Boards Underwater Can Associations Float When Units are Sinking?

When the bank took back a Harlem condominium, the rest of the building's residents were stuck with years of unpaid arrears by the former resident. “There was a tremendous amount of arrears from about three or four years already accruing and the building never got paid,” says Ellen Kornfeld, vice president of The Lovett Group in Manhattan. “We had to assess everyone at the building to pick up the shortfall. So you're asking others to absorb the debt of those who cannot afford the purchases they've made. That's a tremendous burden.”

This is just one of the many situations affecting co-ops and condos all across the city.

According to Crain's New York Business, foreclosures have declined since 2006 but through June of 2012, there were still more than 6,000 properties facing that fate this year.

Crains also notes that in metro areas across the country with a judicial foreclosure process, the average foreclosure rate stood at 7.2 percent. In the New York area, it was a slightly higher 7.9 percent at year-end 2011. Courts also have a serious backlog of delinquent properties that will take years to clear.

Foreclosed Units

Throughout New York City, boards of directors must grapple with a variety of problems relating to foreclosed units, delinquent payments and absentee owners.


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  • I live in a condo located In Ossining, Westchester N.Y. Currently we have 4 units in foreclosure for several years with a considerale amount of common charges in arrears and the banks have not taken any action since they foreclosed. If the bank now owns these foreclosed units, are they responsible for payment of common charges, repairs, etc. Are they responible for any taxes that come due? If the banks are not paying the common charges is there a way the Board can rent these units with or without the banks permission? Please include any other advice you may have. Thank you, Richard Taksel