FHA Issues New Condominium Approval Rules

Yesterday, August 14, 2019, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) issued significant policy revisions to its condominium approval process. In addition to changes to the condominium project approval policy, the new policy provides a “single-unit approval process” for individual condominium units to be eligible for FHA mortgage insurance, even if the condominium project is not FHA approved. In addition, the new guidelines extend the recertification for approved projects from 2 to 3 years and will allow more mixed-use projects to be eligible for FHA insurance. Here are a few more specifics as to changes to FHA’s Single Family Handbook: Single-Unit Approval … Continue reading

Who’s Responsible for HOA/Condo Assessments When a Homeowner Dies?

In North Carolina when a homeowner dies, his or her real property passes immediately to the heirs under a Will or if there is no Will, under the Intestate Succession Statute. This means that as soon as the homeowner dies there is immediately, by operation of law, a new owner. The real property is not a probate asset and therefore does not pass as such. Except for limited exceptions, this means that typically the “estate” is not the new owner. The question then arises, who is responsible for paying the community association assessments/dues? Since the heirs inherited the property immediately … Continue reading

2018 Community Association Fact Book Released

The Foundation for Community Association Research has just released its Community Association Fact Book 2018, which is full of HOA/condo data and statistics. The purpose of the work is to provide “research-based information to all community association stakeholders–homeowners, board members, management professionals as well as attorneys, accountants, developers, mortgage lenders, federal agencies, public officials and others–all who work with the Foundation and CAI to build better communities.” If you haven’t reviewed the Fact Book before, the information is fascinating. Both national and state-by-state information can be found. For instance, in 1970, there were 10,000 community associations in the U.S. Today … Continue reading

Real Property Tax Time: Legislative Update – Tax Certification, H201

Now is the time of the year in North Carolina that real property tax (ad valorem) bills are going to be coming out in all counties, if they have not already.  They are most typically due upon receipt but not incurring any late charges or additional interest unless not paid by or before the first part of January of the following year.  You should check with the specific county (there are 100 counties in North Carolina) to determine exact date unpaid tax bills are considered late.             A North Carolina statute that sometimes get overlooked in connection with non-payment of … Continue reading

Can I Enforce an Out-Of-State Judgment in North Carolina?

We live in a country where individuals and corporations transact business, enter into agreements, make purchases, and travel or move from state to state on a regular basis. Sometimes, these out-of-state interactions go south – a company or individual breaches a contract or a driver causes a collision and injures another person – and a lawsuit is filed. What happens if a defendant lives in or moves to North Carolina, but the judgment was entered in another state? Or, if the defendant has real property or other assets in North Carolina? Can a judgment obtained in another state be enforced … Continue reading

Earnest Money Deposit & Contract Default Damages Between North and South Carolina Residential Purchase Contracts

Many real estate attorneys, including Black, Slaughter & Black, PA, work in North and South Carolina to handle matters in both states to benefit their clients’ best interests, but require competence in the laws of both states.  There are many differences in the laws of each state, so your counsel must have requisite knowledge of both in order to handle these types of engagements for you effectively. One area of difference between North and South Carolina is how earnest money deposits made in connection with an accepted offer to purchase are treated once the contract terminates due to default. In … Continue reading

I Want to Sell My Home But the Buyer Cannot Get Financing

CONCERNS WITH CONTRACTS FOR DEED / LAND INSTALLMENT CONTRACTS As my mother told me long ago, “There is more than one way to skin a cat.” If we establish that saying as truth, and there are many ways to accomplish the same goal, I would have to add that some methods are certainly better than others given the same fact pattern; experience teaches us this.  It is my experience that if you are selling a home in North Carolina to a buyer who does not have all of the funds to purchase the property, either thorough available cash or an … Continue reading

Association Loans: What You Need to Know

Previous posts have looked at options for community associations in need of money (see Help, Our HOA (or Condo) Needs Money!). If your association has explored and rejected other possibilities (increased assessments, reserves, special assessment, etc.), a loan may be the best prospect. Questions about whether the loan is a good idea or whether the association will be able to pay back the funds are something that only the association can answer. Instead, this blog examines the legal process of what is involved when an association borrows money. Over 200 lenders currently make loans to HOAs and condos, according to … Continue reading

Black, Slaughter & Black Attorneys Speaking at HOA/Condo Annual Conference AUGUST 2

The Annual Conference of the North Carolina Chapter of the Community Associations Institute will be held Thursday, August 1 and Friday, August 2 at the Wilmington Convention Center (515 Nutt Street). Attendees will include community association professionals and community leaders from across the state. During the Friday educational sessions, several Black, Slaughter & Black attorneys will be speaking on issues of concern to community associations, including: Friday, August 2 at 8:30 am David Wilson (with Dawn Becker-Durnin, NFP, and Jessica Due, NFP) Contractual Risk Transfer for Communities: It’s Not Just About the Certificate of Insurance Communities need to outsource work … Continue reading

Special Assessments for Your Condo or HOA

I am often asked to help homeowners associations and condominiums figure out ways to make ends meet.  For those communities with cash flow problems it can be challenging.  Raising dues is never a popular option, but is often necessary.  The governing documents for most condominiums and homeowners associations allow the board of directors to unilaterally increase dues by some amount—usually between 10% and 15%—without a vote of the membership.  That makes sense because an association should be able to make regular increases to dues to keep up with the costs of the association, both the expected costs and the unforeseen … Continue reading

I’m Just Buying a Home… Why Does a Judgment Against Me Matter?

When a client is purchasing a home, my primary job as an attorney representing the buyer is to research the chain of title for the property and to make sure that no one can, as I like to put it, “come out of the woodwork and claim an interest in the new home.” I explain this to clients during the closing by stating that before they own the home, their seller owned it, and someone else before them, and so on. We call this the “chain of title.” When those owners owned the property, they had the power to affect … Continue reading

Regulation of Display of American and North Carolina Flags in HOA & Condominium Associations

Happy Fourth of July!  It is the time of year when our firm gets many questions regarding the display of United States and North Carolina flags in their community associations.  Summer is a popular time of year for sun, sand, BBQ cookouts, and for display of patriotism!  In our experience, we have found that most associations encourage the patriotic display of the United States and North Carolina flags, however reasonable restrictions on flag displays are common in community association governing documents. Both the North Carolina Planned Community and Condominium Acts limit the way in which associations restrict the display of … Continue reading

Top Amendments for an HOA or Condo in North Carolina & South Carolina – Part Three

Authored by Harmony Taylor & David Wilson We are often asked by board members for HOA and condominium associations to review their community’s documents and “update” them or “make them more modern.”  While there is no one-size fits all solution for any community association, we have noticed that some amendments are a good idea for most communities.  Over the next few articles, David Wilson and Harmony Taylor will be exploring some of the amendments that we frequently recommend to the associations that we represent.  Whether you are a single family, townhome, or condominium community, you may want to think about … Continue reading

Top Amendments for an HOA or Condo in North Carolina & South Carolina – Part Three

Authored by David Wilson & Harmony Taylor We are often asked by board members for HOA and condominium associations to review their community’s documents and “update” them or “make them more modern.”  While there is no one-size fits all solution for any community association, we have noticed that some amendments are a good idea for most communities.  Over the next few articles, David Wilson and Harmony Taylor will be exploring some of the amendments that we frequently recommend to the associations that we represent.  Whether you are a single family, townhome, or condominium community, you may want to think about … Continue reading

Parental Liability

A Guide for North Carolina & South Carolina Parents As the mother of two young children, I would like to think that my kids will always follow the rules, obey the law, and make good decisions.  The realist in me knows, however, that they won’t always act as they should or as they’ve been taught.  So what is my liability or legal exposure for the conduct of my children?  Can I be held financially responsible for their wrongdoing? Generally speaking, parents are not required to act as insurers against wrongs, harms, or damages inflicted by their children.  This maxim, however, … Continue reading

The HOA Has Foreclosed on a Home for Delinquent Dues, Now What?

What happens when an HOA completes a foreclosure sale of its claim of lien for unpaid dues? There are several common outcomes which are listed below in order of frequency in our experience: (1) The owner/occupants are evicted and the house is left empty. The Association should include this property on its general liability policy in case someone gets hurt on the property.  Eventually, if there is a mortgage on the property (and there is almost always a mortgage) the mortgage company will eventually foreclose and take title from the Association.  It is a common misconception that the Association is … Continue reading

United States Supreme Court Case Involves North Carolina Trust Beneficiaries

North Carolina Department of Revenue v. The Kimberley Rice Kaestner 1992 Family Trust. This month the United States Supreme Court decided a case that involved North Carolina trust beneficiaries. The question asked was whether the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment permitted North Carolina to tax the income of a trust just because the beneficiaries live in North Carolina. The Supreme Court answered no. Under the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, North Carolina (or any state) has the authority to tax a trust if the trust has “minimum contacts” with the state. North Carolina DOR took the … Continue reading

It’s Not Over Until It’s Over

If you are separated or you’re considering separating from your husband or wife in North Carolina, one of the first questions you’ll get from an attorney is “what was your date of separation?”  One of the reasons is that spouses are presumptively entitled to one-half of all “marital property.”  Marital property includes real estate, bank accounts, vehicles and even lottery tickets that are acquired with marital funds or by marital efforts from the date of marriage to the date of separation. You may have read recently that a Michigan man who bought a Mega Million lottery ticket prior to separating … Continue reading

You’ve Been Separated from Your Spouse for One Year in North Carolina. Should You File for Divorce?

In North Carolina, you and your spouse have to be separated from one another with the intent of at least one of you to remain permanently separate and apart.  Once you reach the one year’s separation, filing for divorce is fairly straightforward. But SHOULD you file just because the year has passed?  Things you should consider before filing are:  (1) will you lose health insurance coverage under your spouse’s plan?(2) do you have property you want distributed to you or debt you want distributed to your husband or wife?(3) do you need financial support in the form of alimony from … Continue reading