Discussion:Ethical conflict?

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BrockEA (talk|edits) said:

27 January 2014
Short story, I do the bookkeeping and tax work for the homeowner's assocation for the subdivision I live in. Not terribly exciting work but it helps keep the lights on and they are a good client.


I was approached today by my contact (the Treasurer) regarding a semi-comfort letter to the real estate community. When a home sells, maybe 10-15 a year, we have to provide a letter to the Realtor explaining which level (legacy member or full member) along with what their annual dues are, any delinquent dues, etc. In turn we receive a letter back from the Realtor telling us who the new owner is and that change needs to be made in the books to set up that new owner.


Has anyone provided similar letters for an HOA? Anyone see any ethical conflict or pitfalls? It seems straight forward to me and a simple way to increase fees. The Treasurer is clear that they own the data, I am just answering questions for the Realtor using the records of the HOA.


Thanks!

Nilodop (talk|edits) said:

27 January 2014
Why can't the Treasurer send the letter?

BrockEA (talk|edits) said:

27 January 2014
Traditionally, this was done by the President and/or Treasurer but both are extremely busy and somewhat scatterbrained. So the requests sometimes sat stale while one thought the other was going to do it.


Mainly they want a single point of contact. They also have a turnover rate as people move in and out of the position of Treasurer and/or President.

CathysTaxes (talk|edits) said:

28 January 2014
When my husband was Treasurer of our HOA, he sent out the letter.

ChrisV2 (talk|edits) said:

28 January 2014
Maybe I'm overthinking this but is there any chance that if you send out the letters you suddenly become the 'help desk' on any issue related to (or imagined to be related to) this process? That would be my fear; another thing out there potentially wasting my time...

CathysTaxes (talk|edits) said:

28 January 2014
I think Chris is right. Once the homeowners get your name and number, you will be on their speed dial list. Is the association ready to pay you for your time as the 'go to person'? Usually, the officers of a HOA are all volunteers (hence the turnover rate) and some of them are eager to abdicate their duties.

BrockEA (talk|edits) said:

28 January 2014
Thanks guys and gals.


I'm not really worried about contact problems, they already know who I am and where I live. I live in the subdivision covered by the HOA.


I'll tell them that I can do them. I didn't see any ethical problems as they aren't really anything like a true comfort letter. I've made it clear and will have an engagement letter addendum regarding the fact that I don't own the data and am only reporting the official record.


CathysTaxes, do you remember what your husband charged for the letters? I was thinking $25-30. Thanks

CathysTaxes (talk|edits) said:

28 January 2014
Brock, our HOA did not charge for the letters. The only purpose of these letters were to inform the new owners that the current owners association dues were paid in full. Since you're not on the board, then IMO, your $25-30 fee sounds reasonable to me.

BrockEA (talk|edits) said:

28 January 2014
Many thanks!

NMexEA (talk|edits) said:

29 January 2014
Death to Homeowner Associations.

BrockEA (talk|edits) said:

30 January 2014
I love mine.


No covenants, this one only exists to maintain the lake, pool and tennis courts. No paint color nazis here.


They are one of my best clients!

Taxaway (talk|edits) said:

30 January 2014
This would just be a 6(d) certificate (called that in MA) which the HOA states that there are no unpaid association dues or unpaid assessments from the seller of the unit. I'm one of the trustees for our small HOA and have done this, it's straightforward.

Gazoo (talk|edits) said:

30 January 2014
Don't it assure the mortgage company they have been paid in full? I mean the association dues. Do they require the CPA stamp or title? If not, just write your title as: Brock, Ambassador Plenipotentiary of the HOA & etc. No use to use the CPA title if you don't have to.

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