Revitalized?

The latest newsletter from the association was delivered March 3rd and in it it claims that the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity reviewed their MRTA documents and "determined their compliance" so the association concludes that their revitalization has been approved.

Here is the catch - the state only approves what they are given.  In this case the association gave them a bunch of papers saying they were in charge before and will always be in charge and that people will be forced into mandatory membership and forced fines, fees, and assessments.  The problem is that is not reality.

The association gave the state their recent documents that they claim supports their current posting regarding liens, they lacked the legal authority to impose liens on a property.  This is one of the defining aspects of a homeowners association.
revitalization attempt.  What they did not include was the fact that those documents are contrary to Florida State Statutes and that they do not fit the legal description of a homeowners association.  If you recall back to the

(9) “Homeowners’ association” or “association” means a Florida corporation responsible for the operation of a community or a mobile home subdivision in which the voting membership is made up of parcel owners or their agents, or a combination thereof, and in which membership is a mandatory condition of parcel ownership, and which is authorized to impose assessments that, if unpaid, may become a lien on the parcel.

Ignoring the fact that the conversion to mandatory membership was not conducted properly, the association has admitted in their revitalization attempt that they do not have the authority to impose liens - a condition of the law.  So if they cannot fulfill this simple requirement of the law then they cannot legally be in compliance with MRTA statutes.

This is important because their actions and insistence that they can do this will cost the community thousands of dollars.  Imagine the first lawsuit that challenges this.  We are not talking about loopholes.  We are talking about simple legal definitions.  The association cannot even do that.  Sadly the state doesn't have the resources or legislated authority to research every revitalization claim.  Basically they make sure all the administrative "t"s are crossed and the "i"s are dotted.  They don't check to see if what they were given adds up.

And remember that notice where they said they won't take your house away?  While it is true that they have no lien rights, that hasn't stopped them in the past.  They have foreclosed on properties in the past when the declaration had already expired.  In fact, here is a collections notice they sent out in April of last year that threatens foreclosure:

 
Sounds like a shake down.

And if you were wondering what happened with that threat from above?

Nothing.

That property owner had their attorney notify the association years ago informing them that they lacked authority.  Ever since then the association would send them harassing letters like the one above.  They would never follow through.  They just used these enforcement letters as an attempt to intimidate homeowners into paying them money (as well as making some extra money for the attorney) and many have indeed paid.  Since they have openly admitted that they lack the authority to lien and foreclose, making such threats would be... ILLEGAL!

So just remember to take every little bit of information from the association with a grain of salt because chances are they aren't doing you a favor and their actions can cost you in the long run.

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