Colorado CAI!

(editor’s note: Stan Hrincevich is a hero in the Colorado HOA fight. After years of fighting he’s gotten a few legislators to pay attention and pass a handful of reform bills. The bills still need work.  But the reaction to Stan by the CAI is interesting, and instructive to all of us.)
guest blog by Stan Hrincevich  (letter to legislators from coloradoHOAforum.com)

The fight for financial relief for small CAMs in this Bill was not supported by the CAI in the last legislative session. The cost of a license for small CAMs can equal a year’s income: it’s abusive and burdensome. Previous misinformation spread was that the goal was to exempt small CAMs from being licensed: not true, never in any proposal but believed by too many. This Bill provides fairness and relief to small business with reduced fees and educational requirements commensurate with knowledge to legally and competently service small HOAs of 30 or less units. Educational providers are able to offer small HOA CAM courses at a reduced cost. Costs for Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies to implement should be covered in the same manner as completed when the total licensing law was implemented.

The Community Association Institute (CAI), the group representing property manager and HOA legal interests, has been lobbying the legislature to oppose our upcoming Bill to improve the CAM licensing law even before the Bill has been officially submitted. The misinformation and untruths are insulting to home owners and exemplifies how CAI wants to continue to be a protected organization/profession with special privileges and the power to operate with secrecy and no accountability.

Here is what I picked up from legislators about CAI’s objections to our proposed Bill:

1. Our Bill proposes that all CAM fees be documented on a receipt to the payee, include an itemization of the charges, be in compliance with the law (in the case of Transfer Fees), justify charges by work performed, explain how the fee is not included and paid for by HOA dues (duplicate charging), and as in the case of the Transfer Fee, a receipt be provided to the home owner 3 days prior to closing. Additionally, all fees should be reasonable. THE CAI OBJECTS TO THIS! THEY WANT THE PRIVILEGE TO BILL YOU WITHOUT PROVIDING A RECEIPT OR JUSTIFYING CHARGES. JUST DO IT BECAUSE THEY CAN. Do you think Master Card, VISA, Comcast, or Xcel Energy would get away with demanding a payment and not justifying the charges?

3. We want to improve and better define how CAMs must comply with State HOA law and HOA governing documents. No, the law is not very defined but is general and lacks specific accountability. CAI feels the broad and ambiguous statements in the law and rules are adequate. What do they have against requiring any clarity in following the law? This speaks for itself.

4. The fight for financial relief for small CAMs in this Bill was not supported by the CAI in the last legislative session. The cost of a license for small CAMs can equal a year’s income: it’s abusive and burdensome. Previous misinformation spread was that the goal was to exempt small CAMs from being licensed: not true, never in any proposal but believed by too many. This Bill provides fairness and relief to small business with reduced fees and educational requirements commensurate with knowledge to legally and competently service small HOAs of 30 or less units. Educational providers are able to offer small HOA CAM courses at a reduced cost. Costs for Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies to implement should be covered in the same manner as completed when the total licensing law was implemented.

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About

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.

3 thoughts on “Colorado CAI!

  1. Deborah Goonan

    CAI’s board of directors is made up of CEOs of large managment company conglomerates and partners in big HOA law firms. Large management companies and law firms continue to eat small management companies and law firms alive and swallow them whole.

    CAI does NOT represent the interests of homeonwers and it does NOT represent the interests of small businesses that provide service and support for small communities. In fact, if you look at the websites of the power players in CAI, you will see that they promote how they serve large scale planned communities across the country and around the world. That’s where the money is, after all.

    If you live in a small community, and hire a manager from one of the Big Guys, you are likely to get a “portfolio” manager — a staff member that works a few hours per month for several different associations. There’s no personal connection or commitment to YOUR community at all.

    Information archives and disclosure document access has become a spin off, cottage industry for a few large management corporations – Associa taking the lead. The trend all over the US is to provide minimal information to the public on the association’s website. All documentation, meeting agendas and minutes, financial statements such as annual budgets and audits are now PASSWORD PROTECTED, with access for members only. A buyer does not have free access to even the most basic information without having to place an order and PAY THROUGH THE NOSE for it. Heck, even homeowners have a difficult time getting information about the financial condition and governance of their association.

    The fact that CAI is fighting tooth and nail in CO and FL (and other states) for the right of Community Association Managers and Attorneys to charge whatever they want for their “services,” and to be the exclusive provider of CAM training and the “authority ” on licensing standards, speaks for itself.

    The only advocacy CAI provides is advocacy for the interests of its trade group members — mainly Big Management companies and HOA Law firms, plus the insurance companies and banks that that protect their financial interests.

    Their goal appears to be to create a near monopoly or virtual cartel that controls the US real estate housing industry, affecting over 70 million Americans.

    Reply
  2. robert

    Yes! This is exactly what home owners are crying out for!

    Something something something about licensing fees and H.O.A. management companies!

    Finally, the relief we need! Thank you for your work on this issue!

    / sarcasm

    Reply

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