Press Release: Community Associations Institute CEO Responds to Foreclosure Case

Home foreclosure over $123 debt to spark legal challenge


Dear Mr. Rathburn, Ms. Berger,

Dear Legislators, Friends and Members,


This case shows clearly what homeowners said all along: The CAI shouldn't have talked Governor Schwarzenegger into vetoing the CA anti-foreclosure bill AB2598. It would have stopped this ridiculous case -- and many others!


I fault the people, who talked Governor Schwarzenegger into vetoing this bill, for every case we will read about in the media -- week after week! I just hope these people can still sleep?


In North Carolina it was about $70, in California it's about $123 -- and the list will go on! Just the headlines from last week! Read the story at:


Donna Berger, attorney in the law firm of Becker&Poliakoff and spokesperson of CALL, another group connected to the CAI, just stated when talking about this veto:"Thankfully, more rational thinking prevailed and the California initiative was defeated." Great to know that she thinks that the majority of California's legislators is not thinking rational. Or did she forget that the bill in question passed the CA legislature -- House and Senate -- with a nearly unanimous vote? But, like usual, everybody not in agreement with the CAI party-line is accused of not thinking rational! Let's get used to it!


Homeowners' activists all over the nation were disgusted when the bill, supported by homeowners and consumers, was vetoed. But the CAI claimed victory.

Now the CAI is busy doing damage control. And they will be very busy since they are obviously unable to control their own members!

Homeowners all around the nation are getting sick and tired of hearing the stupid excuses from a trade organization that we feel is causing the problems in the first place. We homeowners don't want to hear "responses" from CEOs and more excuses. Since years we hear every time that it's just another insulated case and people speaking out are just a few disgruntled homeowners -- or dissidents! Families and retirees are losing their homes and we're hearing the same platitude.


And since the CEO of the CAI is so concerned about necessary education it would be about time that he starts with educating his own members!


I think it's time they send their brochures to their own members and ask them to read it! And if an association suffers hardship from a member not paying $70 or $123, they should look into other means of paying bills. May be cutting down on all the legal expenses?


Just read the press release below and start wondering: Is this really what our society stands for?


I'm absolutely against deadbeats, but would you call somebody, who didn't pay $123 in association dues -- or an elderly lady, who forgot to add $3,50 in late fees -- a deadbeat? But they were foreclosed upon!


If you agree, you might give Mr. Rathburn a call and let him know. He listed his telephone number below for that purpose -- I guess?


And since the CAI seems to be unable to stop its members, it's left to our legislators to protect the consumers and stop this abusive behavior. It's about time!

Just my opinion -- and on that note:

Happy Holidays!
Jan Bergemann

Press Release: Community Associations Institute CEO Responds to Foreclosure Case

Community Associations Institute CEO Responds to Foreclosure Case
Friday December 10, 5:58 pm ET

ALEXANDRIA, Va., Dec. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Thomas M. Skiba, Chief Executive Officer, Community Associations Institute, responds to "Home foreclosure over $123 debt to spark legal challenge" (Chico Enterprise Record, December 9, 2004):

    *  This case reinforces the continuing need for education and effective communication, both for the volunteers and professionals involved in community association governance and for individual homeowners.  CAI is doing its part to create principles and practices designed to prevent miscommunication, misunderstanding and miscalculation.

    *  Nobody wants to foreclose on a home, not a bank, not a lender
and certainly not a community association. That's why foreclosure
should always be used as a last resort, applied only after all other
reasonable measures have failed.

    *  People occasionally face financial hardship -- a lost job, for
instance -- and in those cases many community associations do work with homeowners to develop deferred or special payment plans.

    *  CAI is committed to working with homeowners, lenders, consumer
advocates and government officials in California and elsewhere to address this type of unfortunate situation.

    *  Rather than becoming embroiled in individual disputes, CAI's mission is to foster effective, harmonious and competent community
associations. That is the purpose behind everything we do, from providing education courses and publications to advocating for community association governance that is rational, reasonable and responsible.

    *  The delivery of services in a community association -- from
maintenance and landscaping to trash services and street lighting --
depends on all residents meeting their obligations. Residents who don't pay their assessments -- as they contractually agreed to do when they purchased their homes -- are cheating their neighbors, their community and themselves. When some homeowners are delinquent, either their neighbors must make up the difference or services and amenities must be curtailed. That affects everyone in the community, perhaps even leading to a decline in property values.

CAI is a national, nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering vibrant, responsive, competent community associations. The 16,000-member organization, which includes 55 regional, state and local chapters, represents professional community managers, community association volunteer leaders (homeowners), management companies, and businesses and professionals who serve these communities. Member services include educational resources, advocacy, professional designations, books and periodicals, conferences and seminars. More than 50 million Americans live in an estimated 260,000 homeowner and condominium associations, cooperatives and other planned communities.

Foreclosure is among the principles included in Rights and Responsibilities for Better Communities, series of practices and
principles advocated by CAI and adopted by community associations
nationwide. For more information, go to

CONTACT: Frank Rathbun, Work: +1-703-797-6261, or Home:
+1-703-256-7731, or


Home foreclosure over $123 debt to spark legal challenge

HOAs Can Legally Foreclose On Your Home, But That May Change