.e. named as an affected parcel, this would have restarted the MRTA clock ticking and are currently under the CCR's.

If your HOA recorded the NOP in 9/26/16, they have clouded and slandered your title which had already expired two months prior... If you believe your CCR's expired prior to the HOA filing the NOP, I would suggest you examine your chain of title to verify that there were no intervening events reimposing CCR's. If not, and you wish to contact a lawyer, the first thing the lawyer will do it a validating casual search or getting a MRTA-Qualified Title Search. At that point, you might learn why your BOD is so hostile on the subject of legal fees and MRTA.

If you want to PM me, I can give you my Orlando attorney's contact info. There might be one nearer to you in Viera, as well. You need a specialist HOA attorney to get the best outcome.

ConcernedH
(Florida)

Posts:14


08/25/2016 10:15 AM  
Got it! will do.. thank you so very much.
SusanE6
(Florida)

Posts:102


08/25/2016 12:13 PM  
Concerned: Take the attorney Gwen recommended as he travels all over Florida. This fellow is an expert at MRTA and won a case for me. I would not hesitate to call him and explain your situation. It is well worth it..... I won my case and got all my money back.
SusanE6
(Florida)

Posts:102


08/25/2016 12:18 PM  
Concerned; The Board cannot deny you access to records. They have to show you, a member and shareholder of the corporation, any record that they have except for lawyer/client items. Write them a certified letter, demanding what records, invoices you wish to see and they must comply within a certain time period. Please go to Gwen's attorney - he will help you. He sure did help me.....I am now a sovereign home in an association. All because of Board members that are stupider than dirt......
GwenG
(Florida)

Posts:592


08/25/2016 5:19 PM  
Haha SusanE6 "stupider than dirt" indeed!

@Concerned. I have received your PM and attachments.

YOU: Will the CCR's expire if the NOP is not recorded in 30 years? CCR was recorded 9/16/1985 and NOP recorded 9/25/2015.

ME: You stated you purchased your parcel in July 1986 and MRTA expired them in July 2016 (unless an intervening reimposition was recorded, either by a title transfer or by the HOA). You say the HOA recorded a NOP 9/25/2016 which was a few months after MRTA had already expired CCR's on your parcel. HOWEVER, while looking at your attached recorded NOP, it appears that the Board recorded it 9/25/2015 (Fifteen)! Not 2016. Therefore, your CCR's were reimposed on 9/25/2015.

As an aside, your HOA attempted to make the effective date of the NOP 9/3/15, the date of the signing. This does not mean anything. The only thing that is important is the RECORDED DATE of 9/25/2015.

As another aside, the HOA would like to include its amendments when preserving the CCR's. I am not an attorney but my common sense tells me that to do that, they would have had to list the Book/Pages where every amendment is recorded. Amendments are not required to be recorded. In order to provide notice to the public consistent with the notice requirements under MRTA, your HOA would have to direct persons to the existence and location of each amendment. A general reference would be inconsistent and inadequate per FS712 though I do not think this is addressed directly. That determination, ie the validity of the Amendments being preserved by a general reference, would best be made by a competent HOA attorney.

The answer is YES, HOA restrictions will expire if there is no "preservation" or re-encumbrance recorded between July x 1986 and July x 2016 (30 years). In your case, it appears that your CCR's were preserved in a timely manner for your parcel.

Another note: your HOA filed its NOP too late to preserve some parcels. Specifically, any titles acquired after the original CCR date of Sept 15, 1985 and before Sept 25, 1985. During that period, there were 10 days where a number of "early sale" parcels were expired by MRTA before the NOP was recorded. Said another way, if you acquired title after 9/15/85 9:21am and before 9/25/85 11:49am, then those parcels were expired by MRTA prior to recording the NOP on 9/25/15. If there are any such parcels identified and subsequently indexed by the NOP, then the HOA has filed an invalid NOP on the parcel and can be sued for slander of title.
ConcernedH
(Florida)

Posts:14


08/25/2016 5:40 PM  
Thank you Susan.
I did send the certified letter and the newly hired CAM told me that the Board and the attorney would not release the invoices for the legal fees. The CAM did later send a Pdf with the current 2016 legal fees 9k.

I did PM Gwen for the name of her attorney. The MRTA was one issue which was unclear. I only checked into it because another mini HOA in our community use our Board's attorney and ended up doing a revitalization- with a different attorney.

Our HOA spent 11k last year in legal fees,the profit loss was -$1.400, and no money put in the reserves.

A small group has formed and we are putting a flyer togeather to distribute door to door. We emailed the Board and asked for their resignation. The legal fees stem from issues against our Master Association which are groundless. We are paying both lawyers to litagate against each other. lol stupider than dirt.......

SusanE6
(Florida)

Posts:102


08/25/2016 7:06 PM  
concerned: good for you. It is sad that only a handful of homeowners seem concerned with the expenses the Board is using. Even though I am legally out of my Board and Association, my poor neighbor is beside herself in what they are doing. She talks with me often and wants to know what to do. My Board too is recklessly spending money but fudging their P/L and balance statements. So, far the Treasurer has removed over $25,000 this year from the reserves all on her own with no vote.She just changed our bank that we were with for 30 years to her bank for Association fees. She takes money out for social events but tells no one. She is putting a lien against one homeowner but letting another get off. Legal fees are a mystery too - she is blaming them on my husband and me but the insurance company paid for the clouded title and lawsuit. It is very funny how Boards can get away with all of this and not be accountable to anyone......Not even the state with their specific laws can enforce them.......
MRTA is a whole different issue - no one knows MRTA like Gwen and Kevin - what I learned from them got me to where I am today. My Association preserved when they should have revitalized. They still have 9 extinguished titles that they are ignoring. They clouded my title and instead of communicating with my attorney ; directly communicated with me. You need an attorney that knows the law - so many are blind to what MRTA means and how to present it to the Associations.....

You are doing a great job - keep strong......
KevinK7
(Florida)

Posts:1342


08/30/2016 8:03 AM  
While I was reading our documents for a neighbor, I came across a couple things:

720.308 Assessments and charges.—
(1) ASSESSMENTS.—For any community created after October 1, 1995, the governing documents must describe the manner in which expenses are shared and specify the member’s proportional share thereof.


and

720.301 Definitions.—As used in this chapter, the term:
(1) “Assessment” or “amenity fee” means a sum or sums of money payable to the association, to the developer or other owner of common areas, or to recreational facilities and other properties serving the parcels by the owners of one or more parcels as authorized in the governing documents, which if not paid by the owner of a parcel, can result in a lien against the parcel.

(3) “Community” means the real property that is or will be subject to a declaration of covenants which is recorded in the county where the property is located. The term “community” includes all real property, including undeveloped phases, that is or was the subject of a development-of-regional-impact development order, together with any approved modification thereto.

(8) “Governing documents” means:
(a) The recorded declaration of covenants for a community and all duly adopted and recorded amendments, supplements, and recorded exhibits thereto;
(b) The articles of incorporation and bylaws of the homeowners’ association and any duly adopted amendments thereto; and
(c) Rules and regulations adopted under the authority of the recorded declaration, articles of incorporation, or bylaws and duly adopted amendments thereto.


So the association only references monthly assessments in their declaration, per a 2002 amendment that is currently being contested. There is no reference of special assessments except in the by-laws. In both instances, expenses and proportional shares are not described. Since the restrictions expired, the revitalized document purports to establish a new community by subjecting a certain set of properties to new restrictions. Those restrictions do not describe a thing.

Also, there is this:

(4) “Declaration of covenants,” or “declaration,” means a recorded written instrument or instruments in the nature of covenants running with the land which subject the land comprising the community to the jurisdiction and control of an association or associations in which the owners of the parcels, or their association representatives, must be members.

Their revitalized document does not force all owners to be member. So their revitalized document is not even a "declaration of covenants" by definition, among other things.

Still waiting for any updates. Wish the legal process operated a little quicker...

SusanE6
(Florida)

Posts:102


08/30/2016 9:59 AM  
Very interesting, Kevin. I am going to see an attorney about my removal from the association - the judgement states we are not entitled to any benefits, amenities or services. We do not have to pay an assessment unless we sign a contract drawn up by their attorney. As per 720, a homeowner is a member if they own a parcel of land in the Association. We still own the property. I need clarification as to what amenities, benefits, and services mean. It was not spelled out in the final judgement. I am composing a letter to the state about what the Association is doing with the assessments - don't think it will help but leaving a paper trail.
GwenG
(Florida)

Posts:592


09/01/2016 9:31 AM  
@Kevin: your community historical document handling is tortuous and incomprehensible. It reminds me of a bad Keystone Kops episode. I cannot see how a current document succeeding the one that you originally signed -unless that original subjects you to ALL future amendments (duly adopted)- could result in a new "declaration" requiring payment of mandatory fees by whatever name. If you are not mandatory from the beginning, FS720 simply does not apply to you--ever--unless you agreed in the original contract to be subjected to future restrictions (ala Kaufmann language). It seems so simple and I am not sure how it got to this point of being contestable.

@ConcernedH: Your PM comments prompts me to remind readers about the definition of "root of title". The root of title is described by an attorney in simple terms for an general discussion of MRTA: The 30-year period commences upon the “root of title”, which (without being too technical) is basically the first deed to each lot that is transferred after the Covenants are recorded.

This means that the attorney was wrong when they asserted that the "root of title" began when the declaration was recorded. It begins with the first deed passed AFTER the declaration is recorded. In most cases, that is the date that a person acquired a deed from the Developer--which is why each parcel has an individual MRTA birthdate and MRTA expiration date.

In the case of common property parcels, the Developer transfers these parcels at turnover to the Association and that turnover recording date begins the MRTA clock ticking.

As long as one single parcel is expired by MRTA, the HOA can begin a revitalization process with the state of Florida. Upon approval by Florida's DEO, ALL the parcels--even if not extinguished by MRTA-are subject to the revitalized documents if they were "indexed" ie "named specifically" in the application for revitalization application.

It is possible for an HOA to omit indexing/naming parcels but that is a shortsighted idea and would require a detailed monitoring of the unnamed parcels. In my case, I informed my HOA that I would sue them if they indexed my parcel in hopes that they would not encumber it, but they chose to do so. Accordingly, my attorney is now preparing my lawsuit--a lawsuit which could have been avoided by not indexing my parcel.

(By the way, to those that presume this is about assessments--it is not. This is a civil, property rights and risk management issue.)
KevinK7
(Florida)

Posts:1342


09/01/2016 12:36 PM  
It got to the point of being contested because of a couple reasons. I think mainly the residents misunderstood the operations and amendments. The mandatory amendment did not affect probably 75% of the homeowners so to them it made no difference in what it did. The board also made various edits to the by-laws and covenants changing the amendment process and such so it required less approval.

Over time people just figured that was how things should be. I used to pay until the harassment got to the point that I had an attorney get involved. That is when I discovered the issues surrounding MRTA. When I saw the bigger picture regarding the liability risk I was facing I ceased being a member.

One of the common comments I get is why do I care what the "HOA" does if I am not a member. The reason I care is because they don't seem to understand their limitations.

For instance, I got a chance to review their most recent board minutes. In it they discussed collecting from people who are over $3000 in assessments due. The only way someone could be that in debt to the club is if the association is still counting the years in which the restrictions expired. That would be an invalid debt. While they had revitalized, for them to count those years I'd kind of strange.

What I also thought weird was that they discussed settling with those homeowners. This is interesting because they have openly admitted they have no authority to lien. I wonder how they are approaching collection.
LizH4
(Florida)

Posts:2


02/15/2017 9:55 AM  
I am in the middle of fighting revitalization by an HOA that is not a "real" HOA, nor did it EVER have any authority over my property (as far as I can tell from documents I have found).
Gwen and Susan (and others who have a good one) - could you send me the name of your lawyer?
GwenG
(Florida)

Posts:592


02/15/2017 11:41 AM  
@LizH4

My attorney's name is mentioned elsewhere on the forum, but to keep things easy, feel free to email me at [email protected] and I will give you contact info.

I don't know of any way to contact you through this forum unless you post your email address.
SusanE6
(Florida)

Posts:102


02/15/2017 12:19 PM  
Liz, I have the same attorney that Gwen did. If you need to contact me - [email protected] Be glad to help you if I can.
LizH4
(Florida)

Posts:2


02/15/2017 12:30 PM  
Thanks Gwen - we are using the same attorney - and he's been great! Good to read of the success stories!
GwenG
(Florida)

Posts:592


12/22/2017 2:45 PM  
lizH would love to hear more about your issue tho it sounds like you need to start a new thread...!

To wind up the history on this lengthy thread, the Plaintiff who challenged the administrative appeal on the revitalization did not prevail. The Administrative Judge decided that the Administrative agency did not make a mistake and the revitalization was upheld. per curiam. No comment by the appeal court.

It is estimated that the Defendant HOA spent close to a half million dollars of owner assessments on legal fees in 5 years to accomplish revitalizing 1972 covenants written for a campground. The HOA still does not have a contemporary or relevant set of covenants for the housing community that evolved from its rustic campground beginnings.

The lawyers are happy, though!
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