CYBER CITIZENS FOR JUSTICE, INC.

Jan W. Bergemann  

President CCFJ, Inc.

1156 Tall Oaks Rd.

Deland, FL 32720

Phone:  (386) 740-1503

E-Mail:  jan@ccfj.net

Website:  http://www.ccfj.net  

“From Justice As A Foundation All Rights Flow”

JANUARY 23, 2006

WHY HB 391 IS NOT CONSUMER-FRIENDLY!

HB 391 -- -- Rep. Domino -- Relating to Community Associations

 

CCFJ, Inc. Bullet Sheet:

·        FS 720.311 Amending Dispute Resolution

Blatant attempt by attorneys to make dispute resolution in community associations a closed shop in direct defiance for the economy and efficiency of mediation as a tool of alternative dispute resolution. Much less expensive possibilities available. Slap in the face of consumers! Instead of reducing cost, it will increase the cost!  Excluding fines and similar issues from mediation kills the main idea for creating the mediation provision. Lengthy discussions at HOA Task Force meetings created these provisions. Public testimony about abuses created mediation provision for fines and prohibition of liens and foreclosures for fines. The 2004 HOA provisions proved very consumer-friendly and seriously reduced the number of abuses. The proposed changes in HB 391 only serve the bank accounts of attorneys, while providing again dictatorial powers to abusive board members. The proposed provisions are detrimental to homeowners, removing important parts of the reforms that had been created by the 2004 HOA Task Force bills.

 

·        FS 720.11 – Covenant Revitalization

      Will create more lawsuits. The momentary solution has already proven to be costly to owners. This will get the voluntary associations involved, where people are already waiting to make them mandatory. The Department Of Community Affairs is not prepared to take care of the arising problems. It forces homeowners to pay legal fees to opt out. Wrong solution! The dispute voluntary vs. mandatory association already creates enough lawsuits. This is a sneak-in attempt for issues already attempted before. At length discussed at HOA Task Force meetings during 2003 and 2004.

 

·        FS 718.110 – Mortgagee Consent

Removes a safeguard against dangerous amendments. Homeowners often don’t understand the dangerous changes created by amendments. Mortgage companies do!

 

·        FS 720.302 (5) So-Called “Clarification”

This proposed subsection is an attempt to remove consumer protection created by FS 720 from older associations incorporated prior to October 1995.

 

·        FS 720.303 Board Meetings

HB 391 proposes changes to board meeting procedures, but still doesn’t remove the provision to allow owners to speak only about matters placed on agenda by membership petition. This provision is being used to prohibit members to speak at board meetings.  Removes requirement of agenda from notice!

 

·        FS 720.303(5) Inspection and Copying of Records

This will further reduce the already limited disclosure options. The attorneys always claim that people already knew what they signed. Cost of up to $150!  Adding no liability for incorrect information.  Good faith clause!  That covers about everything!

 

What in HB 391 is consumer-friendly?

I think that question is a lot easier and shorter to answer!

VERY LITTLE!  



Please let the committee members know that we vehemently oppose HB 391 as written. This bill is detrimental for the owners and serve mainly the service providers! It was handed to Representative Domino by Travis Moore, the lobbyist for the CAI and Becker & Poliakoff, P.A. It seems that Representative Domino is rather protecting the interests of the service providers than his constituents!

HOUSE COMMITTEE ON CIVIL JUSTICE

Next Meeting: January 25, 2006 9:30 AM 
HB 391(Rep. Domino)  

Representatives:

Mahon, Mark (R) Chair  -- VOTED: YEA mark.mahon@myfloridahouse.gov
Slosberg, Irving (D) Vice Chair       YEA irving.slosberg@myfloridahouse.gov 
Cannon, Dean (R)                              --- dean.cannon@myfloridahouse.gov
Coley, Marti                                        YEA marti.coley@myfloridahouse.gov
Domino, Carl (R)                               YEA carl.domino@myfloridahouse.gov
Joyner, Arthenia (D)                          YEA arthenia.joyner@myfloridahouse.gov

Stargel, John (R)                               YEA

john.stargel@myfloridahouse.gov


CYBER CITIZENS FOR JUSTICE, INC                                                                                                     JANUARY 23, 2006


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