Governor Scott recently signed House Bill 7119 - Homeowners Associations (HB 7119) into law. One of the key provisions of this bill is that the association is now exempt from the definition of "previous owner" when it come to the "safe harbor." In a previous post, legislative summary, it mentions that there will be more discussion on what this provision exactly means for associations. Follow the jump to see what impact this will have on homeowners associations across the state, and what impact it wont have?????
"A parcel owner is jointly and severally liable with the previous parcel owner for all unpaid assessments that came due up to the time of transfer of title. This liability is without prejudice to any right the present parcel owner may have to recover any amounts paid by the present owner from the previous owner. For the purposes of this paragraph, the term "previous owner" shall not include an association that acquires title to a delinquent property through foreclosure or by deed in lieu of foreclosure. The present parcel owner's liability for unpaid assessments is limited to any unpaid assessments that accrued before the association acquired title to the delinquent property through foreclosure or by deed in lieu of foreclosure." (the new language is underlined)
I really can't think of a situation where this changes the decision making process for a homeowners association foreclosing on a parcel. It certainly might return a few extra dollars to homeowners associations, but nothing significant enough to change the typically analysis of whether to foreclose on the parcel or not. Banks aren't dumb, and just like in 2008 where the "safe harbor" was increased (but not really), there's a reason why this language wasn't added to Chapters 718 or 719.