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Subject: Management Company & Transfer Fee Compensation
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Author Messages
JoanneD1
(Arizona)

Posts:447


01/09/2009 3:15 PM  
I am sharing these communications with you to show the sincerity and the sensitivy with which we have tried to approach this BOD. There are no allegations or accusations. I would love to show you the big work sheet. The management company can't even get his own numbers to match! What is anyone suppose to think?

Attachment: 119154488071.htm
Attachment: 119154488054.htm

JoanneD1
(Arizona)

Posts:447


01/09/2009 3:45 PM  
In all fairness to the BOD and president, I needed to send you some of her responses and let you judge the response for yourselves.

Attachment: 11945512071.doc
Attachment: 11945515154.doc

JoanneD1
(Arizona)

Posts:447


01/09/2009 4:03 PM  
To My Personal Support Group......Joanne here and wanting to share just one other example of our request for a casual meeting with the BOD. Nothing mandated as the president states. Sorry to be so anal about all of this. Sincerely, Joanne

Attachment: 11932642271.htm

GlenL
(Ohio)

Posts:5491


01/09/2009 4:17 PM  
Joanne after reading the documents you posted IMHO you and your group are overreacting to this matter. It would be one thing if this were some drawn out process but from the dates on the correspondence it has been a very short time. Nothing in life ever works as fast as we want it to, especially a bureaucracy be it public or private. While I understand this is a matter of great urgency to your group that does not make it an emergency. It is normal as an H/O to expect everyone to stop and address your concerns because hey you pay their (MC's) salaries with your fees and the BOD is supposed to drop everything to deal with your priorities but that is simply not realistic. Nor is your insistence on an emergency meeting with the whole Board so you can explain something that is self explanatory. In the words of my generation: "Take a chill pill." Give them a little time to investigate matters before you go nuclear on their butts.

Studies show that 5 out of 4 people have problems with fractions
RobertR1
(South Carolina)

Posts:5164


01/09/2009 4:26 PM  
Joanne,
Your attachments probably should not have be posted her without dele all names and places.

I suggest you stay away from this. The sponsors of this site have to be careful what is posted here. Maybe they won't find fault, i don't know.

In any event I can't see where your Board is responsive to the members. Some will say the Board has this prerogative and that works fine until things fall apart and answers have to be given and actions have to be taken.

I personally. was much impressed with "Len" and his ability to stay on focus and drive home his concerns and being very professional about it all.

Your story has not been told completely yet, but if we would or could bet on the outcome here, I would bet somehow, someway, you all will settle this. I am not in anyway suggesting you all compromise your values, just stick to what you are doing, and don't get impatient, what is going to be left after all the dust settles is a better community for all. Which, incidentally was and is your purpose.
RobertR1
(South Carolina)

Posts:5164


01/09/2009 4:50 PM  
Glen,
I disagree. Just to remind you that H/O are also members of the Board. In none of this have I heard a Board response, but I could be mistaken.

Joanne is obviously very passionate about her concerns, there is absolutly no law against that, and there is no fault to believe the H/O on the Board should respond to their concerns. We moan and groan about apathy in the associations and when a obviously well prepared presentation is submitted to the Board, this Board ignores it, or more correctly this president does. The written concerns of "Len" to the Board clearly demonstrate questions have to be answered.

If any Board member is reading this, would you have concern enough to contact this group, if you know it was happening in your association. I already know how Glen would vote. So be it. I am just asking if this is what you knew, not a bunch of preconditions and obtaining further information, just what has happened in the last three weeks, would you have made contact with this group?

MaryA1


Posts:0


01/09/2009 6:19 PM  
Joanne,

I tend to agree with Glen in that this situation has not gone on for a very long time. It takes time to go over resale info going back several years. Also, board meetings cannot be held without prior notice to all members of the assn. AZ state statutes are very clear on this: 48 hours notice must be given to all members for any meeting of the BOD; at least a 10 day notice must be mailed to all members for any meeting of the members (annual or special meeting).

IMO, it's apparent that Len is not familiar with the state laws governing HOAs or he would not be demanding somewhat "instant" meetings and suggesting executive sessions. An executive session cannot be held to discuss this issue; that would be against the HOA open meeting law. In his email of 1/7 he stated a special meeting of the members would be held on 1/17. It's very apparent that he does not understand the procedure that must take place to hold a special meeting of the members. IAW state law, a special meeting of the members may be called by "the Pres, a majority of the board members or by members having at least 25%, or any lower % specified in the bylaws, of the votes in the associaiton." (Ref ARS 33-1248) In a nutshell, if the proper % of member request a special meeting the board must comply. The meeting is arranged and conducted by the board NOT the members. The notice for a special meeting must state the exact issue(s) that will be discussed. Therefore, when the members petition the board for a special meeting they must state the reason.

In your documentation report you stated the fact that your group has not seen the financial statements. I was under the impression you had this info. Now, I'm wondering how you can come to any viable conclusions w/o this info. In fact, I don't think any of the info you have "uncovered" should have been given out at all -- even to the board members -- w/o first being verified by a thorough review of the financials. I also don't understand why you don't want Mr. Heywood to attend the board meeting or special members meeting. It seems to me his presence would be required in order to get an explanation of these transactions. After all, it's his company that prepares the financials.

As a past board member, I can honestly tell you that when members complain it's a normal reaction to become somewhat defensive. Especially if the complaints are untrue and unfounded. Now, I'm not saying this is the case here. Just playing devil's advocate so you can understand where the Pres may be coming from. I'm sure she and the other board members don't believe anything fraudulent has occured. The documentation you've provided and the claims of inconsistency you've made may or may not be accurate. I would suggest changing your tactics somewhat. Instead of demanding a meeting why not just ask for copies of the financial statements and wait for the report from Mr. Heywood. After looking over the financials and reviewing his report then ask for a meeting to discuss everything -- either at a board meeting or a special meeting of the members. Frankly, I would not make any further accusations.

Joanne, I hope I haven't come across as not believing you or being too harsh. Just trying to be objective! Also, it's much easier for an outsider to see things that those close to the situation don't see.
JoanneD1
(Arizona)

Posts:447


01/09/2009 7:31 PM  
I take no offense at ANYTHING that has been said over these last couple of weeks. If I didn't want honest responses, I wouldn't be writing. We petitioned for the "special meeting" within the 10 days and I guess we may have been mistaken that we could sit down over a cup of coffee with the BOD and discuss this. Our date is so complex, that the back up spead sheet needs an explanation. We have settlement statements for almost every sale in the last 4 years. As noted on the small table I sent, we can back up every total. Our concern is compounded by the fact that the board treasurer lives out of state 8 months and we have NO idea of who is controlling the check book. Without being able to obtain answers from a mute board coupled with the incongruant numbers reported by the MC audit, we became more concerned about the general fund as well as the Reserve Account. I do not believe there has been an audit in many years...or even a review. On the table that I provided, the only thing we know for certain is what we were due. Take your choice of any of the minus numbers to guess what we are reporting as shortages. THE ONLY WAY TO DETERMINE WHAT IS REAL, is to have an accounting and we are not able to get to first base to present our information. We have done the Yomans work in gathering the data and are having difficulty finding a receptive audience to report it to. Urgency, yes, the upcoming election....and the polling of our owners who will attend the special meeting to see both sides of the coin. I think what happened is that the board thought we were wanting to make a BIG deal from the get go and that was NEVER the intent. I think with all that is going on in the news, Madoff etc, we are apprehensive and rightfully so. Just look at the minus signs. Sincerely, Joanne I will keep you posted. Sincerely, Joanne I am still trying to figure out why the MC audit numbers do not coincide with the actual financials from the corresponding year. How can that be?
JoanneD1
(Arizona)

Posts:447


01/09/2009 7:36 PM  
Mary, Having just read your email one more time, the HRMC is the audit the board requested him to do in December. The financials that are listed are those that HRMC put forth as actuals. The only thing we have not seen is the bank accounts and that is what is needed. Joanne I served on a board too, but we never had anything like this too deal with. Len is a past president. We had some run ins BUT nothing like this.
RobertR1
(South Carolina)

Posts:5164


01/09/2009 10:15 PM  
Joanna,
I would not end up here trying to defend your actions and rights to members posting here. That is not your fight and hopefully what you do learn is that there is an entirely different mentality on the other side of the aisle. As I am sure you realize Mary and Glen have analysed this problem much different than I. We come from different sides of the track, metaphorically we have great similarities, and we exist together. We give opinions that are just that. It matters not who is right or wrong, because we are not going to be judged and that judgement rendered upon our head.

We all seem to agree that patience will help and rationality must be maintained. Let this thing work it's way through the morass and stay willing to sit down at any time and talk with the Board. But never, ever compromise your values, misguided as some may believe them to be. One word comes to mind. "Spunk". Fits you all.
It is your organization, if attempting to find your base line brings out differences, so be it.

GlenL
(Ohio)

Posts:5491


01/10/2009 12:01 AM  
Posted By RobertR1 on 01/09/2009 4:50 PM

If any Board member is reading this, would you have concern enough to contact this group, if you know it was happening in your association. I already know how Glen would vote. So be it. I am just asking if this is what you knew, not a bunch of preconditions and obtaining further information, just what has happened in the last three weeks, would you have made contact with this group?




Really Robert you KNOW how I would vote; I didn't realize you were psychic. I never stated that I thought one party was right and the other wrong, simply that the OP's passionate insistence that it must be done at once, right now, ASAP, STAT etc. was unrealistic. Nor did I say she should drop the matter but simply that she should be reasonable. Mary quoted the AZ statutes on filing for information and where to protest if said info was not forth coming, I feel the OP and her group has every right to this info.

But keep in mind that most of this post has covered the Chanukah & Christmas holidays and New Years. In addition, many Associations use Dec 31 as the close of their fiscal year and I would imagine that the MC has their hands full, assuming the OP's Association is not their only client. Now from one of her posts Joanne thinks that the MC should be able to press a button and have everything she wants at their fingertips, this may or may not be true; they may have to dig through the files to find the info she wants. I simply counseled she have a little patience.

Studies show that 5 out of 4 people have problems with fractions
JoanneD1
(Arizona)

Posts:447


01/10/2009 6:55 AM  
Top Of The Morning....I get it! Patience and I am content to do exactly that. Never having been exposed to anything like this, I have another dumb question. If our gang goes to the regularly scheduled board meeting and presents it's data with the PM there taking the minutes, would it be appropriate for the board to allow the PM to see our audit? This will happen if we hand over the spreadsheet or even the small table that I showed you. I have told you that the MC presented it's audit and the results are on the table I shared. Is there a chance that the BOD would share the data and ask the MC why his audit doesn't match the amount we have shown to be due us? Was he not given the opportunity to present his information? I fear that the BOD will continue what seems like protecting the MC instead of just investigating him with an outside audit. One cannot deny that the data provided by the settlement statements to be truthful. We were not told the source of the data on the audit by the MC.....did he reference the bank accounts? How bad do the numbers have to be before they do an accounting of the books? Without a face to face meeting with us, they really have no clue. I don't want to be like the show on TV...jeopardy.....her's the answers MC, now you give us the right question. The MC got it's shot at it. How can he "audit" himself and then be allowed to go back and make corrections? I want reassurances from the BOD that this will not be the path they choose. Secondly, if what we have discovered is found to be the truth, what may have occurred is against the lawI think. Please note that the MC audit showed 9 less sales than actually occurred and the PM has deposited money to us because he was directly taking money out of our funds at closing. Our HOA has lost thousands of dollars unecessarily because of the outrageous delay in puting an owner into foreclosure. Soory to repeat myself, but the owner had moved off the property and was delinquent for over 14 months before they did something. Slow to respond would be an overstatement. Dues alone on that is $-5810. Sincerely Joanne
MaryA1


Posts:0


01/10/2009 7:16 AM  
Joanne,

Please correct me if I'm wrong, but you have never seen the actual financial statements, right? IMO, w/o this info you really have no proof that the HOA has not received all the monies due them. Also, IMO, a face-to-face with the board -- and the PM -- is necessary to iron out all the differences. The PM should be present so he can present his side of the story -- only he can tell you where his figures came from.

The fact that the PM has already stated there was an error and he is willing to give back some $$$ to the assn should be a wake-up call to the board. While it's true anyone can make a mistake, this is a mistake that should have been caught by Heywood Realty. What kind of an accounting dept do they have? I'm sure Mr. Heywood doesn't prepare the financials; their accounting dept does.

Bottom line: This is a classic example of a board allowing the PM too much control. The board should be aware of all closings and know how much $$$ is expected to be received. They should be thoroughly looking at the financials to make certain everything due the assn is coming in. Even if the treas. is offsite a good portion of the year, aren't there other board members around -- the Pres??? Someone should be looking at the financials and asking questions. IMO, this is a clear cut example of a board that just takes the word of the PM; let's him do the work and never questions anything. Not a good situation. . .and one that's been going on for 15 years!!!! Amazing. . .

DonnaS
(Tennessee)

Posts:5671


01/10/2009 7:29 AM  

Mary,
I have been following this thread since #1 post and I have to say that you finally hit the nail on the head. The Board has not been on top of this and has allowed the P.M to not be open at all times. This never should have gotten past the first sale. This is Board responsibility to know the figures from the onset. The P.M has admitted an error now get the Board to sit and work this out with him. Good post Mary. (Glen too)
JoanneD1
(Arizona)

Posts:447


01/10/2009 7:31 AM  
Good Morning Mary and thanks again for taking the time to read and understand our position. Red flags up and now they are waving big time. Without being able to have any type of face to face with the BOD, we have not been able to ask any of the questions you have asked me. All I can say is that there are settlement statements that we have which clearly show the the MC was cut the check(NOT US) and some of those transactions were not included on the MC audit. Our question simply is did the MC ever reimburse us? We requested financial statements for the years we are talking about. The transfer fee section of the financial statement is all lumped into one sum. I show those sums on the table. There is no individual breakdown so it is impossible to tell. We have EACH and Every transaction's settlement statement so we know that we are correct in what we are reporting and we want to know if the money every got transferred into the CE account. It is that simple and it would be easier to get an audience with the Pope than this BOD. Thanks! Makes one wonder what the MC does with his other clients huh? Have a great Saturday. Joanne Mary, if it wasn't for you giving me the request for records statute, I would still not have received an answer on if the board was aware of the policy that never existed and that was the one where the MC said he was allowed to take the money! That is how we got $2105 out of the MC. We are afraid that the board accepted that as restitution and everything is hunky dory now!
JoanneD1
(Arizona)

Posts:447


01/10/2009 7:52 AM  
Donna, Good Morning. This has been our position all along, but we are more concerned to get the financial health of our HOA cured and back on track as opposed to giving the BOD a "Public Spanking" or the MC. There is so much work to do on this as far as the future goes....It would be my recommendation that ALL monies pertaining to HOA's be paid to the HOA at closing and the MC invoice the HOA for services performed. We have ABSOLUTELY NO PAPERTRAIL on any of this EXCEPT for what we dug up on the settlement statements. Do you think the BOD should welcome this information with open arms? See if you can follow this for a minute......The MC does his audit....the BOD looks at the books and everything matches.......WRONG......we now present the ENTIRE picture with all the transactions. Where are the entries for the missing transactions we are reporting? This is what is making us crazy. Had we not gotten involved, they would NEVER know. We are not doing this to be heros or anything like that. One of our gang does a ton of business here and has put business on the line knowing full well that if we are wrong, she could really suffer. She is doing it only because it is the right thing to do. As I mentioned, we have a contract with the MC that dates back to 1994 that automatically renews and the schedule attached to that says the MC fees for transfers are $100. I was given no paperwork that states otherwise. The MC is charging now $195 for disclosure fees and an additional $195 for transfer fees and he was taking those directly out of the HOA monies. Those fees are outrageous and get this....back in 2005 and 2006 he was charging double fees and at that time our HOA transfer fee was one months dues...390. He was making the same we were! It just kept getting more bizarre as we got deeper into the discovery process. Have a great day! Joanne
JoanneD1
(Arizona)

Posts:447


01/10/2009 8:10 AM  
Mary, This past summer season, we had one board member here. Two of the summer meetings didn't happen at all and when we had a meeting, the PM and one board member were conducting the meeting by using a cell phone that was passed from person to person. It was unbelievable and laughable all at the same time. Calls were dropped, no one could hear and this is a community that has inflows of almost $400k a year from dues. This all has added to GREAT frustration on the part of the owners who attend those meetings. Everyone had to gather around a table and pass the phone. One they used a speaker phone and that was worse than using the cell phone. Joanne
MaryA1


Posts:0


01/10/2009 8:11 AM  
Joanne,

You state the PM was charging a total of $390 for disclosure and transfer fees and the HOA was also charging $390. I certainly hope the buyer/seller was not being charged $780! I have a real problem with these transfer fees, disclosure fees and buy-in/capital improvement fees. If your docs say a transfer fee of 1 mo's assessment shall be charged. And the PM's contract calls for fees totaling a certain amount; that does not mean the buyer/seller must be charged both amounts. What it means is that the assn must pay the PM whatever the contract calls for. If it equals what the docs say they should charge, then it's a wash. If the contract amount is more, the HOA pays the difference to the prop mgmt co; if the contract amount is less then the HOA has a small "profit". Unassuming buyer's/seller's get raked over the coals on this. But, of course this is a totally different topic!
JoanneD1
(Arizona)

Posts:447


01/10/2009 8:22 AM  
Mary, You understand me Perfectly!!! 390 to the HOA and TWO additional fees totalling that same about. We learned that when the HOA transfer fee was $350, he was doing 175 Dis. and 175 Trans. The monthly went to $380 and he charged 190 and 190. Then we did the large fee and he gave himself another increase to $195 and $195 and in most cases the $195 was coming out of our fee. Now you are really beginning to get it! Our gang would like to lower the HOA transfer fee too ....it was never what we wanted and that is another story. If I am understanding all of this correctly, the MC could be charging the seller just about anything he damn well pleases. And on top of it, he has language on the"sales/transfer"agreement that he has drawn up that if the deal fails to close and he has supplied the disclosures, he collects the 195 disclosure fee. Some of the fees he has collected are as high as 570 and then we got paid the transfer fee. It is out of control. The whole world is out of control. Joanne
MaryA1


Posts:0


01/10/2009 8:31 AM  
Joanne,

He should not be charging anything more than what is stated in his contract with your HOA! THis is why I think legislation needs to be written to address this very critical problem. And, I do agree with you, the HOA should collect all the fees and disburse to the PM what is called for in their contract. That, IMO, is a much cleaner method of handling these transactions.
RobertR1
(South Carolina)

Posts:5164


01/10/2009 10:33 AM  
Joanne,
Houston, this is Space Ship 85, we got a problem. I paste your:

Our HOA has lost thousands of dollars unnecessarily because of the outrageous delay in putting an owner into foreclosure. Sorry to repeat myself, but the owner had moved off the property and was delinquent for over 14 months before they did something. Slow to respond would be an overstatement. Dues alone on that is $-5810. Sincerely Joanne

************************************

Generally and I think there is a consensus with the regulars here, the association (BOD) is not in the Real Estate business and forcing foreclosures is counterproductive. Sad to say, the delay from the time a Regime files a lien, until some process other than any association involvement triggers a foreclosure and then the time for the Courts to order the foreclosure sale (in SC, the Job of the Master in Equity for the county), tack on the time for date of sale ordered, and given there is a completed sale, the association eats this money. There are some legal maneuvers that may be done to try and file another claim against the delinquent homeowner, but not much to collect if he is in foreclosure. Since the association has a lien against the property, they may be awarded some money if there is any left after paying off, primarily, the mortgage holder.

The BOD/MC effort to collect any assessments owed up to foreclosure can be scrutinized, by that action is more of a collection agency type process for bad debts.
JoanneD1
(Arizona)

Posts:447


01/10/2009 3:22 PM  
Hello Everyone....updating the latest..while walking in my community today, I ran into one of the signers of the petition to hold our special meeting. He and the BOD president's husband are members in another club. The signer has been reprimanded by the spouse for putting his signature on the petition. I guess you just have to consider the source and go on. Since I was the one who got the signatures, and being 5'2", I assure you I asserted no strong arm tactics upon any of the 18 signers and MOST REPSECTFULLY acknowledged those who chose nbot to sign, but stated they would attend the meeting. And on and on it goes. Joanne
JoanneD1
(Arizona)

Posts:447


01/14/2009 5:38 AM  
Good Morning! Had a meeting with my group yesterday and the purpose was to plan the agenda for the special meeting that we had called since we had no response from the BOD on what we consider to be a serious matter. At the last minute, I contacted an owner who is an attorney and someone who I thought was a neutral party in all of this. Well, he sat down and criticized the manner in which we were handling this and said he could tell that we were headed to get an attorney. (NOT TRUE) He reported that opposition in the community was based on the the impression that we were on some kind of "witch hunt". I have never kept my feelings known about the poor work performance of the PM because of past issues, but this was something more than being sloppy. It took 5 of us defending and countering every suggesting he made as to how we should have proceeded. He read email requests and pleadings from our group to the BOD. Finally after one hour, we asked him to call the BOD and request that any one of them meet fact to face with any one of us. He did so and had a response within minutes! The president said there woucl be a meeting if we agreed to the following terms:
1. 3 of us and 3 of them (no problem)
2. They would make no comments on what we were presenting (Whatever that means?)
3. We would have to agree to CANCEL the special meeting scheduled for Saturday.
We took the deal because IT GIVES THEM ABSOLUTELY NO REASON TO DEMONIZE US AND THE EFFORT TO GET THEM INFORMATION.
We feel so compelled by the factual numbers that we will be presenting to them, they we can't imagine that their action will be swift and comprehensive. I a notice to the owners of the cancelled meeting, we are including that the BOD had agreed to the previously denied meeting and we will have encouraged the BOD to update the community ASAP with their findings. I will do a follow up later today and report the results of this afternoon's meeting. Thanks for your time.
RobertR1
(South Carolina)

Posts:5164


01/14/2009 6:01 AM  
Joanne, Having been through this a couple of times I am not surprised at the reaction presented by the lawyer. I do give him full credit for sitting down and discussing this with you all. I also hope you have gained some support from him and he may be able to calm the waters a little.

As I said I been down this road twice and the reaction of the Boards have been nearly mirror images of what you are finding. I have also given considerable thought to if this happens the same way twice to me, maybe the approach is wrong. I am not convinced of that but have tried to get some response of what we could have done differently and it does not seem to be on the nayesayers radar except to say you are just creating trouble.

Has the lawyers passed any comment about your power point stuff?

I am also happy for you all that a crack has appeared in the shell and no doubt you all will represent your cause in a professional manner and you really all can sit down and work this out.

JoanneD1
(Arizona)

Posts:447


01/14/2009 6:14 AM  
Thanks for the response Robert. I had met with this lawyer/neighbor and showed him an early spread sheet when the dollars involved were only 10K. He said to get back to the board and ask them to tell you a time when they expected a response from the MC on an audit they requested. We included this owner in our email loop and he didn't like the answer the BOD came back with so he himself sent his own email to the BOD and urged them to respond to the issues and that it was not for the community to allow the matter to "fester". The BOD was mute to him also. I had a packet of information for everyone at our gathering and he never even looked at the spread sheet which now measure 11x17 and the format is really easy,,everything is color coded. So go figure....there is some sort of wierd "shoot the messenger" mindset here and we are formidable and this is NOT going away. At least we won't be forced to publically embarassing anyone by cancelling the meeting. We also have come to learn that it was not only this BOD that showed no oversight, by the same method of tracking, we have found the MC to be charging double fees back to 2001. Boards way too trusting so there are problems on both sides and LOTS of work to do going forward. Thanks Robert
JoanneD1
(Arizona)

Posts:447


01/14/2009 12:23 PM  
World's Best Support Group: Does the PM have to include any homes in foreclsoure when he is sending out the condo docs and all the other information? Would this not be something that would impact the financial health of an HOA? Joanne
MaryA1


Posts:0


01/14/2009 2:49 PM  
Joanne,

ARS 33-1260 outlines all the disclosure info required to be provided a potential buyer. Foreclosure info is not stated. BTW, even though the statute requires the h/o to provide the docs if the assn has fewer than 50 units, most assn provide the docs no matter the size. Most h/o's are not aware of this state law and it's important to provide this info to the potential buyer.
JoanneD1
(Arizona)

Posts:447


01/14/2009 6:31 PM  
Hi! I spoke with an attorney who specializes in HOA and he says the statutues don't specifically state that you must disclose a foreclosure....only if the Unit being purchased is in question.

The meeting.....OMG what a disappointment. The BOD had invited a mediator to attend. One of the BOD excused himself so there would be no quorum and the president would not say a word. The treasurer was present having been off the property since last April. Our spokesman started out explaining how we arrived at the figures we presented on the 11X17 spread sheet...things like who makes out the demand statement and etc. Before he could finish, the treasurer was saying he knew all of that because he was a developer and on and on and on. The mediator moved us onward and Len was trying to explain the smaller table and how to interpret it and the president looked at her watch and said she didn't have much time so could we get on with it. The bottom line is that we got our factual information into their hands and now the burden of proof of where the money is in where it belonged in the first place with the BOD! I might add that since it was made very clear that I have become the community antagonist and my associates are quilty by association, I asked a question that has been haunting me. I looked at the treasuer and asked, "Have you as the treasurer ever seen a bank statement of the checking account or a statement of the reserve account and he replied, "Never." There isn't much more to say. I asked when they might expect to have some information for us and they said they didn't know, but they knew we would be asking. The treasurer who claimed to be so successful in developing HOA's and blah blah blah interrputed Len's presentation wanted to know who did the math to figure out the amount of the transfer fee and could that be where the mistakes are? I have never been a part of anything so ridiculous in my life. We again were demonized for tearing apart the community and I got a pathetic email from an owner who said she doesn't know who to wave to! The poor thing....that should be her biggest problem in life. Well, I have been on the board, I know how it goes, but this is truly off the charts. Sincerely, Joanne
RobertR1
(South Carolina)

Posts:5164


01/14/2009 8:44 PM  
Joanne,
I, as normal, wrote a wordy response extolling your efforts and asking you all don't feel disappointed about thisi. Then I went back and read a lot of the posts on this thread. It's been a roller coaster ride, hasn't it, and you haven't stopped the trip. I will wait for the next shoe to drop or the next down swing or up swing. I ask that you all go back and read your posts and see if you could have changed anything that would have changed what happened recently. I hope you don't say, I should have done this or that.
The score doesn't matter, it's how you play the game.
JoanneD1
(Arizona)

Posts:447


01/15/2009 12:24 AM  
Robert, All bells are rung and there is no undoing anything. Looking forward, I think there are several things we can do....be patient and let the board take whatever time they want is what the owners will say. We could exercise our rights as owners and with the quoting of the "request for records" statutues ask to see the acutal Bank records. By cancelling the "special meeting" as part of the conditions that the BOD set forth to even get them to sit down with us, we now have proably weakened the strength of that mechanism to aid in communicating any concerns of future issues. The body language of both board members spoke volumes. The treasurer said that the data presented was very complete, but it was the "style" that no one liked. Well, isn't that too bad? We were accusatory to the PM.....all roads lead to the PM. He controls the money. I may call the attorney general's office today and see what kind of light they can throw our way. When I asked the president why the audit of the MC did not report 9 real estate transfers, her response was, "It was not an audit." I asked well then what was it and she said an accounting. I don't know how you deal with this kind of mentallity. They have admitted to shooting the messenger and that is no excuse for their behavior regarding our concerns of potential financial shortages, inadvertant or otherwise. Sincerely, Joanne
MaryA1


Posts:0


01/15/2009 6:29 AM  
Joanne,

From the remarks of the treas. it's obvious the board is not doing their jobs. They are letting the PM run the show with no oversight. Now that you and you group have uncovered some possible accounting errors (and possible theft of assn funds) they are stalling in an effort to cover up their incompetence. Either that or they just can't see the forest for the trees. It will be very interesting to see how this all plays out!

BTW, what's with the mediator? Did you know and agree to a mediator being present? Who's paying for this service? Will the decision be binding?

Also, what's the status of you receiving the requested financial statements? By law they have 10 business days to fulfill your request. Hopefully the request was made in writing. Ref ARS 33-1258
JoanneD1
(Arizona)

Posts:447


01/15/2009 7:05 AM  
Mary, There was NEVER a mention of a mediator and this mediator was someone of the BOD choosing who happens to lean toward the BOD! Is this not just the most bizzare story you have ever heard? Binding decision? They would not even tell us when we would get an answer. I typed up some minutes and I will try to block out the names an attach it. It will speak volumns as to the entire meeting.
Sincerely, Joanne

Attachment: 111551939971.doc

RobertR1
(South Carolina)

Posts:5164


01/15/2009 8:39 AM  
Joanne,
Talk this over with your group. What you have attached here can be very powerful if handled with a cool hand.

Was there any mention of you taken minutes or anyone taking minutes. I expect not. Did anyone say taking notes are restricted, I doubt that also. Give Len your notes, ask him to take the opinions out of the Meeting notes. (open to start, that's all.) If any of your group wants to edit and input, make the offer on a cover sheet, and get them to sign off that they agree to the contents. Compile all this, and send the President and Management Company a certified letter stating your notes have been approved by your group as representing what was said at the meeting and you are asking the Board comment on the compilation as enclosed. Do this as quick as possible as there may be some time limit on when this kind of stuff can be considered.

See how they reply.

Keep all copies of everything you do in this regard in a separate folder. That includes your original notes.

If the thought has occurred to you that the Board has someone monitoring this site........who cares! IMHO But just to be sure, understand clearly that anything you or anyone else reads here, are opinions, nothing more.
JoanneD1
(Arizona)

Posts:447


01/15/2009 9:12 AM  
Good Morning Robert and thank you for the response. I will do just as you have proposed. There was no mention that anyone would be taking notes, but felt I should document from memory what I could. I certainly will have someone edit the information and do as suggested. You do realize that now the BOD is a totally shoot the messenger mode and putting all the pieces of the puzzle together, I realize that they may be getting some very strange advise from the Attorney who lives here an whom we had invited to attend out own meeting. I can't recall if I had mentioned this, but when he came to my home he began saying that we were headed to get an attorney and we were all FLABBERGASTED! That NEVER has been our intent. He pointed to the stack of settlement statements and made some reference to what all that stuff was for. I am not giving up but I am near questioning my own sanity. Sincerely, Joanne
JoanneD1
(Arizona)

Posts:447


01/15/2009 9:12 AM  
Good Morning Robert and thank you for the response. I will do just as you have proposed. There was no mention that anyone would be taking notes, but felt I should document from memory what I could. I certainly will have someone edit the information and do as suggested. You do realize that now the BOD is a totally shoot the messenger mode and putting all the pieces of the puzzle together, I realize that they may be getting some very strange advise from the Attorney who lives here an whom we had invited to attend out own meeting. I can't recall if I had mentioned this, but when he came to my home he began saying that we were headed to get an attorney and we were all FLABBERGASTED! That NEVER has been our intent. He pointed to the stack of settlement statements and made some reference to what all that stuff was for. I am not giving up but I am near questioning my own sanity. Sincerely, Joanne
RobertR1
(South Carolina)

Posts:5164


01/15/2009 9:37 AM  
Joanne,
I have to caution again about making assumptions you can not prove or making assumption of things that matter little.
Your opinion of what the board has concluded if tenuous at best. It also makes no difference, this is not about you verus the Board. From your side of the fence anyway. Just do your job as you have been, keep speculation out of your conversation and lets the momentum carry you along. Certainly I can't read the lawyers mind and if thinks you all are headed to a Lawyer, you can't hep that also.

Sometimes thing sget so murky you just have to jump and hope for the best. I said don't compromise your values, let me add, "don't dig yourselve a hole so big you can't get out of it.
JoanneD1
(Arizona)

Posts:447


01/15/2009 9:54 AM  
Robert, I remain grateful as always and probably do need to be turned back to center at times. It is only my passion for the truth that stirs my soul. If I am wrong, I will be the first to apologize. The truth will set everyone free. To repeat, we had no idea what we would be stepping into when we began this journey and now that we have found these irregularities, someone needs to investigate and report on the findings. It matters not who or how, but just that it must happen for all parties involved. Only my opinion.

Sincerely, Joanne
RobertR1
(South Carolina)

Posts:5164


01/15/2009 10:08 AM  
Joanna,
One thing for your passion to shine through, another thing for your frustrations to rule the day. Answer: Be cool, have a good time, nothing going on here to ruin 10 minutes of your life. They can't take you out the back and shoot you, and your neighbors will be there tomorrow. It may be because they can't sell their place, but I don't see that they can blame you for that. Just kidding, one day at a time.
JoanneD1
(Arizona)

Posts:447


01/15/2009 10:52 PM  
To follow, Len got a "thank you for your presentation" from the president and said the BOD was looking into the matter and have given the PM all the information that we have given to them. IMO, now are playing "jeopdary" with the PM. Corporate America is rolling over in it's grave on this one. NOTHING will be resolved until someone looks at the bank records and maybe the BOD is doing that in a round about way. There are many people going to the Monday board meeting. I would hope that others would be asking questions about what is going on. I still find it shocking that there are people who really don't care to be invovled. They are content to not rock the boat and don't want anyone else to make waves. Such is the world we live in. Sincerely, Joanne
JoanneD1
(Arizona)

Posts:447


01/16/2009 6:16 PM  
Well, this was a shocker.It was sent to all the BOD and our gang of 3. Maybe I will start sleeping through the night now. There is still a ton or work to do, but I cannot thank you all for the responses and they all gave me food for thought. Sincerely, joanne

Attachment: 1116161337271.doc

MicheleD
(Kentucky)

Posts:4491


01/16/2009 6:29 PM  
Posted By JoanneD1 on 01/16/2009 6:16 PM
Well, this was a shocker.It was sent to all the BOD and our gang of 3. Maybe I will start sleeping through the night now. There is still a ton or work to do, but I cannot thank you all for the responses and they all gave me food for thought. Sincerely, joanne





A couple observations:

Even though he is uber-qualifying himself, that is still a huge coup.

It helps confirm that their initial reaction to your group was one of defensiveness and suspicion.

It was helpful that your group continued to be firm, but professional in your advancement of your concerns.

Next, there is still the lingering "the PM deserves respect" because they have been with you guys a long time.

Well, yes, they deserve respect. However, they also deserve to continue to be held accountable for their level and quality of service, including how they manage these transfers and what not.

Now, having said that, part of the problem could well be unintentional. It could well be sloppy and lazy work, and nothing more, nothing less.

The good news is that you now have board-level attention and one of your members is "inside the wall."

Kudos.

I think it also helped that the board could not find any ulterior motive on your group's behalf.

You weren't looking to unseat them. (which they probably thought as a knee-jerk reaction)

You weren't looking to put your own PM in place (which they also probably thought as a knee-jerk reaction.)

The bottom line is, as members of the neighborhood, actually more than just "neighbors," you each have a vested interest in the association's bottom line.

You want the association to be healthy and the funds used in the best possible way for everyone's benefit AND for the assurance that all the funds due you (your association) are intact.

Good job. Let's see where this goes.
RobertR1
(South Carolina)

Posts:5164


01/16/2009 6:43 PM  
Joanne,
I am pleased you now can get a respite from all this. Doing what you all did comes with a steep price emotionally and probably other ways.

I read this to say that message is gone or going to all homeowners. Make sure it does.
Your little band should now draft a conciliatory message to the Board, copy all members, that the Board for their candor and transparency and mention this kind of transparency will insure issues like this one don't happen again.

Thank Len for his agreeing to enter into the discussions and mention that your group will remain united and look forward to mutual exchange of ideas and are excited about the near future when groups such yours may not be necessary.
JoanneD1
(Arizona)

Posts:447


01/16/2009 6:44 PM  
Michele! Thanks for those very nice comments. Yes, he still did manage to get his digs in and bet the other board members are ready to shoot him! Actually someone outside of our gang wanted to recall the seats of each member, but that wasn't really an option, but depending on the outcome of all of this, we could very well have to go that route if they fail to dismiss the MC. 15 years is too long and they have never updated the contract and I don't believe there is any paperwork to support his ecessive fees. Mary has been AMAZING and I did call one of the directors today and "suggested" that since the treasurer has NEVER seen a bank statement or reserve fund statement, they might want to go online and get a password to our accounts. This is like a BAD dream. I hope we have some money somewhere. I will keep posting as long as there is a story to tell and a lesson to be learned.

Sincerely, Joanne
JoanneD1
(Arizona)

Posts:447


01/16/2009 6:52 PM  
Robert, I like your idea and ONLY the board members and our gang of 3 got the letter.....NO HOMEOWNERS. The reality check in all of this is that I called the treasurer today and wanted to just have 5 minutes of his time to explain something very KEY to the interpretation of the spread sheet. He was very abrupt and said, "NO! I am not dealing with this issue until the Monday board meeting. There is a serious family issue." I could hear that in his voice. He later emailed me and apologized, but they had just learned that ther 44 yr old daughter who was a 4.5 yr breast cancer survior now had liver and bone cancer. Doesn't that put everything into prospective. My heart aches for them.

So, on it goes and I will update you all after the Monday meeting. I think it will be very interesting. I still want to break the knee caps of the PM!! Caome on guys, that's a joke! you know what they say, "It ain't over 'til the fat lady sings!"

Sincerely, Joanne
MicheleD
(Kentucky)

Posts:4491


01/16/2009 6:56 PM  
Posted By JoanneD1 on 01/16/2009 6:52 PM
you know what they say, "It ain't over 'til the fat lady sings!"

Sincerely, Joanne





And I can assure you, when I do, it's always -- always -- off key. . .
RobertR1
(South Carolina)

Posts:5164


01/16/2009 7:09 PM  
Joanne,
Another truism is proved. The total obsorption of this kind of effort sometimes make us think life does not go on, and it does. That kindof news the treasurer got is so "real" it just takes the wind of of your sails. Ouyr best best to him.

As to the Pres and Manager, I have no sympathy, other than I would not want to face the next couple of weeks as they are going to do. But, again life goes on and levity always surfaces. For me the old adage I heard one timee and never forgot fits your president to a T.

Just because you are paranoid, doesn't mean someone is not out to get you.
JoanneD1
(Arizona)

Posts:447


01/16/2009 7:19 PM  
Robert, I have never heard that one! I did nothing but clean house today as I really have been pretty muched checked out for the last month. There is a price for all of this....rotten sore throat and just shot. I am such a wimp! Well, I off to bed and who knows what tomorrow brings. How about that miracle on the Hudson??? Makes my victory seem quite insignificant in the whole scheme of things, but it makes life interesting. Sweet dreams! Joanne
JoanneD1
(Arizona)

Posts:447


01/17/2009 7:06 AM  
Good Morning! Well, I am continuing on with the issue regarding policy and procedures related to the transfer fee and other associated fees conjurred up by the management company. Although there are two components to the issue, the acutal money movement and the policy, I don't think that they should be seperated from one another. As long as there is going to be some investigating, why not get it all on the table so there are no dangles participles? I am attaching a letter that I will submit to the BOD at the Monday meeting. I will not read it outloud unless asked to, but I think what I am discussing is most appropriate. Would you please let me know what you think? Thanks I cannot attach the schedule because it is part of a pdf.

Attachment: 111764996471.doc

MaryA1


Posts:0


01/17/2009 7:27 AM  
Joanne,

Good letter! So true that the mgmt co contract is key to much of this. The fact that it's been renewed each year is one thing but what is more important is whether or not the fee schedule (especially the transfer/disclosure fees) have been changed and accepted by the board. This is very critical info. One thing you left out of your letter is the buy-in fee ($4,000-%5,000) that's been charged to buyers and collected by Heywood. Did that $$$ go into the assn's coffers?

This is a real can of worms! As you know, I don't like to make unfound accusations, but on the surface it doesn't look too good for Heywood. And, it doesn't look too good for the BOD in that they are obvisously not in control of the assn. But, as you know, it's been that way for a very long time not just with this board, right? Hopefully the board (or at least one member of the board) is starting to see the error of their ways. . .
JoanneD1
(Arizona)

Posts:447


01/17/2009 7:46 AM  
Top Of the Morning Miss Mary!! The transfer fees collection irregularities are clearly presented in the large spread sheet and smaller table, BUT there has been no dialogue established regarding the policy and procedure aspect and I think that while they are looking into the money side of the issue, they might as well get it all done so that we will know exactly what has been going on and we can go forward without leaving ANY stone unturned. I imagine that there is some sort of statute of limitations as to how far back we can go and this will have impact on the amount of money involved. I think that some may view this as "piling on" but I disagree and your response had confirms my position. Thanks and have a GREAT day. I cleaned house all day because I have been so engrossed in this. Must be my personality....I am not compulsive/obessive...just either in it all the way or not at all. I never seem to be moderate. Sincerely, Joanne
JoanneD1
(Arizona)

Posts:447


01/17/2009 7:48 AM  
Mary, You are right, it has been this way for a VERY LONG time and we have never insinuated that we were after this board....we just wanted to be heard by the sitting board and their refusal to do that is what really added to the mess. JD
MicheleD
(Kentucky)

Posts:4491


01/17/2009 8:25 AM  
Joanne, with a cursory read of the letter you attached, I have a few observations that you are free to ignore (obviously!)

Anyway, the opening of the letter is awkward and appears confrontational.

It does not connect to the rest of the letter with any degree of relevancy and could set a tone (defensive stance) on behalf of the Board may not be conducive an open dialogue relationship.

In fact, your final paragraph should probably replace, almost wholly, your opening paragraph.

You want to let them know at the outset what you intend to discuss and why. In so many words, you want to give them a reason to keep reading, not give them a reason to stop and toss the letter in the trash.

There is no need to employ accusational terminology at all, least ways in your opening volley.

You want to set a tone that opens doors, not closes them.

People have a natural tendency to protect their "face" when they feel it is being challenged or threatened (presented in a negative light).

Part of they way they exercise that defense is to turn the perceived hostility or negativity back onto the person they feel is responsible for that loss of face.

You need to ask yourself what purpose the first paragraph serves?

What is the intended message you want it to carry, and to what audience?

How does it lend itself as a preface to the content and call-to-action you desire?

If it is to give some background to others who may (or may not ever) read it, then it would probably still be in your best interest to find a less confrontational way to get that message across. And at the end of the document, as opposed to in the opening.


One other observation: I'm not exactly clear what "call to action" you are requesting here.

Maybe bullet-point the questions that you think should be addressed and intro them with that direction: (example below)

After reviewing the schedule attached to the contract, it might in the best interest of our organization to ask the following questions:

1) Does this document create an addendum. . . .

Etc etc etc.

Then close the letter with your expectation of the positive state, condition, or result that the answers to these questions will create.

"It is my hope that we can tighten up the policies & procedures for the benefit of our organization. Positive resolution would lead to a stronger and more mutually beneficial relationship between our Association and the Management Company in the long run."

I would also strongly suggest not "enclosing in quotes" any hot-button phrases such as "irregularities."

And you might also consider couching the term, as 'potential accounting irregularities,' so as not to imply there is some foregone conclusion or accusation that can't presently be supported. The further investigation by the new committee should confirm whether there are legitimate irregularities, intentional or otherwise.

Anyway, my 2 cents. (That'll be $150, please. . .)

(Yes, I know I use "quote marks" a lot in my own posts, etc. Sometimes it's to emphasize, sometimes it's to make a tongue-in-cheek comment, and that is my point. When you use quotes like that, especially on emotionally charged (or potentially emotionally charged) words, in a format like a letter or online, there are no nonverbal clues to help with the interpretation of why the quotes were used. It gives the appearance of "air quotes" or "finger quotes" and may convey an impression we don't necessarily want to convey or that isn't conducive to open palm diplomacy.)

JoanneD1
(Arizona)

Posts:447


01/17/2009 8:37 AM  
Michele...$1.50 or have I misplaced the decimal point? THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR SUGGESTIONS. I have printed out your post and I am back to the drawing board for certain. I DO NOT WANT TO DO ANYTHING to close the crack that has opened up for us. What's your background? Can't be an attorney 'cause you're fee is too reasonable. I will redraft now. Thanks! Joanne It is because of all the contrubtions from this group that our gang is a force to be reckoned with!
RobertR1
(South Carolina)

Posts:5164


01/17/2009 10:45 AM  
Joanne,
Your letter has to articulate your thoughts, I think they do. Your made reference you didn't mind if the letter was not read aloud at the meeting.........your decision.

My suggestion is to present the letter to the Board request that is become a part of the Board Correspendence and a reading file cover be set up so that each board member acknowledges having read the file and a copy of this cover note to given to you within 14 days. (time set is inmaterial)
JoanneD1
(Arizona)

Posts:447


01/17/2009 12:18 PM  
Robert, Michele and Mary, I have reconstructed the letter and will attach it. Another day in Paradise and I am at my computer. Well, I am compelled to give this my best shot because I don't think there will be any second chances. Thanks again everyone.

Attachment: 1117182299871.doc

MicheleD
(Kentucky)

Posts:4491


01/17/2009 12:29 PM  
just as a quick overview:

Beautifully done.

Now, keep in mind, one doesn't necessarily have to kiss major bootey, but, again, if one keeps in mind that the person receiving such a communication needs to have an out for saving face, because basically a communication like this is still a challenging one (challenging everything from the status quo to their leadership abilities), then we can better structure (spin?) our communication so that it allows for our needs/call-to-action to be met AND for a continuing give-and-take relationship to improve the community.

Of course, even when going in with Open Palms, some boards (or managers, or customer service reps, or whomever you're trying to negotiate with), may still react by thrusting up an elbow to the chin.

Anyway, well done.

JoanneD1
(Arizona)

Posts:447


01/17/2009 12:34 PM  
Michele, You are way too congenial. You still haven't told me what you do and I am dying to know. Don't tell me you're a shrink? I was a little over the center line before this, but now I am definitely racing in the wrong lane! Thanks and I truly accept your compliment! Sincerely, Joanne
MicheleD
(Kentucky)

Posts:4491


01/17/2009 12:38 PM  
I'm a strategic communication consultant.

;D
JoanneD1
(Arizona)

Posts:447


01/17/2009 12:45 PM  
Well, excuseeeeeeeeeeeee me! What great luck I have had making this connection! Thanks so much and continued success in your field! Joanne I still need the shrink.
RobertR1
(South Carolina)

Posts:5164


01/17/2009 12:55 PM  
Joanne,
I am a retired Household consultant in providing for care and health and accounting services )(RHCPCHAC inc). I can also do moderate physic adjeustments in an affice/home setting.
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