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New England 2013 Legislative Roundup All About Defaults, Foreclosures and Constructive Defects

 In today’s troubled housing market, it’s little wonder that condo associations are facing more foreclosures and tricky  mortgage entanglements than ever before. A roundup of pending condo legislation  for 2013 finds changes to notification and foreclosure laws as common themes  throughout the New England states. Some serve to strengthen the health of local  communities, but others could put association rights in jeopardy.  

 Rhode Island

 Rhode Island’s H5232 would alter the requirements for the publication of condo-related legal  advertisements. If no public daily newspaper exists in the municipality where  the affected condo unit is located, then the bill would seek to outline  alternate requirements for publication. “What it’s basically doing is saying the advertising requirement would be less onerous,” says Frank Lombardi, a principal at Goodman, Shapiro & Lombardi, LLC, a firm practicing condominium law with offices in Dedham,  Massachusetts and Lincoln, Rhode Island.  

 Under the proposed provisions, if there is no suitable city newspaper available,  publication would occur in a public newspaper published daily in the county in  where the condo is located – or, as a last resort, in a Providence-based local daily.  

 Also, notes Lombardi, who is the co-chair of the Community Associations  Institute’s Rhode Island Legislative Action Committee, the act would extend the right of  redemption to defaulting unit owners. Under the provisions of H5232, within  seven days of a foreclosure sale, the association would face the additional  requirement of sending written notice to a unit owner’s last known address.  

 “It’s been tried before, and we opposed it,” says Lombardi. “I want to bend over backward to make sure everybody gets notice, but we opposed  the initial bill because we didn’t want anything to go before the legislature that might give the banks a chance  to hinder the super lien.”  

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