Firm shareholder Roberto C. Blanch was quoted extensively in an article today by The Real Deal South Florida on the looming financial strains for community associations due to the spike in unemployment caused by the COVID-19 economic standstill. The article, which is titled “South Florida HOAs and Condo Associations Prepare for a Drop in Collections,” discusses the options that associations are considering in response to the expected delinquencies. It reads:
. . . Attempting foreclosure is also an expensive process that some associations will want to avoid, and the temporary freeze on foreclosures and evictions until mid-May is expected to create a backlog of cases.
Plus, “the end game – foreclosure – may not necessarily be in the best interest of the condo [association],” said Siegfried Rivera attorney Roberto Blanch.
A number of associations he represents have been proactive about reducing operating expenses wherever possible. Blanch said associations are “anticipating they are going to have difficulty collecting payments from owners who have lost their jobs, who have been furloughed, or been laid off.”
Some are offering payment plans or waiving late fees to owners who have requested that, similar to what happened in 2008 and 2009. But the true impact has yet to be seen, he said. Payment plans could consist of lowering the portion of fees an owner has to pay for the first three months, and then spreading the rest out over the remaining set period of time.