Blossom Park Disaster: Where did all the money go? Forensic Audit Coming

guest blog by Deborah Goonan
I’ve been blogging for the past few months about a crumbling Florida condo conversion called Blossom Park. Orange County has cited the Association with numerous code enforcement violations, and has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to assist residents in relocating to safer housing.Now the condo owners have hired an attorney, Mark Lippman, to represent them in a case to oust court-appointed Receiver Frank Barber. They contend that Barber has been collecting assessments since 2011, yet Orange County’s Engineer has determined the building has structural defects in the stairways and balconies that make the condo unsafe. Owners want to know how their money has been spent, and they are about to find out with a forensic audit.

Be sure to watch the video in the WFTV Channel 9 news link below, so you can see for yourself how the structure is crumbling. The words “misappropriation” and “negligence” are being used by Lippman to describe Barber’s management of Blossom Park condominium since 2011.

But, on the other hand, where have the condo owners been all these years? How could they have not noticed such obvious levels of deterioration? It’s amazing that owners did not make a move to replace Barber several years ago. Now all of a sudden, with Orange County’s code violation report made public, and most of their tenants sent packing, the owners want to take back their Association and give their buildings some love.

But is it too little, too late? It’s rather obvious the exterior condition of the buildings is in very poor condition, and perhaps the cost of necessary repairs will exceed the value of the condos.

By the way, Frank Barber is also the Receiver for nearby Tymber Skan condominium, where rats, violent criminals, and squatters live among its few unfortunate tenants and remaining owners,

When will Orange County put an end to the madness and terminate both condos, that have already cost taxpayers more than $1 million in unpaid utility bills, crime enforcement, fire protection, and condemnations?

But this is Florida. It seems the only people terminating condos are hostile investment groups, and those condominiums are still in relatively good shape with good profit potential.

Wouldn’t you know it, investors aren’t that interested in vermin-infested, wood-rotted money pits.

See how well privatization is working to provide affordable housing?

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Ward Lucas is a longtime investigative journalist and television news anchor. He has won more than 70 national and regional awards for Excellence in Journalism, Creative Writing and community involvement. His new book, "Neighbors At War: the Creepy Case Against Your Homeowners Association," is now available for purchase. In it, he discusses the American homeowners association movement, from its racist origins, to its transformation into a lucrative money machine for the nation's legal industry. From scams to outright violence to foreclosures and neighborhood collapses across the country, the reader will find this book enormously compelling and a necessary read for every homeowner. Knowledge is self-defense. No homeowner contemplating life in an HOA should neglect reading this book. No HOA board officer should overlook this examination of the pitfalls in HOA management. And no lawyer representing either side in an HOA dispute should gloss over what homeowners are saying or believing about the lawsuit industry.

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