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Community Associations Blog

Kids are common accidental poisoning victims

You’re a responsible parent. You childproof your home with locks on cupboard containing poisonous chemicals and keep your prescription medications safely out of your children’s reach. Controlling your home environment is simple. It’s the hazards outside of your home and control that are concerning.

Children and their penchant for curiosity makes them high-risks for poisonings. A child left unattended with access to chemicals or medications may try to ingest them. The wave of children eating laundry detergent pods was partially attributable to their candy-like appearance. A small child may not realize the difference between laundry soap and a treat.

Know the symptoms for whiplash

Whiplash is most often associated with motor vehicle accidents after an incident when your head is thrust forward or backward. Whiplash can also happen because of sports injuries or even physical abuse when a person is violently shaken.

If you feel pain in your neck and shoulders or a tightening in your muscles, how do you know if it’s whiplash? How long could it last, and how do you deal with the pain?

COLLECTION'S CORNER : Deferred Billing

This month in Collection's Corner, we are focusing on deferred billing. Our office offers two different billing options with respect to collection cases: contemporaneous billing (i.e. "pay as you go") or deferred billing. Unlike contemporaneous billing where you receive an invoice for all actions completed on a collection matter and costs incurred during the prior month, with deferred billing, the legal fees are incurred but not invoiced until a "triggering event" occurs. Triggering events include, but are not limited to, bankruptcy filing by the delinquent owner, sale, or other transfer of ownership of the property including foreclosure, writ of execution, death, obtaining a personal judgment against the owner, or if management accepts and processes a payment from the delinquent owner. Once a triggering event occurs, all deferred legal fees will be "brought forward" meaning you will receive an invoice for the deferred amounts in the next month's invoice. Also, while our legal fees will be deferred, the community will still be billed contemporaneously for any actual costs incurred, such as filing fees, private process server fees, title work and the like, because those costs are paid upfront on behalf of the community by our firm.

Maryland Legislative Update 2019

Two new laws directly affecting community associations were passed during the 2019 Maryland Legislative Session. First, Residents of 55 plus communities in Carroll County can now conduct a bingo game on the common areas of their community in addition to Mahjong and card games for a small wager (HB 1127/SB 786). Boards may want to consider adopting reasonable rules regulating the location and/or times when a resident may use the common areas for such games. We are happy to discuss whether your community would benefit from additional rules and regulations address gaming on the common areas.

Evergreen Management, LLC and the Importance of Fidelity Insurance

On July 31, 2019, the Maryland Attorney General announced that the Office of Consumer Protection Division reached a settlement with Evergreen Management, LLC ("Evergreen") and its owner, Jason Barry Oseroff ("Oseroff") for misappropriation of community association funds. Charges were brought against Evergreen and Oseroff in April of this year, alleging the management company and its owner used community association funds for their own benefit, refused to provide bank statements, falsified, balance, expense and income reports, and transferred funds from one association's account to a different association's account in order to hide any shortfall that resulted from the improper use of the funds. In addition, Oseroff and Evergreen liquidated clients' reserve funds and investment accounts without authorization. As part of the settlement agreement, Oseroff is no longer permitted to manage any condominium or homeowners' associations. In addition, Oseroff and Evergreen must repay all of the monies they owe to consumer and pay penalties; approximately $2.5 Million Dollars.

Is substance abuse common among truck drivers?

Driving a tractor-trailer can be a lonely and boring profession. It involves long hours alone driving down similar-looking roadways with few forms of available entertainment.

Some truck drivers turn to alcohol or drugs for relief from the sometimes, mind-numbing nature of their profession. At least half of truck drivers around the world drink alcohol on the job and 30% of truck drivers around the world use amphetamines while working.

COLLECTIONS CORNER : Credit Reporting

This month in Collections Corner, we will return to an issue we first addressed in our December 2017 Newsletter - reporting delinquent homeowners Community Association debt to the credit bureaus (enclosed). To briefly recap the contents of that letter, our office became aware of a company advertising services to report delinquent homeowners on behalf of a community association. Our office conducted research and identified a few issues that lead us to recommend not reporting delinquent homeowners. For example, federal laws for credit reporting impose investigation obligations on the creditor who provides the information, opening new avenues for delinquent homeowners to sue a community association. Additionally, we are not swayed that reporting delinquent homeowners actually increases the efficiency of collections.

Special Client Letter - Requests For Reasonable Modifications And Accommodations And Emotional Support Under The Fair Housing Act

Over the years, many clients have asked our office to provide guidance concerning homeowners' requests for reasonable modifications and/or accommodations under the Federal Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988 (the "FHAA"). And, more recently, as you may have seen in the news, there is a significant increase in the use of emotional support animals ("ESAs") to assist people with managing their disabilities which has left many of our clients wondering how to comply with the law while still enforcing pet policies and other related covenants and rules.

How Maryland’s wrongful death statute helps families of victims

If someone you love recently died in an accident, Maryland’s wrongful death statute can help hold the parties at fault responsible. This statute allows for spouses, parents, children and other family members to receive compensation for their loss.

Jason N. Greenberg, Esq., joined Nagle & Zaller as an associate attorney

Dear Board Members and Managers:

I hope that you are enjoying the Fall and the changing colors of the leaves and had a fun Halloween! We are officially at the beginning of the holiday season which we know is a very busy and exciting time for everyone. During this season of celebrations, we want to take a moment to welcome the newest member of our team. Jason N. Greenberg, Esq., joined Nagle & Zaller as an associate attorney and he will be the managing attorney overseeing our collections department. 

Contact

Nagle & Zaller, P.C.
7226 Lee DeForest Dr.
Suite 102
Columbia, MD 21046

Phone: 443-535-6940
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