Areas & Topics

Community Associations Blog

6 common mistakes motorists make driving in winter weather

It seems that each winter brings an increase in car accidents. No matter how careful you are, someone else's recklessness can put you at risk.

There are many mistakes drivers make each winter, even if they are familiar with snowy and icy road conditions. It's possible you have even made some of them yourself without realizing it.

4 Tips on how to handle a car accident when you are injured

According to Maryland Department of Transportation, over 500 people died as a result of a traffic accident in 2016. Many people would agree that losing one person is one too many. Traffic accidents are often preventable when drivers are sober, free of distractions, mindful and courteous of traffic laws and have safe vehicles not at risk of malfunctioning.

Although it would be ideal to have all these conditions present at all times, the truth is many people of all ages have suffered serious injuries and death due to traffic accidents statewide. Across the state of Maryland the following data was reported to the DOT office for 2016:


By: Tim S. Carey, Esquire

We have been asked by several clients over the past year about whether they can report delinquent assessment debt to the credit bureaus, or whether we will do so on their behalf. This article is intended to walk you through our general position on this matter. While we draw some conclusions herein, this is not intended as legal advice to any one client.

There are two recent events that make this question a relevant one for your community. First, Equifax announced last year that it would accept information regarding community association fees and begin including those payments on consumers' credit reports.

November Newsletter: Discriminatory Housing Practices by Third Parties

Many of our clients have asked us to provide guidance with regard to 24 CRF 100.700, a new rule promulgated by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development ("HUD") pursuant to its authority under the Fair Housing Act (the "Act").  As set forth more fully below, 24 CRF 100.700 arguably imposes additional obligations on the community associations.  To limit liability as a result of said obligations, we recommend that each client carefully examine each complaint involving race, color, religion, sex, familial status, national origin or handicap with heightened scrutiny, and turn over any cases of alleged discrimination to our office promptly for further evaluation and possible enforcement.

October Newsletter: CAI 2017 Annual Advocacy Summit


On September 27, 2017, Brian Fellner, Esq. and I attended the CAI Advocacy Summit in Washington D.C., along with approximately 50 other CAI Members from across the Country. At the Summit, CAI representatives met with various politicians and/or their Legislative Correspondents to address three issues that affect our communities at the federal level.


We have been asked on numerous occasions recently to give guidance to our community association clients about disputes that arise with and between their members. Communities throughout Maryland, and across the country, grapple with these questions every day. Resolving disputes within a community association can be one of the most daunting tasks facing members of the Board of Directors or property managers. It can be a confusing process to the lay person and oftentimes is not as cut and dry as we legal practitioners would like. How a Board or property manager handles the first steps toward enforcement of a community's governing documents and dispute resolution can mean the difference between a functioning community and a dysfunctional one, between upholding and protecting the covenants, which in turn protect property values, and selective enforcement and losing the right to enforce. But what, exactly, do you do? 

Starting a Neighborhood Watch in Your Community

Many of our communities have expressed an interest in forming a neighborhood watch in order to assist with preventing crime and building stronger relationships with law enforcement. Though forming a neighborhood can be a great way to achieve these goals, a neighborhood watch could result in liability to the community. To reduce liability to the community, we recommend the following safe guards:

Bankruptcy 101: Chapter 7 vs. Chapter 13

We have been asked on numerous occasions recently to provide guidance to our community association clients about the effects that bankruptcy has on their collections cases. The most common forms of bankruptcy by owners in the community association context are filed pursuant to either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 of the United States Bankruptcy Code. Because of the confusion surrounding bankruptcy, many boards see bankruptcy as a negative for their community. Though the filing of bankruptcy certainly can have negative consequences, bankruptcies can actually be a good way for owners to restructure their debts and do not necessarily discharge all of the obligations owed to the community. That is, the bankruptcy may actually result in the association receiving more of the funds owed than they otherwise would have.


In a rare, unanimous, and bipartisan vote of 427-0, the U.S. House of Representatives approved the Housing Opportunity through Modernization Act ("the Act"). On July 29, 2016, President Obama signed it into law. The Act requires the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) to ease up on burdensome restrictions on condominium associations, in hopes of increasing the number of communities eligible to sell to homebuyers who qualify for FHA-insured financing.


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

Phone: 443-535-6940
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