Condo Counsel

Educated Business Partner Distinction – Get Familiar With the Test!

Educated Business Partner Distinction – Get Familiar With the Test!

“Educated Business Partner Distinction – Get Familiar With the Test!”
by Ellen Shapiro, Esq.
Condo Media, May 2016

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Ellen Shapiro Named to National Business Partners Council for Community Associations Institute

Ellen Shapiro Named to National Business Partners Council for Community Associations Institute

DEDHAM, MA (PRWEB) December 21, 2015

Ellen Shapiro, Esq., a principal and co-founder of Goodman, Shapiro and Lombardi, LLC (GSL), has been elected to serve on the Community Associations Institute (CAI) National Business Partners Council. Her two-year term begins January 1, 2016. The council is one of CAI’s most senior advisory boards, made up of 12 members who provide input on policy matters to the Community Associations Institute’s Board of Trustees. The council also makes recommendations on educational curriculum, designations and industry best practices. It is also a voice for the CAI CEO and staff on policy matters that affect the governance of condominium and homeowner associations.

CAI is an international organization that works in partnership with 60 chapters numbering more than 33,500 members worldwide. The organization is dedicated to building better communities, inspiring professionalism, effective leadership and responsible citizenship. Shapiro brings the council nearly 25 years’ experience in practicing community association law in New England. She has been a former two-time member of CAI New England Chapter’s (CAINE) Board of Directors, a past co-chair of CAINE’s Attorneys’ Committee, a past president of CAINE, serves on the Board of Directors of Condo Media, (the official publication of CAINE) and is a member of the Real Estate Bar Association (REBA).

Shapiro began her legal career as a prosecutor for the Norfolk (MA) County District Attorney’s office. She currently oversees the statutory lien enforcement process in MA for collecting delinquent fees from condo and homeowner association unit owners who are in default. Shapiro also is certified in Mediation and Condominium Dispute Resolution for CAI’s New England chapter.

About Goodman, Shapiro & Lombardi
GSL is highly regarded as an industry leader in condominium law. With offices in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, GSL currently provides comprehensive legal assistance to an estimated 800 associations, businesses, and individuals since its founding in 1998. GSL’s primary focus is condominium law; however, related services extend to residential and commercial real estate and civil litigation. GSL is differentiated from other condominium legal practitioners in New England by its distinguished leadership team. The firm’s three principals—Henry A. Goodman, Ellen A. Shapiro, and Frank A. Lombardi—have a combined industry experience of more than 75 years.

About Community Associations Institute
CAI is the only organization dedicated to community associations. It is an international organization with more than 33,500 members. CAI works in partnership with 60 chapters, including a chapter in South Africa, as well as with housing leaders in a number of other countries, including Australia, Canada, the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom. CAI provides information, education and resources to the homeowner volunteers who govern communities and the professionals who support them. CAI members include association board members and other homeowner leaders, community managers, association management firms, attorneys and other professionals who provide products and services to associations.

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GSL Decision Alert!

GMScourtroom

GSL Decision ALERT!

GSL Protects the Association’s Super Priority Lien in Rhode Island

The Rhode Island Supreme Court released its opinion today in the much anticipated case of Twenty Eleven, LLC vs. Botelho. The question before the Court was whether or not a condominium lien foreclosure sale on the association’s super priority lien, conducted pursuant to the Rhode Island Condominium Act, Section 36.1 et seq., extinguished a first mortgage on the unit, when the mortgagee failed to exercise the statutory right of redemption.

Goodman, Shapiro, & Lombardi, LLC represented the Plaintiff, Twenty Eleven LLC, who purchased the condominium unit at the association’s foreclosure sale of its super priority lien, which the mortgagee had failed to pay prior to foreclosure. After foreclosure, the mortgagee also failed to redeem the unit after sale and the condominium association gave a foreclosure deed to Plaintiff. In so doing, Goodman, Shapiro & Lombardi, LLC was hoping to protect the “Super Lien” enjoyed by Associations. We were successful!

The facts of the case are briefly stated as follows. After the foreclosure sale, the mortgagee attempted to foreclose on the unit. GSL filed a complaint to quiet title in Superior Court, arguing that the mortgage was extinguished by virtue of the foreclosure of the association’s super priority lien, and that the mortgagee had failed to redeem the unit. The Superior Court dismissed the complaint and held that the super priority lien was not a true priority lien capable of extinguishing a first mortgage, and that the Plaintiff did not hold title free and clear of the mortgage. GSL Attorneys Frank A. Lombardi and Mary-Joy Howes appealed the case to the Rhode Island Supreme Court.

Marking a huge victory for condominium associations in Rhode Island, the opinion, released today, reversed the Superior Court decision. The Rhode Island Supreme Court held, “[A]t best, the right of redemption creates a conditional foreclosure: foreclosure of the super-priority lien extinguishes the first mortgage (and any other junior liens on the unit) unless the first mortgage redeems within the statutory period. Here, defendant did not redeem and, as such, relinquished its last chance to save its security interest in the property.”

This victory follows the recent decisions in Nevada and the District of Columbia, (in which members of Goodman, Shapiro & Lombardi, LLC also filed successful Amicus Curiae (friend of the Court) briefs which have also held that the association’s lien is a true priority lien that is capable of extinguishing a first mortgage by foreclosure.

If you have questions please direct them to Frank Lombardi at lombardi@goshlaw.com, Ellen Shapiro at shapiro@goshlaw.com, Henry Goodman at goodman@goshlaw.com or Mary-Joy Howes at howes@goshlaw.com.

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Everyone Needs One

Everyone Needs One

By: Henry Goodman, Esq.

It seems to have been forgotten that everyone, whether individual or entity, needs a lawyer. In years gone by this need was taken care of by a family or company attorney. These professional advisors were often treated like members of the family or company and few important matters were decided without their counsel. Those valued relationships have disappeared for the most part.

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Goodman Provides Valuable Contribution In Lien Enforcement Victories

Goodman Provides Valuable Contribution In Lien Enforcement Victories

By: Henry Goodman, Esq.

Over the past few months, our own Henry Goodman, as part of the national CAI amicus curiae brief (friend of the court) team (along with other team members, Loura Sanchez, Esq. and Thomas Moriarty, Esq.), has been victorious on behalf of condominium associations in the appeal of cases to the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia (Chase Plaza Condo v JPMorgan Chase) and the Supreme Court of Nevada (SFR Investments Pool 1, LLC vs US Bank, N.A).

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A Word About Karma and Development Rights: The Cautionary Tale of a Luxury Condominium Developer on Goat Island, in Newport, RI

A Word About Karma and Development Rights: The Cautionary Tale of a Luxury Condominium Developer on Goat Island, in Newport, RI

By: Frank Lombardi, Esq.

In the case of In re: IDC Clambakes, Inc, Chapter 11 Case No. 05-12267-MSH (2014) the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for Rhode Island earlier this spring made some interesting law here when it determined that because a Master Association and its sub Associations had impliedly consented to the developer’s use and occupancy of a reserved area after the expiration of development rights, the developer was under no obligation to pay for the use and occupancy thereof.

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Unit Owner Sales: What is the Responsibility of the Association?

Unit Owner Sales: What is the Responsibility of the Association?

By: Frank Lombardi, Esq.

Home sales in Rhode Island, including condominiums, are on the rise. Finally! During the sales downturn the last few years, many municipal and state regulations put in place are only now are being felt as people are once again putting their single family homes and condominium units on the market for sale. As a result, issues regarding resale of condominium units are now more prevalent.

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Common Errors in Assessment Collection: Issues with Interest, Fines, Enforcement

Common Errors in Assessment Collection: Issues with Interest, Fines, Enforcement

By Mary-Joy Howes, Esq.

One of the most common and debilitating issues for community associations is dealing with owners who fail to pay their condominium fees. Most associations have their own policies for dealing with assessment collections as it applies to late or otherwise recalcitrant unit owners. These policies, however, do not always comply with The Rhode Island Condominium Act, rendering them ultimately unenforceable. In my experience reviewing thousands of association ledgers over the years, I notice the same common errors being made. A few of those errors include improper calculation of interest, unenforceable fines, and selective enforcement.

How to address these issues is the subject of this article. Why is this so important?  Because failure to correctly pursue a delinquency under the statute can expose the association to liability in an area that otherwise provides a lot of protection.

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Flag Flap in Boston Condominium Unfurls High Emotions

EllenBy Ellen A. Shapiro, Esq.

As we approach the anniversary of 9/11, many people are thinking of ways to honor our country and how we stood up to terrorism, including the patriotic symbols displayed by millions to show America’s unified spirit.  Twelve years ago, banners, ribbons, and flags emerged on cars, windows, mail boxes, etc. to proudly display symbols of that spirit—a tradition that continues today.

Unfortunately, back in 2001 many community associations were unprepared to deal with the outpouring of support by their members.  The governing documents of most associations contained architectural integrity clauses designed to preserve the uniform appearance of the condominium’s exterior by prohibiting the installation of signs, banners, and flags to the exterior of units or in common areas; they also prohibited the display of any “decoration” on a window that could be viewed from outside the unit.  Conflicts and confusion arose between the boards that were obligated to enforce the governing documents and the residents who wanted to demonstrate their patriotism. (more…)

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GSL Lets Cats out of the Bag (or Unit!) and Helps Clients Deal with Pet Hoarding

By Mary-Joy Howes, Esq.

Pet hoarding has become an increasingly messy problem for condominium associations.  It is important for associations to understand what their rights and remedies are – and how to enforce them in situations that threaten the well-being of the community’s health, safety, and property.

The following case in point involves cats, but many others have involved dogs: (more…)

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