Osceola News Gazette Article.pdf
http://www.ccfj.net/CCFJHarborHillLawSuit.htm victory for Homeowners
http://www.prfsc.org/ for the minutes from January 11th,2016 Meeting
Check out the www.prfsc.org website on the middle right side there is stuff including links about all the lawsuit articles except this morning’s article
APV Governing Docs Part 1- We can't even begin to list all the ways Avatar has disregarded our Governing Docs when it suits their agenda.
1985 Agreement- Read page 7, Paragraphs C & D. What do you think? Does Avatar get a tie-breaking vote when the Resident Directors are split?
Resolution 1099- Gave the Executive Committee the power to act with all the same powers of the whole Board of Directors. Prior to 2012, Avatar repeatedly used this resolution to conduct business. When the People tried to use this power, Avatar sued and claimed all Executive Committee decisions had to be ratified. Same document, double standard!
First Service Residential Contract- Check out page 8, then page 13. The original agreement called for FSR to provide 1 Licensed Community Manager (LCAM) and 3 other support personnel. Three months later, without a vote by the Board of Directors, then President Renate Ward signed the addendum and grossly expanded what this community is paying First Service Residential.
Williams Contract (New Pool/Community Center)- Look at page 4. The Guaranteed Maximum Price is TBD!! Who signs a contract that has no price on it? Where was First Service Residential? Where was APV's Legal Counsel? The Board voted to get multiple bids for this project, but FSR didn't do it. The whole process has been mismanaged from the start and has cost this community millions! This is not Williams Company's fault. They were told we had 4.4 million dollars to build a community center, pool, and a few renovations. They came back with a design that cost 4.4 million dollars.
2013 Audit Report- Remember the 2013 budget was drafted and approved by the Board before FSR came onboard. This budget was drafted and approved while Mr. Val Ramos was still managing the APV. Review the last page where the auditor give us a summary of the net operating income. Notice that there was a surplus of 1.07 million dollars. Review also page 7. At the end of 2013 the APV had 9.79 million in cash or like-cash assets.
2014 Audit Report- This is the first year that FSR was responsible for drafting the annual budget. This audit draft was included in the August Board of Directors package, which is four months after when the audit is legally required to be finished. As of the day of this posting(Sept. 2015) the final report has not been published to the Board of Directors. However, check out page 22 where the auditor gives us a summary of net income. Notice that there is a 1.4 million dollar loss to the Association. Also, page 8 shows that at the end of 2014, the Association had 9.04 million dollars in cash or like-cash assets.
Recent Financial Statement by FSR- Look at the bottom line for this year. As of two weeks ago, the operating account was down to $870,000 and the reserve account was down to 2.7 million dollars. WOW, see how fast FSR spent this community's money! By the way, montly payroll is approximately $360,000, not to mention the normal operating costs. How long is that $870,000 going to last? Not until the end of the year.
Proposed 2016 Budget- Check out the first page. FSR is making the same mistake for next year that they made this year. They are only taking into account 7% delinquency when the actual historical rate is closer to 25%. You can't count on being able to spend money you won't collect. It is better to assume 25% uncollectable rate and if you end up with a surplus at the end of the year, that's great.
Village 2 Recall Ballot- Do you live in Village 2? Do you want to make sure that the residents are in control of your Village? Sign the recall form and mail it to the address listed at the bottom of the form.
Village 3 Recall Ballot- Do you live in Village 3? Do you want to make sure that the residents are in control of your Village? Sign the recall form and mail it to the address listed at the bottom of the form.
Election History- OK Folks, we have taken the work out of analysing the elections over the last few years. This gives you a bird's-eye view of how the various Villages are being run by Avatar. Keep in mind that, with the exception of Village 9, there should be at least one seat open for election each year. How is it that Avatar still controls so many seats on the various Village Boards when 97% of the residential lots are owned by residents?
October 13 Board Package- Forgive the scriblings in the margin, they are just some notes that need to be brought up at the meeting.
October 13 Agenda Objections- Here are a few of the concerns that residents should have regarding the agenda items being pushed through at the October 13 BOD meeting. First read the Board Package, then the objections.
It was a wonderful five months that we have been together.
We had many town hall meetings, Saturday’s weekly rally throughout the neighborhood.
Your coming out to these rallies gave us the ammunition we needed to set up our defense against the APV and First Service.
Special thanks to all the residents that took part on our recall project, which was very successful.
Now is the time to step up and take back our community. Only you could change the direction of our future by coming out and voting for your village directors.
We have many fine candidates that are eager to serve you and together we will get the job done.
I want to thank Annette, Peter, Victor, and our advisory staff Keith and Val, who are working behind the scenes.
Looking forward for a successful year, we will prevail
HOA abuses need reform
Beth KassabContact Reporter
What happened to Poinciana Villages homeowners Benny Valentin, Rebecca Sauls and Migdalia Colon should be a crime.
They and thousands of other homeowners in the sprawling Osceola County development fell behind for one reason or another on their homeowner-association payments.
Pretty soon a $252 annual HOA bill ballooned to as much as $7,400, all because of outrageous but perfectly legal attorney fees charged by debt collectors.
That happened to Valentin — and the others, to a lesser degree — as reported by Steven Lemongello in a story in Sunday's Sentinel. The article detailed how the homeowner-association debt of an estimated 4,000 homeowners — about one of every six homes in the sprawling Poinciana Villages development — was sold to debt-collection agencies.
Why does Florida allow this predatory practice by attorneys — which seems just as greedy as the sky-high interest once charged by payday-loan shops?
Because we have a state Legislature that has looked the other way.
"You have to understand one thing: More than 50 percent of the legislators are attorneys," said Jan Bergemann, president of homeowners-advocacy group Cyber Citizens for Justice Inc. "They are looking out more for their own interests."
This is among the reasons why, during the last legislative session, a proposal to bring much-needed regulation to homeowners associations didn't stand a chance, though Sen. Alan Hays, a Republican from Lake County, is trying again next year.
HOAs are like the Wild West of local governments.
They have the power to collect fees and place liens on homes when owners don't pay up.
But they have little accountability.
The more than 2.6 million homeowners across Florida who are governed by an HOA have little recourse to fight back unless they hire an expensive lawyer.
Meanwhile condominium associations, cousins to HOAs, are subject to far more state regulations.
The bill that died earlier this year would have made HOAs more like condo groups by empowering the Department of Business and Professional Regulation to investigate complaints against HOAs and allowing homeowners to ask the department to arbitrate disputes, a cheaper alternative to court.
No one is suggesting HOAs loosen their grip on their ability to collect fees, including filing a lien against homes that don't pay.
HOAs can't maintain common areas if residents refuse to pay their dues, and that would send property values plummeting.
Plus it puts an unfair burden on those who do pay.
But there's a middle ground between flexing some muscle and HOAs that allow debt-collection attorneys to treat delinquent homeowners like ATM machines.
Just because the practice is legal doesn't make it right.
"Nobody watches over the HOA lawyers," said attorney Barbara Stage, who represents both homeowners and associations. "They just do whatever they want ... they strong-arm you."
Echoed Bergemann, "People in HOAs, they don't have anyone to call ... that is what is so wrong with the system, and that is what creates these serious problems."
Sen. Darren Soto, a Democrat from Kissimmee among the group of attorney-legislators Bergemann mentioned earlier, says he's fed up.
He wants to see HOA elections reformed so they are required to be more open and held all day long rather than at a set time during the day.
He also wants to see attorneys' collections fees capped and rules that force attorneys to respond to homeowners in a timely manner when they request information about their bills.
"I've been concerned for many years about what's going on in Poinciana," Soto said. "Collection methods are callous and a lot of times leave the people owing far more than they should. ... It can't be so much that people are losing their houses over a brown patch in the yard."
That's the injustice. Fines of a few hundred dollars are swelling to thousands all because of dying sod, paint that's the wrong color or a month or two of unpaid dues.
And then people are at risk of losing the biggest investment they have: their home.
The next legislative session begins in January.
Setting a cap on fees would be one way for our attorney-friendly lawmakers to send a message that they care about homeowners, too.