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Melissa A. Volet is a member of Stark & Stark’s Community Associations Group since 2005. The practice is focused on drafting service contracts, drafting resolutions and amendments, rule and regulation creation and enforcement, complex collection matters, litigation, and developer transition.

On March 11, 2021, President Joe Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (the “Act”) into law. The Act is a $1.9 trillion economic relief package intended to address the COVID-19 pandemic.

Continue Reading American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 Provides For Additional Cash Assistance and Supplemental Federal Unemployment Benefits

2020 marks the year of COVID-19, economic shutdowns, unemployment, and business closings. However, with approximately $4 trillion dollars in pandemic aid, many individuals were able to avoid foreclosure and bankruptcy. With federal funding providing an additional $600 per week to unemployment checks, many individuals received more in unemployment benefits than they would have received in their paychecks. Mortgage foreclosure moratoriums also assisted individuals financially impacted by the pandemic. What is in store for 2021 with federal stimulus and forbearance plans ending, and unemployment on the rise? 2021 may mark the year of soaring bankruptcy filings.

Continue Reading A Rise in Bankruptcy Filings for 2021 and How Associations Should Brace for Impact

On March 30, 2020, the U.S. Court of Appeals Third Circuit issued an important decision in the case of Riccio v. Sentry Credit, Inc., approving oral communication as a method to dispute the validity of a debt. This decision overruled Graziano v. Harrison 950 F.2d 107 (3d Cir. 1991), a long-standing case requiring a writing to dispute a debt and will affect all consumer debt collectors including those collecting debt for community associations.

Continue Reading Validity of Debts May Be Disputed by Oral Communication: Third Circuit Rejects Requirement of a Writing to Dispute Consumer Debt Under the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act

The coronavirus pandemic, with its stay at home mandates and work restrictions, is hitting the economy hard. Community association boards and managers should anticipate adverse impacts in the collection of assessments as early as April and must be prepared to address these delinquencies.

Continue Reading Staying the Course: Assessment Collection During (and After) the Coronavirus Pandemic

Foreclosure rates for residential properties continue to drop. Black Knight Financial Services reported that in 2016, the national foreclosure rate dropped by 30 percent. The first quarter of 2017 reports the lowest rate of foreclosure activity since 2006.

As the inventory of foreclosed properties lessens, housing markets will see an increase in value. Owners should start to see home values on the rise.

While foreclosure rates nationwide are the lowest they have been in 11 years, foreclosures in New Jersey remain among the top ten highest in the country.
Continue Reading Foreclosure an Effective Method to Recoup Unpaid Condo Assessments

According to a September report from RealtyTrac, nationwide foreclosure rates have dropped 24% from a year ago. For the first time since the real estate crisis foreclosure timelines have also decreased. Experts suggest the reduction in timelines is the best indication of a full market recovery because it shows states are clearing the backlog of foreclosures.

Unfortunately this improvement has not carried over to New Jersey which still ranks #2 for the highest foreclosure rates.
Continue Reading Foreclosures—New Jersey Recovery Still Slow

Many people do not realize that Condominium Associations can foreclose units in the same manner as a mortgagee, pursuant to N.JS.A. 46:8B-21.

The Complaint to Foreclose is filed in the County where the unit is located. A copy of the filed Complaint is then served upon the unit owner via personal service. The unit owner will have 35 days to file an Answer to the Association’s Complaint. In the event the Unit Owner fails to file an Answer, the Association can proceed with filing a Request to Enter Default.


Continue Reading Foreclosing Association Liens

Once association counsel obtains a personal Judgment against the unit owner for failure to pay maintenance fees, late fees, attorneys’ fees and costs, and other charges, we look for ways to collect on the Judgment. If delinquent unit owner rents his unit, one method of collecting on the Judgment is by levying the rental income.
Continue Reading How Community Associations Can Collect on Judgments by Rent Levy

Once association counsel obtains a personal Judgment against the unit owner for failure to pay maintenance fees, late fees, attorneys’ fees and costs, and other charges, we look for ways to collect on the Judgment. One method of collecting on the Judgment is by garnishing the unit owner’s wages.
Continue Reading How Community Associations Can Collect on Judgments by Way of Wage Garnishment