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Subject: Management Company & Transfer Fee Compensation
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Author Messages
RobertR1
(South Carolina)

Posts:5164


01/17/2009 1:09 PM  
Joanne,
First it is your letter. How does it ring for you?
It is too long, but you have a lot of ground to cover.

However, as you finish addressing each separate concern, offer to meet with anyone concerned to provide them with information and help in making this big picture small enough to swallow. After each section.

At the end offer to volunteer to provide any clarification about any part of the sections that may be in question. In other words, don't let them forget this is your association also and you want to be part of how it is run, you are vested just as much as your neighbor, Board member or not and surely more vested than any hired contractor M/C.
JoanneD1
(Arizona)

Posts:447


01/17/2009 1:20 PM  
Robert.....too many consonants for my comfort level! Whatever it is, I am impressed and grateful to have met you. Joanne
MaryA1


Posts:0


01/17/2009 1:40 PM  
Joanne,

This letter sounds much, much better. In the last sentence of your opening para, did you mean to say "Buyer Transfer Fee, and most recently "Disclosure Fee"(instead of repeating transfer fee)? Also, I'm wondering why you didn't mention the buy-in fees that were collect by Heywood. I would certainly state they were collected and you would like to know if they were deposited in the assn's bank account. As you know, these fees are quite substantial.

Looking forward to hearing their response.
JoanneD1
(Arizona)

Posts:447


01/17/2009 2:32 PM  
Hello Mary! In the first paragraph, all 3 of those titles refer to the Big Buy in fee. The BOD is already working on the missing transactions and the distribution of those fees. I am tackling the policy aspect of what gave HRMC the permission to even start collecting fees for himself. The BOD has the spread sheet and they are working thatn angle. I am working the contractual side of the mess now and I really don't think they can be seperated. IF HRMC was not suppose to be taking fees OTHER THAN the 100 per the contract, he owes us than 150 per sale dating back to 2001!!! This is a real mess. I can't imagine how he is going to interact with the BOD and the attendees at the meeting on Monday. I will report back on it. My objective is to make sure that if there is proof of irregularities that he gets his walking papers ASAP. I do not want this BOD to feel any obligation to him whatsoever....I don't care if he pays every single penny back. That is if this is proven to be true of course. Sincerely, Joanne
MaryA1


Posts:0


01/17/2009 3:39 PM  
Joanne,

Now you've confused me. A buy-in, transfer and disclosure fee are all different fees for different things. A buy-in fee is usually a fee charged to the buyer as a means to subsidize the reserve fund. The transfer fee is a fee charged to defray the cost of eliminating the seller's info and adding the buyer's info to the assn records. The disclosure fee is a fee charged to defray the cost of producing the disclosure documents oftentimes required by state law. There are some assn docs that have a transfer fee stated in the CCRs; although I believe most are silent on this. I believe all mgmt co's charge a transfer fee, thus it is charged by any assn that contracts with a mgmt co. AZ state law does address the disclosure fee to a degree. The buy-in fee is a made-up fee many boards have started using to bolster the reserves, and some are absolutely outrageous.
JoanneD1
(Arizona)

Posts:447


01/17/2009 4:01 PM  
Mary, I am sorry if I confused you. We have three fees associated with a sale:
1. The largest fee is what some call the Buy In fee. Our HOA has called it different things at different times, but what they have settled in on is now is TRANSFER FEE. This fee should always be payable to CEHOA

2. The MC currently charges $195 for the Disclosure documents payable to the MC AND ALSO
3. The MC currently charges $195 for something that they too call a Transfer fee and that is always payble to the MC. As a side note, all these feees are EXCESSIVE!

The whole mess started because the MC was found to be taking his $195 fee directly out of the HOA Transfer Fee. And it was during that discovery that we found that the some of CEHOA Large fees were going to the MC AND NOT TO THE HOA. We also discovered that even the smaller fees prior to raising the fee, were also paid to the MC.

I am now pursuing the policy and procedures while there is an additional investigation to find out IF our fees ever came back to our HOA. Does that help?
Going to a neighbors for a glass of wine. I will check mack later. Thanks JD
MaryA1


Posts:0


01/18/2009 7:59 AM  
Posted By JoanneD1 on 01/17/2009 4:01 PM
Mary, I am sorry if I confused you. We have three fees associated with a sale:
1. The largest fee is what some call the Buy In fee. Our HOA has called it different things at different times, but what they have settled in on is now is TRANSFER FEE. This fee should always be payable to CEHOA

2. The MC currently charges $195 for the Disclosure documents payable to the MC AND ALSO
3. The MC currently charges $195 for something that they too call a Transfer fee and that is always payble to the MC. As a side note, all these feees are EXCESSIVE!

The whole mess started because the MC was found to be taking his $195 fee directly out of the HOA Transfer Fee. And it was during that discovery that we found that the some of CEHOA Large fees were going to the MC AND NOT TO THE HOA. We also discovered that even the smaller fees prior to raising the fee, were also paid to the MC.

I am now pursuing the policy and procedures while there is an additional investigation to find out IF our fees ever came back to our HOA. Does that help?
Going to a neighbors for a glass of wine. I will check mack later. Thanks JD




Joanne,

IMO, this is the way it should work:

The CEHOA transfer fee should be paid directly to CEHOA by the title co. They, in turn, will pay the MC the disclosure fee and transfer fees AS STIPULATED IN THE MANAGEMENT CONTRACT. Only the CEHOA transfer fee should be levied on the buyer/seller, rather than adding all three together as is being done now. The MC's disclosure and transfer fees are costs generated as a matter of doing business with this mgmt co. All mgmt co's charge a transfer fee, at least. However, only what has been agreed to in the management co contract should be paid to the management co.
JoanneD1
(Arizona)

Posts:447


01/19/2009 11:56 AM  
My Great Posters! I am getting ready for the big meeting later this afternoon and just fell upon some information. I need someone like Mary from Aizona to tell me how to find a law that was passed in Nov. '08. This law as I am told DOES NOT ALLOW real estate transfer fees to be charged based on a percentage of the sale price. This exactly how my HOA does it, .3% or three thousand dollars on a million dollar home. As I undestand this, a buyer/seller could refuse to pay the fee. The person who brought this to my attention said that her group is encouraging HOA to call the fee a "transaction fee" and that would be ok. I need to know where to find this law. This woman said that some HOA are changing their CC&Rs to allow them to still collect the fee. I tried the state but it is a legal holiday and I do have a couple of calls in to an attorney. HELP!! Joanne
JosephW
(Michigan)

Posts:882


01/19/2009 1:14 PM  
I think they're referring to the Porposal passed in November to amend the Arizona Constitution:

24. Prohibition of new real property sale or transfer taxes

Section 24. The state, any county, city, town, municipality or other political subdivision of the state, or any district created by law with authority to impose any tax, fee, stamp requirement or other assessment, shall not impose any new tax, fee, stamp requirement or other assessment, direct or indirect, on the act or privilege of selling, purchasing, granting, assigning, transferring, receiving, or otherwise conveying any interest in real property. This section does not apply to any tax, fee, or other assessment in existence on December 31, 2007.

It looks like their using the term "or any district crateed by law.......shall not impose..." etc. to include HOA's. I haven't seen any article written about this yet, so you may have to talk to an attorney as to whether HPA's DO, in fact, fall under this amendment.

Joe

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JosephW
(Michigan)

Posts:882


01/19/2009 1:15 PM  
Boy, I can't spell. Also, it looks like you may have an out sinc I'm assuming your fees were in place before Dec. 31, 2007.

Joe

Joseph West
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JoanneD1
(Arizona)

Posts:447


01/19/2009 1:20 PM  
Thanks Joseph. I am waiting for a return call from an attorney, but this gal who manages a company to whish many MC belong has given me this information and told me that as she understands it, if someone objected to paying the fee, they would be within their rights. I will let you know what I find out. Thanks again! Joanne
RobertR1
(South Carolina)

Posts:5164


01/19/2009 1:35 PM  
Joe,
You make us proud Joe, to come up with this so quick.

I am sure you are not privy to why this law was passed, but you know your stuff and I am wondering if you can give us a synopsis of what's going on here and why, and is this likely to spread. Who pushed this bill would be interesting also. I think we all can get a sense of what the law does, but why is not as real. Is this new legislation on the fast track?

Thanks.
JosephW
(Michigan)

Posts:882


01/19/2009 1:45 PM  
Go here to read the background:

http://www.azsos.gov/election/2008/Info/PubPamphlet/english/Prop100.htm

and here:

http://www.robinsrendition.com/legislation-affecting-real-estate/arizona-proposition-100-protect-our-homes-real-estate-transfer-tax-amendment/

Basically it was a consumer proposition to prevent local governmental entities from adding transfer fees onto to home sales as a way to raise money. Since all governments are financially hurting right now, they'll all be looking for innovative ways to raise revenues without actually raising taxes.

Joe

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JoanneD1
(Arizona)

Posts:447


01/19/2009 1:48 PM  
Thanks Joseph and I have printed out Section 24 but that doesn't mean I understand it. I will try to read both the articles you reference. Thanks again. Joanne
JosephW
(Michigan)

Posts:882


01/19/2009 2:21 PM  
Joanne,

The key is going to be whether HOA's, condos, etc. will be considered "district created by law". From the wording it would appear they are, since the creation of an HOA or condo is legislatively enabled. However, only a local attorney can tell you if it really means an agency created by governement or if it can be expanded to associations. To be honest, it may have to end up in court to get a definition. I'd throw this one at AAMC (http://www.aacmonline.org/) and let them take the lead (and expense) in figuring it out, if you can't get a better answer in the meantime.

Joe

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MaryA1


Posts:0


01/19/2009 2:48 PM  
Posted By JosephW on 01/19/2009 2:21 PM
Joanne,

The key is going to be whether HOA's, condos, etc. will be considered "district created by law". From the wording it would appear they are, since the creation of an HOA or condo is legislatively enabled. However, only a local attorney can tell you if it really means an agency created by governement or if it can be expanded to associations. To be honest, it may have to end up in court to get a definition. I'd throw this one at AAMC (http://www.aacmonline.org/) and let them take the lead (and expense) in figuring it out, if you can't get a better answer in the meantime.

Joe




Joseph,

IMO, this Proposition does not pertain to HOAs. Here's an excerpt from the proposition shown on the Sec of State's website:

Proposition 100 would amend the Arizona Constitution to prohibit the state or any county, city, town or other political subdivision of the state from directly or indirectly imposing any new tax, fee or other assessment on the sale, purchase, transfer or other conveyance of any interest in real property (such as homes and other real estate). This proposed measure would not affect any tax, fee or other assessment in existence prior to this year.

HOAs are NOT political subdivisions of the state. AZ does not currently have a transfer tax on R.E., but proponents of this proposition wanted to ensure that would never happen. This would apply to cities charging a transfer tax to a developer. In all the literature I've read, I see no reference to HOAs charging transfer fees.


JosephW
(Michigan)

Posts:882


01/19/2009 6:31 PM  
Mary,

I agree, I don't think the intent was to include HOA's. Having said this, I think there are people in AZ (GS comes to mind) that think HOA's should be considered state actors, and a law written somewhat vaguely, like this, could give them an opportunity to push that belief. Like many AZ laws, I think this one may need clarification. The fact that there is no reference to HOA's doesn't mean that some think it includes them - see the post, where someone informed Joanne that "This law as I am told DOES NOT ALLOW real estate transfer fees to be charged based on a percentage of the sale price. This exactly how my HOA does it," - so someone thinks it applies. Unfortunately, since this an amendment to the state constitution, clarification may not be easy.

I'm probably wrong, and it won't amount to anything, but I guess I just don't like gray areas when it come to laws.

Joe

Joseph West
Official HOATalk.com Sponsor
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JoanneD1
(Arizona)

Posts:447


01/19/2009 7:01 PM  
Back from the board meeting. They would not discuss the transfer fee problem and went into executive session with the PM. They reported that 25% of the HOA owners are in delinquecy of some kind and just complained how short they were but offered no solutions to collecting the money. I suggested that some HOA use a collection service and there was no comment. They posted no notice of the meeting in the usual place and it is usually done a couple of days prior to the meeting. One of the BOD knew there was no notice because a friend of mine called him at 8:00 AM to ask when the meeting was and told him there was no posting. The treasurer said he is resigning and that was it. Guess we sit and wait. I did give them a letter with many attachements and said that we did not have enough time to present the whole matter and this was the portion of the transfer fee that deals with policy, procedure and contracts. They will have to answer my questions. Thanks again and sat tuned. Joanne
RobertR1
(South Carolina)

Posts:5164


01/19/2009 7:44 PM  
Joanne,
Do your doc require a posted or advance notice? Was a quorum present and a meeting called. Was there an agenda? You mentioned you spoke. Sounds like you kept you cool, good, but how did you get the floor?

You are back to basics again, document, document and get copies of minutes, meeting agendas, all that crap. Impression, I would must rather be on your side the fence than theirs. MO.

What was the ES called for, and how did they conduct the meeting regards to that? Aslo does your state or doc spell out the reasons for holding ES and what can de discussed?
MicheleD
(Kentucky)

Posts:4491


01/19/2009 9:32 PM  
Posted By JoanneD1 on 01/19/2009 7:01 PM
The treasurer said he is resigning and that was it.





This is interesting.

Was it expected/anticipated?

But you are correct, patience at this point.

By the way, that's a fairly large delinquency rate.

One-quarter of your membership ?

I realize you could turn this over to a collection agency (or a collections attorney, who only charges the delinquent member).

But. . . a few questions I would ask:

1) What was the delinquency rate for the last 3 years?

2) What policies/process/procedures does the PM have for collecting assessments, including delinquencies?

3) At what point does the PM escalate the collection to a lien, if they do?

4) If they don't escalate the collections to a lien, why not?

5) What is the aging on the delinquencies? In other words, how many are 6 months in arrears, 12 months, 1 year, more than 1 year . . .

JoanneD1
(Arizona)

Posts:447


01/19/2009 10:51 PM  
Robert, I guess I should have anticipated the ES because this BOD has been very smug since the day they were elected. I spoke when they were talking about the budget and asked if 2008 actual financial statement was done. They said they are going to keep a binder at our gatehouse and anyone could see the monthly statements. I almost fell over when they said 25% of the members were delinquent. Some had not paid a $509 special assessment back in October and one large one was for the foreclosure. The treasurer kind of scolded the board for allowing the members to pressure them into not raising the monthly fee rather than keeping it the same. He wanted to know if the BOD could revisit that & the PM said no. The BOD treated the PM like nothing has happened. I have a fancy spread sheet that I would like to attach if all think it is ok. It is now public knowledge so would it be ok for me to do that? There are only initials on it. Let me know because it will knock your socks off. The budget presented to the owners at the budget meeting in December had a very different number for the actual number of transfer dollars collected than what was reported on the audit requested by the PM when we started all of this. Somehow the actual monies collected for transfer fees went from 12375 to over 17000. This is VERY strange as the PM explains that he included a sale that closed late in Dec. of 2007 into 2008. Well, that doesn't make any sense. This is a mess and when a BOD appears to still be in a defense mode, it is doubly hard. I am not quiting on this if I have to do it alone. It is all in the hands of the BOD. I have NO idea of how long this will take and can't even begin to guess what their findings will be. All I know is that if they look at the bank statements of our accounts, that ought to tell the whole truth. Sincerely, Joanne Robert I don't know what is called for as far as standard monthly meeting notices are concerned. All I can tell you that they always put one up a couple of days prior and this time they neglected to even after residents had called early in the am asking about the meeting.
JoanneD1
(Arizona)

Posts:447


01/19/2009 11:05 PM  
Michele, Patience is a BIG word for me especially when I feel like I am sitting on a time bomb. I know that if we do not pay our dues by the 10th, they say they will tack on a $50 fine. In fact I saw on one of the closing documents that the check for a violation was made out to the management company! The MC also was paid $200 for a lein release according to one of the HUD statements. This is so convoluted I can hardly stand it. One of my gang members Jan did a presentation about foreclosures and how impacting they can be and there might be more coming. You could see them turn a deaf ear. Upon Jan's questioning, the PM said that he attempted to served the owner of the Unit with a personal judgement in Feb., but it was finally posted on the door of the unit well into summer because they had difficulty serving him. The owner was living off property and was returning to the unit on a weekly basis. Could they not have put it in the mailbox? Maybe not but could one of our guards have gotten a signature or something. I wish I had paid more attention and wish I knew more. So, there is nothing more to report other than we wait. We have owners here who think that the whole matter has been resolved because we had to cancelled the special meeting. We are still viewed as the troublemakers. I guess that is because we reported trouble! Sincerely, Joanne
MaryA1


Posts:0


01/20/2009 2:01 AM  
Joanne,

It appears your BOD likes to do everything in a big way! A $50 late fee is quite high, IMO. The condo statutes only state "the board may impose charges for late payment of assessments. . ." However, the planned community statute limits that amount to $15 or 10% of the unpaid assessment whichever is greater. So the sky's the limit for condo assns!
MaryA1


Posts:0


01/20/2009 2:11 AM  
Posted By RobertR1 on 01/19/2009 7:44 PM
Joanne,
Do your doc require a posted or advance notice? Was a quorum present and a meeting called. Was there an agenda? You mentioned you spoke. Sounds like you kept you cool, good, but how did you get the floor?

You are back to basics again, document, document and get copies of minutes, meeting agendas, all that crap. Impression, I would must rather be on your side the fence than theirs. MO.

What was the ES called for, and how did they conduct the meeting regards to that? Aslo does your state or doc spell out the reasons for holding ES and what can de discussed?




Robert,

I know much of this is new to Joanne, but she is learning fast. However, I'll tackle your questions to her.

AZ law requires a 48 hr advance notice for board meetings. An agenda is not required IAW AZ law. AZ law states a members has a right to speak b/4 any action is voted on by the board, in addition to any other opportunities to speak. IAW the AZ HOA open meeting law there are 4 reason to hold a closed (executive) session:

1) legal advice from an attorney
2) pending or contemplated litigation
3) personal, healthor financial info about an individual member of the assn, an individual employee of the assn or of a contractor (condensed)
4) matters relating to the job performance, compensation, health records or specific complaints against an employee of the assn or of a contractor of the assn who works under the direction of the assn.

I suppose the board could use #4 as justification if they used the ES to talk about the problems brought to light by Joanne and her group. It would be a stretch as they have not made a formal complaint against the PM. However, this board is not too concerned about following the law, as evidenced by the fact that they weren't concerned about holding an unnoticed meeting.
JoanneD1
(Arizona)

Posts:447


01/20/2009 4:25 AM  
Good Morning Guys and Gals! There is a list of all future board dates in the newsletter, but NO POSTING on this one. I regret that I didn't ask them why there was no notice of the meeting, but in the interest of not always being the bad guy, I didn't. I should have put someone else up to it. Since I began this endeavor, I have not had normal day in my life. This is like my personal cross to bare and I am more committed than ever to see this to a justifiable finish. I am attaching the spread sheet. I don't think there is anything that is false and I do state the all information is verifiable but has no been audited by a CPA. Bare in mine that ALL information in BLACK is from the study that we did and EVERYTHING in RED is what the management company provided. The color chart at the bottom is self explanatory. Have at it folks. And when you look at this, all we want to know is what we were ever came back to our side.

Attachment: 1120251229771.xls

JoanneD1
(Arizona)

Posts:447


01/20/2009 10:29 AM  
A new twist unfolds in my saga! At yesterday's board meeting, the PM referred to filing a lein, judicial foreclosure and personal judgement against the property owner here who became deliquent which has resulted in a bank foreclosure and sheriff's sale that took place last Friday. I called the County Recorder's Office today and there is NOTHING recorded in the last two years on this owner. I have subsequently, at the suggestion of the recorder's office, have requested the recording number and a copy of the filing document. Let's see what happens now. Joanne
RobertR1
(South Carolina)

Posts:5164


01/20/2009 11:07 AM  
Joanne,
If available in your area (County Court House) it sometimes is productive to do your own search of the Country Court Records and Property records. If I can stumble through it, I am sure you can. You never know how carefully the records are searched upon a phone request. But since you don't have much to do right now,(Ha) give it whirl. Also, plug in some names at the court records site, might run into some that catches your eye. I suspect nearly all counties are starting to add special sections for Foreclosure filings. You do have to keep in mind there is always a lag from filing to posting on INTERNET and recording.
JoanneD1
(Arizona)

Posts:447


01/20/2009 12:59 PM  
Robert! I found the a lien filed in Jan 07 in the amount of 1461.50 and the a judgement file on Dec 3,2008 for 12,269.63. I don't know how it ran up so high considering our fees are 415 per month..but it is what it is. When I did a search if used his name and did the search over a two year span and that brought up the information. Now I have to find out if the PM ever filed a judicial foreclosure and I have had no luck on getting that information. It was an interesting journey into the records searches. More as it comes down the pike. Did you open the spread sheet. Joanne
MaryA1


Posts:0


01/20/2009 1:01 PM  
Joanne,

Attorney fees is what runs up the fines. A $100 delinquency can evolve into $2,000-$3,000 in no time once an attorney gets involved!
JoanneD1
(Arizona)

Posts:447


01/20/2009 1:58 PM  
Mary, I think my community better get set to spend a bunch on legal fees. There is so much work to do. The legal fees here are only $2153.50. I want to know what my HOA plans to do to collect what was reported yesterday to be 25% of the owners in delinquency. They didn't even talk about that!
JoanneD1
(Arizona)

Posts:447


01/22/2009 4:12 AM  
Michele & Robert, Mary and I have discussed the sheet, but I am surprised that I have not received a post commenting on spread sheet that detailed our sales transaction findings versus the detailed audit of the management company. I hope that I have not offended anyone. We are still in a waiting mode as far as any call to action since giving the BOD the data that they so reluctantly wanted to receive in the first place. Will let you know what we hear. Joanne
RobertR1
(South Carolina)

Posts:5164


01/22/2009 5:52 AM  
Joanne,
As far as I can see, Mary has a better handle than I about that spread sheet. I suppose if you wanted to use it for a classroom exercise, you could get all kinds of different opinions. But really, I don't feel comfortable trying to understand something I know so little about but if I were an accountant or someone as sharp as Mary or Donna, or several others here, maybe I would feel comfortable. When all is said and done, "it is what it is", it will die or stand or it's merits. I think it is exactly what you all need to hold up to your BOD and M/C, let them react, if they are any kind of smart, they will, you watch what they say. The fat lady has not sung by a long shot.
JoanneD1
(Arizona)

Posts:447


01/22/2009 6:07 AM  
Good Morning Robert! Thanks for the response. At least I know you saw it. Len sent another communication to the board after going into ES on Monday. Since he was asked to participate in an ad hoc committee, he felt that maybe the BOD has already come to some conclusions as they have not contacted him. I cannot recall if I sent the email from the treasurer, but I will reattach it. We learned at the Jan 19 board meeting, the treasurer is resigning. Still this BOD sits mute to all the other homeowners who think that everything is resolved because we cancelled the special meeting. I am stunned at this whole event, but committed to see it through to the bitter end. If I have to go door to door with data and rude email and arrogant BOD responses, I will continue to be the community activist and town crier! Have a great day! Joanne

Attachment: 112274945371.doc

RobertR1
(South Carolina)

Posts:5164


01/22/2009 6:27 AM  
Joanne,
If I understand Len has gone to an ES as part of an ad hoc committee, meaning he will be expected to advise or offer the BOD any help in resolving some specific problem. I suppose the Board could broaden the scope to include all the issues you all have been dealing with. I imagine Len is free to tell you what his role was at the meeting. I would think he may not feel free to discuss all that he heard at ES, at least not now. But his role is important and if he is strictly an adviser, he may feel no constraints to not divulge what went on. I don't suppoise the Board followed your doc about ES either, or made any report before the meeting what was to be discussed and at the close of the meeting, make any recorded remarks.

Talk to Len, but make sure he edits anything you put on this board.

I could not open your attachment with spreadsheet so I sent it to my guru and he opened it and sent it back, came through as attachment I couldn't open, so I called him, he agreed to print it out, I went to his place and picked up hard copy, so there is a little more here than just reading your spread sheet. Maybe other had the same problem.
JoanneD1
(Arizona)

Posts:447


01/22/2009 7:11 AM  
Robert, I tried to convert the speadsheet to a pdf as I thought that might present a problem. I will have to try again. I am sorry that I did not make myself clear......Len was asked to join a committee, but that committee has NOT yet been formed and so Len DID NOT attend the ES and we remain in the dark. Here is the spread sheet in PDF. Have a great day! Joanne

Attachment: 112211593471.pdf

JoanneD1
(Arizona)

Posts:447


01/22/2009 12:02 PM  
Well, a reply to Len's request about the status of the investigation of bad reporting on behalf of the MC. I have never hear an excuse such as ridiculous as this. Does these people think we just fell out a palm tree somewhere? Judge for yourselves. Joanne

Attachment: 112223556171.pdf

RobertR1
(South Carolina)

Posts:5164


01/22/2009 1:05 PM  
Joanne,
I think this reply shows no suprises. I think they are on a slippery slope. They go over the line with beaurocratic gobbledeguk and they do so at there own peril. Just keep being polite and with a little thought I am sure you can formulate some reason to respond to this. They did say they would not consider anything other than questions at the Board meetings. Well, that is tough, you all have no constraints to do as they think you should act. I can't imagine your "side" is stepping out of bounds. One of your group is going to get mad or some other member and drag their butt to court, wait and see. You all are still on the high ground and this latest says they will allow questions at the board meeting. I would do as they suggest and play the game, asking them to set a deadline when the members can expect a response. It appears they have admitted there is a problem, they know about it, they know you all know about it, you told them. Every meeting you are looking across the table at them, just a question of when they are going to blink. Keep getting on with what you are doing and record everything and everything you record, send it to them for their comments. Ask their advise. Ask them what they want you to do with the information you have. You have all this stuff now on the record, the record is open to the members, you no longer are an outcast, they have given you credibility.
JoanneD1
(Arizona)

Posts:447


01/31/2009 6:00 AM  
Good Morning Troops! All is somehwat quite on the Western front. The treasurer, who is resigning, has sent an email response that the BOD has given all the date we compiled back to the property manager and has asked him to fill in the blanks. The PM told them he was missing 9 sales because there were multiple sales on the same property. I guess they bought that clumsy excuse, but we don't. I will attach a recent letter as an FYI. We have a board meeting Feb 15 and think they will probably go into ES again although I think that may be illegal. Any opinions on that? The PM is an independent contractor....not employee. Can they go into ES on that basis? If not, how do we object and what can we do about the last ES? I have thought about calling an attorney to attend the meeting and speak on our behalf. I am sure I can raise the funds for it. We are 6 weeks into this and just keep learning about more sloppiness by the MC. A neighbor had no idea they were delinquent on a special assessment and 6 months later got a letter. This company needs to be out of here ASAP. Because the BOD is NOT sharing any information, we have no idea what they are doing as you will see by my letter. I am now being portrayed as a rumor factory and I need to let them step into it a little deeper on that. I have quite an accumulation of emails and data. Our group continues to be portrayed as accusors and for the life of me I can't understand. Well, please some thoughts about how to proceed if they go into ES on Feb 15. I would like to have Mary at the meeting. I would pay her to come!

Attachment: 113101465271.doc

JoanneD1
(Arizona)

Posts:447


02/05/2009 6:58 AM  
FYI: Fellow Arizona readers, upon speaking with an HOA attorney yesterday, I learned that the state mediation group that had been set up to hear complaints was dissolved 6 months ago, Therefore, if you have a beef with your HOA you have 3 options, a full blown lawsuit, you can recall a board or a member of the board or you can work your hardest to seat a better board or forever hold your piece. In my continuing case, having sent a certified letter to the board president requesting actual bank documents for the last 4 years, she has dished me off to an HOA attorney who appears to be a new firm. I have no idea if the past firm is still on board. The good news is that I actually got a legitimate response from the board president. She says that the certified letter I sent to her has been returned to the mail station and she, the president is no longer acting as a liaison. I thought the board president was acting on behalf of the HOA....not as a liaison. I am anxious to speak with the NEW attorney as he also represents me! Have a great day!
MaryA1


Posts:0


02/05/2009 7:18 AM  
Posted By JoanneD1 on 02/05/2009 6:58 AM
FYI: Fellow Arizona readers, upon speaking with an HOA attorney yesterday, I learned that the state mediation group that had been set up to hear complaints was dissolved 6 months ago, Therefore, if you have a beef with your HOA you have 3 options, a full blown lawsuit, you can recall a board or a member of the board or you can work your hardest to seat a better board or forever hold your piece. In my continuing case, having sent a certified letter to the board president requesting actual bank documents for the last 4 years, she has dished me off to an HOA attorney who appears to be a new firm. I have no idea if the past firm is still on board. The good news is that I actually got a legitimate response from the board president. She says that the certified letter I sent to her has been returned to the mail station and she, the president is no longer acting as a liaison. I thought the board president was acting on behalf of the HOA....not as a liaison. I am anxious to speak with the NEW attorney as he also represents me! Have a great day!




Hi Joanne,

FYI. . .

The "state mediation group" you refer to is actually the Office of Administrative Hearings" acting for the Dept of Fire, Buildings,& Life Safety (DFBLS) which is not a mediation group but an entity which provides administrative law judges to adjudicate complaints. In a recent appeal of one of their cases in which the HOA member prevailed, a judge has found this process of adjudicating HOA complaints to be in violation of the AZ Constitution. The attorney for the plaintiff issued a statement on 2/2 stating the "any pending ALJ matters will be suspended and the DFBLS will be prohibited from taking any new cases."

Good luck in speaking with the HOAs new attorney. But, be advised. He is NOT your attorney even though you are a member of the HOA. He ONLY represents the BOD. What's his name? Is Maxwell Morgan gone?
JoanneD1
(Arizona)

Posts:447


02/05/2009 8:44 AM  
Top of the Morning Mary! Good to hear from someone from the group....I was begining to think my deodorant was failing. The new guy is Mark Lines and according to his website, he does HOA law. Maxwell Morgan....who knows if they are still involved with the HOA or not. Maybe becaues I am so special they had to hire someone to just handle me!!! I cannot figure any of this out and only can come to the conclusion that anyone who has a PM who cannot handle the books in a clear and concise manner should probably have become a brick layer! I am happy to run up the clock on the BOD as they don't seem to have the capacity to answer the questions reagarding the MC contract and fee schedule. Also maybe this new attorney can tell me how the BOD is moving forward. They had requested the 33 HUD statements on behalf of the PM. One can only assume the PM might be having a little difficulty interpreting his own documents or who knows. The PM will have to get creative in gathering all the HUD statements. He does have copies of the condo certs and he did provide the payment fees for that demand letter. The board president has returned a certified letter that I sent to her asking for the bank statements. It is at my postal station, unopened after it was delivered to her by the guard at the gate. This is so out of control is it getting hard to comprehend. Thanks for the response Mary. Did you see the Glen Beck show yet??? Sincerely, Joanne





RobertR1
(South Carolina)

Posts:5164


02/05/2009 10:25 AM  
JoanneD,
I still think you should wait until the Board Meeting. Can they go to ES? Sure they can and they are supposed to announce what for. It is always Personnel Matters, or contracts, or Personal Matters, they can say anything. One thing you might question if they do call an ES is ask who is invited. If they say no one, ask them why the PM is there? Anyone other than the Board members have to be invited. They never bother but I believe it is true. If they want to invite the PM or Manager or Lawyer or whoever, ask that it be entered into the record the reason they were invited and what expertise they will provide. Again they will probably refuse, and maybe refuse to enter it into the record, but they have to enter into the record your request. And if they don't do that, call a point of order and motion the meeting is not in order, and get a second, then they have to have discussion and you can say anything you want till the Pres stops you.
Boards can do about anything they want and I don't have a problem with that, they should have wide lattitude, it's a tough job. I also know that good boards are not going the go to a meeting with the purpose of upsetting the owners, they want peace and calm to get the job done. I don't think there is any question you are having a problem with the board, who's fault is it? Hard to know unless both sides agree to disagree and make concessions. But so do members have rights, in fact they have the same rights the BOD have. Responsibility is another matter, Boards have some additional responsibilities. But add it all up and everyone should be trying to get to the right spot in the road.
JoanneD1
(Arizona)

Posts:447


02/06/2009 6:36 AM  
Good Morning Robert and thanks so much for the post. I received the published minutes of the last board meeting and there is NOTHING in the record that the board along with the PM went into ES. The minutes that are taken by the PM are scant to say the least. From what I have learned, the owners really have less rights than the board other than suing the board, removing the board or keeping one's mouth shut. We are contemplating another special meeting prior to elections for 3 board seats. Unfortunately the current president stays on board for another year. If we get a majority as ineffective as these, we are still in big trouble. I also spoke with a very well thought of OPM in the state of Florida and she said that had her company been confronted with the financial irregularities as I reported, she would have had a CPA in her office that very day! She obvioulsy feels very confident about her books. Have a great day! Joanne
RobertR1
(South Carolina)

Posts:5164


02/06/2009 1:00 PM  
Joanne,
All this has got to be pressing and a tough load for all of your group. If the thought has not occurred to you, try and imagine what is going through your management minds. We, as people, have not envolved enough to not have a conscious, and certainly most can tell right from wrong. Your butt is not hanging out, it appears theirs is.
Just keep up what you are doing, belive me it will work and littloe cracks will appear and you have to admit you are much more able and informed than several weeks ago. Just don't blink, you have nothing to blink about. Keep up your social meetings and just keep chipping away.
JoanneD1
(Arizona)

Posts:447


02/06/2009 1:08 PM  
Robert, Your support comes on a day that it is needed most. Now some owners are up in arms that the BOD has hired a NEW attorney and will be incurring legal fees. It is the Management company that needs to be spending a mountain of money on an audit....NOT US! He is the one who has produced the discrepancies, not me and who can even know how much he might have to pay back as his books must be a mess that he doesn't even know how many sales took place in the last 4 years! I personally doubt that any audit done will help him because the HUD statements clearly show that there was not enought money taken out of the sale to cover our transfer fee, dues and the fees charged by the MC. And as seen on the HUD statement, in some cases NO CHECKS were cut for HOA transfer fees at all. He has some real explaining to do. The statue of limitations on this in the state of AZ is two years and he will need every bit of that to figure out his mess. I refuse to take the blame on this and I don't know how to get elected to the new board without going door to door and explaining my position. Thanks again for a nice post! Joanne
RobertR1
(South Carolina)

Posts:5164


02/06/2009 1:52 PM  
Joanne,
I suppose you are saying they are mad at you all. If the are, let them, there will be more supportors you pick up because of this. Have you thought of another townhall meeting with a rigid agenda. Or, maybe a two part agenda, what you all want to say and then what anyone wants to say. I hope you are not hiding any of this and the more complex the Board and management become you all become more transparent. Unless you all want to go to court, get the pot stirred up, attend meetings, send reasonable question to management and Board via e-mail, ask to talk to ne lawyer. Don't push but be innopvative and factual. Walk into his office tell him who you are and ask for discussion time. He might decline and then he might not, anyway, you all are not trying to hide anything from anyone, this new guy included. Nothing to stop you from sending him your charts and stuff, you don't know what management is feeding him and even though he may work for them, he is probably not stupid.
JoanneD1
(Arizona)

Posts:447


02/06/2009 2:03 PM  
Robert! You are the BEST! When the president returned my UNOPENED certified letter requesting bank docs along with an email saying that the BOD was no longer acting as LIAISON in the matter, she included the phone number and address of the NEW attorney. I left a message for him immediately and he has NOT returned my phone call in two days....just like the BOD. Why should I be surprised? I sent him a full packet of all the emails, letters and some charts and a request for banking records certified and he should have received it today. We would have to request a special meeting again and I have run around my neighborhood twice gathering signatures and the last meeting was cancelled at the request of a VERY MANIPULATIVE BOARD. I swear I will NEVER live in another HOA again and wish I could sell and get out this one. It is way too much work and effort versus the reward. At this point in time, I don't even know if I want to run for the board......I can't bare the thought of sitting in the same room with the PM who has created all this chaos. I recently learned of an owner who refinanced her house and the title company needed condo docs and the PM charge the owner 200 and there was NO TRANSFER OF TITLE. I can't fight all the battles when I hear of unsuspecting people being taken advantage of....it is just too much. Joanne
RobertR1
(South Carolina)

Posts:5164


02/06/2009 9:32 PM  
Joanne,
Someone (in all states I think that consider HOA's as a business) has to be named as registered agent. Go to your state Business filings of licenses, and check out your listing. There should be a Registered Agent. This agent is the person that is to receive all service of due process. Not sure of the nomenclature here but it means this person or office is the agent for the association. I would guess if the president is saying they are not longer acting as liaison, this is what he/she is talking about. That being the case, and it is now this new lawyer I expect it will be listed there.
Whoever is listed there, send them a letter explaining your president has returned a certified US mail and ask them if they are serving as agent. I hope California is not all that different. In fact this new lawyers office should advise you if you ask them if they are serving as Agent.

I am sorry you feel so put upon as a HOA member and am the first to admit it can be difficult. I also spent twenty years in the military because I elected to do so, just as you elected to live in your HOA, it's a tough job but someone has to do it. You can always walk away, but you probably won't, just don't expect a reward, you don't need one, and being where you are you should not expect one, that's not your fight.
JoanneD1
(Arizona)

Posts:447


02/07/2009 5:39 AM  
Good Morning Robert! I know about the agent thing as I have a very small business and my attorney is the statutory agent. I await the signature return card from the NEW attorney. I understand that the attorney legally should comply with my wishes to see the bank documents, BUT I have been told that just because something is legal doesn't mean they will do it. Does that sound a little unAmerican to you? I am not a game player and words like manipulation, deception and avoidance are not in my vocabulary. This board team is over the centerline and there are many owners in my HOA who are starting to get the picture. We are going to round up a large group of owners to attend the Feb 16 monthly meeting. We had 13 last time and that along with the borad made a 25% attendance and that alsone creates some pressure on the board....pressure they have brough upon themselves. Have a great Saturday and hope we can continue this conversation. Sincerely, Joanne
RobertR1
(South Carolina)

Posts:5164


02/07/2009 8:24 AM  
Joanne,
It is permissible if you would like to post an e-mail address here and if anyone wants to discuss any of this stuff personally they can do it off line, so to speak.

I, personally, think you are doing a great job, and you will make your association better. I, like you, tend to let emotion cloud my intent at times. As long as my intent is solid I don't let criticism of of my methods bother me too much. I lose some and win some, but exposure on this board has made it clear to me, there are associations in worse shape than mine. This sort of spreads the blame around some and lets you be more tolerant and not so personal. I also believe that without emotion, little is ever accomplished, but it may be non emotional people get more done in this frame work of HOA's, as far as doing the nuts and bolts changes, like document amendments, board meetings, lawyer relations, management of management, and stuff like that.

As I say, post a personal e-mail if you like, but stay away from bringing any outside discussion back on this board, as he said, she said.
JoanneD1
(Arizona)

Posts:447


02/07/2009 8:44 AM  
Robert, You are right. My point is that when a board communicates nothing, people become skeptical and suspcisions escalate. In the matter of the transfer fee, which is the topic of this thread, when shortages are noted, answers need to be presented within a timeframe that is reasonable and this has not happened. I want the HOA is recover any monies that may inadvertantly or otherwise have not been collected and I want the parties responsible to be accountable in whatever manner is appropriate. This MC remains on the payroll under a cloud that has not been created by anyone other than the MC itself and apparently still continues to charge excessive fees that have not been approved by the HOA by written contract. Joanne, [email protected]
JoanneD1
(Arizona)

Posts:447


02/27/2009 5:54 AM  
Long Time...No Chat! Not much is happening on the transfer fee issue. We had a board meeting and the board did discuss the transfer fee issue in it's twisted way. I was so ill, I could hardly think straight and could not defend all the accusations they laid upon me. Blamed me for going to an attorney because they said I threatened them. I did say that I could file a complaint with the state if they did not give me the bank records. They contend the bank records contain personal information which cannot be shared. We had a large group of owners there and some were very outspoken about how badly the board handled the entire matter. Now those owners are put into the same category with me as trouble makers. The board admitted to NEVER seeing any bank documents and they allowed this horrible PM to do a second audit and they accepted another $1000 in error which brings the total pay back to $3105 which the board said was a far cry from the 8-16 thousand we claim is missing. 3 long time residents offered to form a committee to look at this problem and they now have started from scratch all over again. They don't believe that the manager can be that far off from the data on the HUD statements. I am so disgusted with the entire matter that I could scream, but I have no other option than to sit on the sidelines and watch the whole thinkg get totally botched again. I have lost my trust in the governing body and have NO RESPECT. There is some talk of removing the board, but I no longer have the energy to fight this and half of the community thinks I have caused this whole matter to happen in the first place. I am shocked than people that have earned lots of mmoney in their lives can be so utterly STUPID! Have a great weekend. Joanne
GraceH
(Virginia)

Posts:224


04/08/2009 7:47 PM  
Joanne,
I have been reading this thread and see a lot of you in me and a lot of my Board in yours.
Has anything changed?
Has the Board been removed?
RuthF1
(Washington)

Posts:117


04/08/2009 9:06 PM  
Hi Joanne, your thread was suggest to me as I am going through a similar situation. I am sooooo glad I read this. I was going to do some things that I can see now might be misconstrude.

So my plan now is kill them with kindness. I am seeking out owners to get to know them on a personal level. This way when things come up at the board meetings I will already know the hot issues and who will speak up.

The main objective now is to get the board to run the meetings acording to our bylaws. I believe I can make a motion that this be done so it is in the written record. This may take awhile and I am not going to stress about it.

I am so glad I found this forum. I have found out more in 24 hours than I have the last 2 mos.

Thanks everyone.
RuthF1
(Washington)

Posts:117


04/08/2009 9:06 PM  
Hi Joanne, your thread was suggest to me as I am going through a similar situation. I am sooooo glad I read this. I was going to do some things that I can see now might be misconstrude.

So my plan now is kill them with kindness. I am seeking out owners to get to know them on a personal level. This way when things come up at the board meetings I will already know the hot issues and who will speak up.

The main objective now is to get the board to run the meetings acording to our bylaws. I believe I can make a motion that this be done so it is in the written record. This may take awhile and I am not going to stress about it.

I am so glad I found this forum. I have found out more in 24 hours than I have the last 2 mos.

Thanks everyone.
JoanneD1
(Arizona)

Posts:447


04/08/2009 9:43 PM  
Ruth...Glad the reading helped. I just wrote to someone named Grace and told her knowledge is power and sticking to the facts and not the personalities is the only way to go. Since all that chaos, I now have been elected as Sec/Treas and my two buddies Jan and Len are also on the board with 2 other good friends and we are kickin' butt. The treasurer was removed at the annual meeting...only one director showed up at the annual meeting and it was amazing. In only mone month, we are turning around all the owners and they are realizing how poorly run we were. The more my new BOD looked into matters, the worse it became. Can you imagine we had no personnel records on our security staff...NOT EVEN A JOB APPLICATION! This was not something new,,,,it has been going on for quite sometime. I must admit we had men working the gatehouse that were her forever....the lead man retired after 25 years and the rest were all retirees and well into their 70 and 80....security...well not exactly, but there was a great comfort level and really not a great need for police action. But just keep sticking to the governing documents and the state statutes. Who says revenge is not sweet? When I demanded to see the bank records, the president of the board ran to an attorney and they refused to give them to me becasue they were Attorney/Client privilege! That was a pile of you know what but you cannot fight it. Well, since having been eleceted, I know have full access to the bank accounts. What fools they were and wasted about $1300 for nothing. So hang in their and if I can help let me know. Joanne Please just refer to the governing documents or state laws and they cannot argue with that.
MicheleD
(Kentucky)

Posts:4491


04/08/2009 10:02 PM  
Joanne!

That is AWESOME!

I remember how frustrated you were and how they were trying to hard to both shut you out AND try to make you look like a troublemaker!

Did I see you mention in another post that you also managed to get rid of the PM?

Kudos to that if you did!

Remember, the best revenge is living well.

Don't get smirky, just keep improving the HOA!
RuthF1
(Washington)

Posts:117


04/08/2009 10:19 PM  
Thank you for taking time out to say this Joanne. I am vacillating between "This is just not right" to "Why am I bothering no one else is". The first one always wins out

Not sure if you saw the start of my thread.

I have been here for 4 years. My first introduction to the PM was when I went to the first board meeting (4 days after I moved in). When I walked in, the board stopped talking and the PM said "what do you want?" I guess they hadn't had any owners at meetings for a while.. Go figure LOL...Well it went down hill from there. Many conversations like this one later and the property looking like crap this year I decided to get on the board.

So how we do it here The PM asks who wants to volunteer for the board. Then once they can cajole 5 suckers into thinking they are actually on a board then they pick what they want to be ... note I didn't say they vote. So I said I wanted to be president which in the past was all that had to be done to become the pres. No hidden agenda I wanted change.

I start right off asking questions, like why is the landscaping looking so bad? Do we take bids on services? If we are not satisfied with the PM can we change agents within the Management Co. Well I guess I should have taken a note from survivor. I should have built my alliances up first then gone after the PM. If you had been at the last meeting you would have thought she was president.

Anyway at the first meeting (2 mos after the annual meeting) which the PM told us she was stuck in traffic (the norm) and couldn't get in we met anyway. One of the BODs who LOVES the PM made a motion that I be made Member at large and one of the others be pres. Of course some of us were shocked (not the ones that had planned it). This turned into a 3 hour discussion. He cited the bylaws stating that we were only pro tem elected (volunteered) at the annual meeting and that we vote on the directors at the first meeting. Really??? Not been done for the last 7 years this way. So we use the bylaws at our convenience. Long story short there were 2 ya, 2 nay and one abstain. So technically I won right? Wrong... we decided to have a meeting the next week when the PM could actually make it in. She says to everyone that I have always had a problem with her (now I am the troublemaker not her) but that she is willing to work with me. ?????

The same member makes a motion that HE be president (not sure if that is legal) and again I be member at large citing that I send too many emails updating the board and that I want to get rid of the PM... which at this point I was willing to work with her as well. Not sure why he thought I could get rid of her myself. So this time he has convinced one of the other board members that if I am president I will get rid of the PM right away and now we are at 2 nay 3 ya I am out.

My goal now is to get the PM out and start running the board like it should be. But that takes education of the board and owners. At this point the Pres is an 89 year old man that said at the first meeting we are only a policy board that we make no decisions. Obviously forgetting we have bylaws that state different. I am going to make a suggestion at every meeting that we have a board workshop from the CAI. We will see how far that goes.

Thanks again for helping me out. Seems like we are not the exception...

r
JoanneD1
(Arizona)

Posts:447


04/09/2009 4:39 AM  
Hey Michele, Great to hear from you and I do recall the great advise you gave me. No smirky going on, just a ton of mop up from the last BOD. OM still here, but we are just trying to get our HOA back on track before we make that switch. The old timers will shoot us if we do that right now, but I am on it like white on rice. We have not been in office one month and things are greatly improved already. As I may have mentioned, the old BOD was so busy with pet projects and patting themselves on their backs, that they forgot about the inner workings. They gave total authority to a new hire as the Chief of Security and they never even did a background check. She immediately fired 3 long time employees, two other quit because of a personal dislike for her and she hired her son and two friends. This new board did our due diligence and as we began to peel back the layers, we just kept finding out more garbage. She had taken no job apllications, did no reference checks,and didn't have ANY paperwork in order. It was awful and when we "eliminated" her position, two of her people went with her. We had contacted all of our prior employees and they returned to their positions immediately! It was great. We have a resident who has years of experience and expertise in HR and she is assisting us with a small HR committee to make sure that this never happens again. So all in all, we have made strides. The PM made restitution to us for almost $5000 and it was all because of his terrible bookeeping that we thought it might have been more. We still have some residents who think we made a big deal out of nothing, but I personally think 5K is alot of money so we are pleased with the outcome. Thanks for writing and hope we chat again soon. Sincerely, Joanne
JoanneD1
(Arizona)

Posts:447


04/09/2009 4:49 AM  
Ruth, Is there any group in your area that the managers belong to? We have one here and I do not know how good it is, but I was thinking that if you could find someone who might be viewed as a neutral party come in and talk to your group(Homeowners) and tell them how it is suppose to be, that might garner up some support from your owners. Your situation sounds horrible and unfortunately there is not alot of support one can get even from the state statues. I called the governor's office and there was just plain no where to go and that is why this industry is not looked upon very favorably. Too damn many scoundrels out there. What about your finances? Who is keeping the books and do you do audits? If the manager is as controlling as he sounds, I hope you have some good oversight there. If there is anything funny with the money, you do need to expose that to the owners immediatley. Sometimes you can get their attention through the pocketbook although that was not the case in my HOA cause some of them have too damn much of it, which makes it harder on the poor folk like me! Just keep your sanity throughout the mess and it will get messier the close you get to the truth! Joanne
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