More than 800 Florida Condos & Co-Ops are on the Blacklist that’s Expected to Grow Exponentially – Additional Thousands of Board Members, Homeowners, and Property Managers Affected
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., Dec. 15, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Florida-based law firm Katzman Chandler and Massachusetts-based law firm Allcock Marcus announce their strategic alliance and possession of Fannie Mae’s secret “Condo Blacklist” along with their commitment to helping those who are presently on the blacklist (or those who could eventually end up on the blacklist). While there are 800 Condos and Co-Ops on the blacklist in Florida, Katzman Chandler will begin by focusing their immediate efforts on those located in South Florida through the creation and launch of CondoBlacklist.com. The website will serve as a Call-to-Action and informational resource for Board Members, Unit Owners, Shareholders, and Property Managers in Condos and Co-Ops – so they may learn if their community is on the blacklist and what actions they may be able to take to be removed from it. The blacklist is not currently available to the public.
Fannie Mae is a government-funded enterprise whose purpose is to expand the secondary mortgage market. Being on the blacklist makes buying and selling individual units in these associations through conventional financing virtually impossible. Thousands of individuals and families who live in Condos and Co-Ops whose loans Fannie Mae will not back are and will be affected. It is indicative of a broader issue within the real estate industry, and one that the two law firms are tackling. Katzman Chandler and Allcock Marcus will be expanding this initial effort through further strategic alliances with other Community Association Law Firms throughout the country in order to address this issue nationwide.
“In practice, owners of units in blacklisted communities seeking to refinance, or a potential buyer seeking to obtain a mortgage on a unit, would not be able to borrow from traditional banks or mortgage lenders that seek to ultimately sell their mortgages on the secondary market,” states Leigh Katzman, Esq., Founding Partner at Katzman Chandler. “Many times, this leaves owners who want or need to sell or refinance their units with no option other than to sell their units well below market value to cash buyers or walk away from their units compounding financial stress upon the already blacklisted community associations.”
After the collapse of Champlain Towers South Condominium in Surfside, Florida in 2021, Fannie Mae amended its lender questionnaires to now include inquiry into structural aspects, financial health, and reserve coffers of condominiums. While the new questions contained within the questionnaire are intended to address concerns about aging building infrastructure in the wake of the tragedy, the result is that the number of properties being added to the blacklist has grown and is expected to continue to grow drastically. Fannie Mae claims these measures help to protect potential borrowers from physically unsafe or financially unstable properties. Unfortunately, due to the secret nature of the blacklist, it does nothing to aid and assist, but rather discriminates against those who are already in possession of those units, are struggling, and in need of support.
“The list – which has existed since roughly 2005 – has grown from 1,770 developments in the United States in May to 2,001 in August, and 2,306 in the latest list data we obtained in October,” states Jake Marcus, Esq., Partner at Allcock Marcus who is licensed to practice in Florida and Massachusetts. “With issues ranging from the insurance crisis, alterations to commercial space, transient unit owners, and of course structural integrity and reserve requirement changes, we anticipate this list will expand not only in Florida which comprises the majority of the list (34.5%) but across the nation. We will aim to get the developments off the list and for more transparency from Fannie Mae.”
The blacklist serves as a reminder of the financial and operational hardships that community associations throughout the nation face, and the urgent need to address these issues collectively. Until the founding and launch of CondoBlacklist.com, the only way to find out if a Condo or Co-Op was on the blacklist would be if a potential buyer applied for a mortgage. Typically, only then would the buyer be informed that the property is ineligible for Fannie Mae backed lending. The community would not be notified and would only, hopefully, find out that they are blacklisted through a concerned buyer or seller.
Anyone who owns, is on the board of, or who manages a Condo or Co-Op, has a right to know if their community is on the blacklist, and what action they may be able to take to get off the blacklist. CondoBlacklist.com is now the first of its kind, comprehensive resource to find out whether an association is blacklisted and, most importantly, how to get on the path to removal.
ABOUT KATZMAN CHANDLER
Katzman Chandler is a full-service Florida law firm devoted to all aspects of community association representation. For more information, visit KatzmanChandler.com.
ABOUT ALLCOCK MARCUS
Allcock Marcus is a New England law firm built from the ground up specifically to protect the interests of condominium associations. For more information, visit AMcondolaw.com.
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SOURCE Katzman Chandler
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