CAI-NE Annual Conference and Expo 2012

For free registration to the Expo, please click here. 

Tune in to GSL’s featured speakers: Ellen A. Shapiro, Esq. and Pamela Jonah, Esq. Attorney Shapiro and other industry professionals will discuss Self-Managed Associations. Attorney Jonah and others will lead a Q&A Legal Panel.

October 27, 8 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. (more…)

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FHA Releases Updated Condominium Guidelines: Addresses Areas of CAI Concern and Makes it Easier to Get Project Certification

By Henry A. Goodman, Esq. 

As you may be aware, in the past, getting FHA certification for condominium projects has often been very challenging, and this has been a concern for CAI and GSL.

Now, we are pleased to report that FHA has released updated guidelines for project approval, and it has addressed key areas of our concerns.  Most importantly, FHA acknowledged that certain policy changes were needed in light of current housing market conditions.  The upshot of these changes is that some regulations will be relaxed, and it will now be easier to secure project approval (assuming that associations will adhere to the new guidelines). (more…)

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Much Ado about Mulch: Need to Comply with New State Regulations

By Henry A. Goodman, Esq.

Well, it’s officially the fall, and many condominium associations have turned their attention away from landscapers and are meeting with contractors regarding snow removal plans.  That’s a good idea, but we need to return to the soil for a moment before it freezes.

Associations now need to address new mulch regulations that went into effect September 1, 2012.  These regulations come in response to several local fires involving mulch-wood products.  A key new policy provision in the new regs concerns the need to use mulch that is fire-retardant. (more…)

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Providence Business News

Twenty years on, court ruling changes condo law

OWNER’S RIGHTS: Gene Savory, president of the Bowen Court association, at the condominiums. Twenty years after the Bowen Court condominiums were built, a court decision is giving residents collective ownership of an undeveloped parcel of the property.

By Patrick Anderson
PBN Staff Writer

Posted 9/10/12

Two decades after Rhode Island was rocked by the 1990s credit union crisis, lingering complications of the Depositors Economic Protection Corp. era are still being unraveled in unpredictable areas, such as condominium development.

This summer, a DEPCO-era dispute involving an East Providence condominium complex was settled by the R.I. Supreme Court in a decision that could alter how developers and lenders approach large condominium projects.

The decision, in Alessi v. Bowen Court Condominium Association, strengthens the position of condominium associations to take control of undeveloped parcels within multi-stage projects when those projects go through foreclosure.

“Given the current economic climate, additional foreclosure scenarios such as the one presented here are sure to arise,” wrote Frank A. Lombardi, the Providence attorney who represented the victorious condominium association in the case. (more…)

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Preparing for the Next Economic Wave: Loan Service Will Meet Commercial Real Estate Needs

By Frank A. Lombardi, Esq.

At GSL, we try to anticipate problems as well as trends so that we will be in the best position to serve our clients and colleagues, not only those in condominium communities but also bankers, developers, and contractors. When I contemplate changes in the real estate market, I tend to see myself paddling on a surfboard, with one wave breaking in front of me and another one on the horizon.

While I’m not an economist, I have sensed that there is generally more demand among homebuyers in the New England residential housing market, as evidenced by the closings we’re handling and recent market statistics.  I am also beginning to see rippling effects in the commercial real estate market as well.  Is the market recovery here?  I am not certain, but I am sure that it is not far behind as our offices are witnessing the beginning of increased demand for real estate in the office, industrial, and retail sectors.  Again, I do not know for sure when this next big wave will squarely hit our shores, but I do know that we need to be prepared for changing market conditions, and that will include meeting an increased need for commercial loans.

Accordingly, we at GSL are expanding our real estate legal services to assist clients in securing loans and writing closing documents. (more…)

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Update on Foreclosure Prevention Law: A Public Service Announcement to Association Board Members and Managers

You may soon be hearing about a new law, passed in August, that is sometimes referred to as the Foreclosure Prevention Law.  The Banking Commissioner is charged with establishing rules and regulations for compliance with this law, which is designed to prevent or forestall home foreclosures on risky loans.


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