R.J. from New Haven County writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
The board meets in executive session and does not report on its activities or record public minutes. They do not disclose suits in foreclosure either by board actions or joint with mortgage holders. I believe a monthly statement of foreclosure activity by date and number of units is needed, but not the identification of the actual units or the financial standing. Am I correct?
Mister Condo replies:
R.J., while there are many valid reasons for the Board to meet in Executive Session, there should still be Minutes kept of those sessions and results of those meetings published as part of the Minutes from the Board meeting. Privileged content and unit owner names may be withheld from the record but any legal actions taken that will not affect the outcome of any legal action should also be made mention of. That being said, the decision to foreclose is hardly a reason for an Executive Session, especially if the association’s by-laws spell out the collection procedure process. Typically, unit owners who fall 30 or 60 days in arrears are turned over to the association attorney or collection agent for further action. If the arrears are not settled in timely fashion, the collection agent or attorney may ask the Board for permission to begin foreclosure procedures. That isn’t to say that the decision itself can’t be held in Executive Session but I don’t see how the association is further protected by the Board doing so. If a unit owner has gotten so far behind in their dues, the decision of the Board to foreclose against their unit should hardly be a surprise. If they have defaulted on their mortgage as well, the Board is often simply riding along while the bank handles the foreclosure action. Your by-laws may read in such a way that the Board is required to handle foreclosures in Executive Session but I highly doubt it forbids them from publishing a financial statement that all unit owners can see informing them of delinquencies and foreclosures. You may wish to consult with an attorney for a legal opinion but I am in agreement with your opinion. Good luck!