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Condo associations have to pay their bills too

Condo living is a big rt of the housing landscape in South Florida.
Condo living is a big rt of the housing landscape in South Florida.
Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Ever since the housing crisis a couple years ago and the Great Recession, the news (and indeed this column) have dedicated numerous column inches to the foreclosure issue in the United States. Millions of homeowners lost their houses to foreclosure, and others were forced to commit to short sales and other unfortunate financial deals to keep themselves afloat.

One of the major issues for individuals living in a community association was the fact that some people, when faced with impending foreclosure, would choose to not pay their monthly maintenance fees. This, in turn, led to more foreclosures, as well as the rise of collection agencies such as SNAP Collections.

As one may realize, however, it isn't only the residents of the association who have to pay their bills. Associations themselves have a financial responsibility to vendors, as well as to the state of Florida. This brings us to today's question.

Q: Can you get in touch with one of your HOA attorney people to explain what “ADMIN DISSOLUTION FOR ANNUAL REPORT” means on sunbiz.org for a condominium association… Does this mean there is no longer an association and the bylaws no longer have to be followed??

-A concerned financial professional

A: That means someone forgot to pay the annual fee to renew the corporation and the corporation is dissolved. They need to pay the "catch up" fees and there may be a penalty too.

The underlying declaration of condominium or declaration of covenants and restrictions is still valid so it doesn't mean that someone can stop paying assessments. Reinstatement of the corporation (and all the bylaws) is just a matter of paying the state the right fee.

-Lisa A. Magill
Attorney at Law

The West Palm Beach HOA examiner would like to thank Lisa Magill for her help in this, and other matters over the past few years. She is employed by the law firm of Becker and Poliakoff, and helps to maintain the CALL (Community Association Leadership Lobby) website, where you can find all of the latest information impacting your community association.

Be sure to subscribe to this column, and stay abreast of issues involving you, the homeowners of Palm Beach County. If you've had any issues with your HOA that you'd like me to try and delve into, and possibly write about later, please let me know. Also, if you'd like to join the discussion on Twitter, you can find me athttp://twitter.com/#!/faborplumbs. While you’re at it, please read my articles about local getaways,motorsports, elections, and restaurants.