Governor Charlie Crist signed S 1196 into law.

An Opinion By Jan Bergemann 
President, Cyber Citizens For Justice, Inc.

Published June 2, 2010


What a disaster for Florida's homeowners and condo owners living in mandatory community associations! This bill will do ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to help owners deal with the huge budget deficits caused by unpaid dues and/or foreclosures.


I just hope that the board members who so eagerly supported S1196 will realize pretty soon that they have been had when their accounts are depleted and owners canít pay any more special assessments and/or due increases.


Hopefully you will realize one day that by supporting the bill you agreed to pay for maintaining the units under foreclosure -- which are actually the bank's collateral. But until the foreclosure is final Ė which can last 2 or 3 years -- all the owners have to pay for the upkeep of these units. By the way the bill grants you 1% of the initial mortgage after foreclosure to be paid by the bank.


You may not have to install sprinkler systems and fire alarms, but you also have to pray that there will be no serious fire in your condo and some of your old frail neighbors burn to death caused by the lack of a sprinkler system and fire alarms.


The installation of sprinkler systems was anyway only due in December of 2014.

Quite a few of the community associations will not live to see that date because they are broke before, unable to pay the utility bills, causing the health department to red-tag the building.


Lots of associations have already used the reserve funds to pay the daily bills -- and reserve funds are running low in many communities.


Signing S1196 into law will mean that you will not see in the near future any legislation that will help you with paying the bills, holding the lending industry responsible for the damage they did to our community association. Paying legislators like Ellyn Bogdanoff paid off for them.


Many homeowners and condo owners have to switch to survival mode in order to keep their homes.


Especially homeowners living in HOAs have ways to fight for survival. The owners who are still paying can get together and make the association toothless. They can change the governing documents, making sure they are only liable for payment of a few utility and landscaping bills.


There are ways to circumvent the statutes. Nobody can force you to pay for the upkeep of your neighborís property. It may not always look nice, but itís better than sleeping under the bridge.

You donít need attorneys and managers, but you need to pay your utility bills. Make sure the money your association has available is used to keep you in your homes, not to make service providers rich. You always hear: Lien and foreclose fast, enforce the rules and fine your neighbor for violating the rules.


None of it will help you getting more money in the coffers. Actually, it only forces you to spend money you donít recover in most cases.


During the month of June we will publish suggestions for surviving S 1196 and its provisions Ė or the lack thereof.


Donít lose your home because of bad legislation! Learn how to defeat the system that will force you to pay for homes and units you donít own Ė and you are not legally responsible for!


The time has come to fight for your home Ė and financial survival of your family.


And donít believe the ďproperty values fairy tale.Ē If your association is broke and canít pay its utility bills you will lose your home, no matter if you paid all you maintenance dues, your mortgage and your private utility bills! You will be added to the growing number of families who lost their homes courtesy of the community association system!


You all need to help yourself, because the legislature failed to help you!


You need to fight the system before the system destroys you and your family!

In case you find out that the bill really doesn't help you and does more harm than good as predicted by us, here are the folks you need to send your THANK-YOU letter to -- list according to Donna Berger:


Donna Berger, Esq. (CAN) Law firm of Katzman Garfinkel & Berger

The proud board members working with CAN


Representative Ellyn Bogdanoff

Representative Matt Hudson

Senator Mike Fasano

Senator Jeremy Ring


These are the proud legislators who sold lives, health, safety and financial welfare of the owners to special interest -- and will cause many families to lose their homes!


And if that bill is positive I really wouldn't like to see what Donna Berger considers negative!