Business of Law

Some Question Whether Law Firms Should Represent Both Banks and Homeowner Associations

Once upon a time, before the mortgage meltdown, foreclosure cases were something of a rarity.

But now some are wondering whether lawyers in one of the country’s hardest-hit real estate markets should represent both banks and homeowner associations, since their interests can conflict in the battle to gain possession of and/or past-due amounts owed on condominium units, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

It can be in the lender’s interest to delay taking over the unit, which puts the bank on the hook to pay monthly assessments, observers note. But meanwhile the HOA wants to start receiving its regular payments again as soon as possible.

Attorneys at law firms that handle foreclosure cases for banks say it’s also not unusual for them to represent condominium associations. However, before they take on a foreclosure in the same complex in which they also represent the HOA, clients are asked to sign waivers, the newspaper reports.

“I don’t think it does a disservice to the association, as long as they sign a waiver,” said oartner Chris Draper of Becker & Poliakoff. “The bank is going to get what it would otherwise under statutory obligations.”

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