Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Lawyers against legislation that benefits lawyers: HOA Industry against AB1720

Updated with misleading industry advocacy group's efforts:  April 25, 2016 7:00 pm

Posted By CotoBlogzz

Rancho Santa Margarita , CA -  Existing civil code requires an association managing a common interest development, not unlike Coto de Caza’s CZ Master Association,  to provide notice of the time and place of a board meeting and authorizes any member of the association to attend board meetings, except when the board adjourns to, or meets solely in, executive session. It also requires the board to permit any member to speak at any meeting, except for executive session meetings.

Assembly Bill AB1720  would require the board to permit an attorney who represents a member to attend board meetings to listen to the proceedings, to take  notes, and to speak for the owner if they wish and the industry has gone ballistic.  Never mind that multiple less-than-honest attorneys representing HOA boast of having been paid several thousands of dollars for simple Small Claims Court cases:

The Community Associations Institute (CAI,) a HOA lobbying group is urging a “no”  vote,  because “ The bill will result in associations paying to hire attorneys to attend all meetings in case a member's attorney shows up, as members are only required to notify Boards that their attorney is attending "where possible."  This bill costs associations huge unanticipated costs” 

The industry, including the CAI, view homeowners in a HOA simply as an ATM, that property managers, attorneys and other service providers can go to when they need money – this happens whether homeowners are present during meeting or if attorney’s representing homeowners attend such meetings.

Coto de Caza's CZ Master Association - Most Litigious HOA
When HOAs bring legal action against homeowners, the homeowners always win:  The HOA in general has the bigger pockets and even if the homeowners wins the battle he or she may lose the war is it is paying direct legal fees, as well as HOA dues.

Adams-Stirling in its  Davis-Stirling newsletter  says  that s AB1720 will override all governing documents in the state and  invade private meetings. This bill will not benefit anyone  except lawyers.”  Interesting irony:  Lawyers objecting to legislation that will benefit lawyers.

You know that if the industry is against legislation, then such legislation is good for homeowners.  The questions is whether principled politicians will see it the same way.

HOA Industry Advocacy Groups Against Homewoners - Efforts to Stop AB 1720 - Message via email

URGENT Call to Action: AB 1720

Wendy Van Messel 
Today at 4:15 PM
This is our best opportunity to stop Assembly Bill 1720 which allows Association members to send a non-member person (including attorneys, CPAs, contractors, media reporters) to your association's board meetings.

The current April 4th version of the bill does not prohibit the non-members from observing discussions, taking notes, taping, speaking with other members, and using information obtained in a later lawsuit.

Obviously, this is very foreseeably adversarial and will intimidate volunteer board members.  (There are currently five (5) other methods to resolve disputes already in law.)

The bill is being supported by groups that typically sue HOAs.  

To help TODAY, TONIGHT or TOMORROW, please call or fax your request to the members of the Assembly Housing Committee, below.

You can simply call and leave a message saying:
"I am requesting the Assemblymember to vote "NO" on AB 1720 in the Housing Committee on Wednesday morning."

The proponents are also asking their troops to phone in, so please make your call today to Chairman Chiu and Vice Chairman Steinorth, and others who may reside near your home town.

NUMBERS COUNT!  Even if you are not a constituent in the below counties, we need to hear from you!  Click on the Assemblymembers' names in the table below to send an email message directly to the Assemblymembers' offices.  Please also circulate this Call to Action by forwarding this email to your neighbors and colleagues, and by sharing on Social Media.
Burke, Autumn
(L.A., Inglewood, Hawthorne)
62 5144 916 319 2062 916 319 2162 
Chau, Ed
(El Monte, Rosemead, Alhambra)
49 2179 916 319 2049 916 319 2149 
Chiu, David (Chair)
(San Francisco)
17 2196 916 319 2017 916 319 2117 
Gaines, Beth
(Folsom, Roseville, Rocklin, Lincoln)
2130 916 319 2006 916 319 2106 
Lopez, Patty
(San Fernando)
39 5160 916 319 2039 916 319 2139 
Mullin, Kevin
(So. San Fransisco, San Mateo, Pacifica, Burlingame, Millbrae)
22 3160 916 319 2022 916 319 2122 
Steinorth, Marc (Vice-Chair)
(Rancho Cucamonga, San Bernadino, Redlands, Loma Linda)
40 2111 916 319 2040 

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