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  • March 20, 2024 4:50 PM | Michelle Wilson (Administrator)

    20 Mar 2024 - The Corporate Transparency Act (CTA) went into effect January 1, 2024. This law requires that certain business, including small business, to file information with the federal government - U.S. Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN).

    The law’s purpose is to increase business transparency to prevent illegal activities like fraud, money laundering and tax evasion.

    Who Does This apply to?

    The CTA applies to all businesses that are registered with the state unless there is an exemption. Currently there are 23 types of entities that exempt from filing. One of those exemptions are for “tax exempt entities”. There is discussion by CPA’s as to whether an Association is “Tax exempt” if they file an 1120-H.

    What has to be provided?

    The association has to make an initial filing including the following information

    • Name
    • Address
    • Phone Number
    • Tax ID Number
    • Other contact information for the association.

    It is also necessary for providing additional information about the President, and most likely every Board member of the association.

    Information required:

    • Name
    • Address
    • Date of Birth
    • Identifying documents (drivers license or passport)

    The association must file a change of information within 30 days of any changes to the original information occurs. This means that within 30 days of any change in the board, the association will need to file a revised filing with FinCen.

    When does this have to be done?

    The Corporate Transparency Act takes effect on January 1, 2024, however, the deadline to submit any necessary documents is January 1, 2025. Any changes in the association will also require a revision with 30 days.

    What if we do not file?

    Assuming that the law does not change, the Association can be fined up to $500.00 per day if information is not properly filed. There is also a risk of criminal penalties and senior officers of entities that fail to file could be held accountable for not filing.

    What should the Associations do right now?

    Associations should wait and be patient. Currently there is not enough guidance on whether the 1120-H exemption makes the association not have to file. If you file now and the Board composition changes over this year, you will have to file a revised report.

    CAI is actively trying to have an additional exemption added to the list that would make it inapplicable to associations.

    What are the attorneys doing?

    It looks like the attorneys may be the ones filing this on behalf of clients, similar to annual reports.

    Right now the biggest concern is how to protect the personal information of clients. Cervantes Chatt & Prince’s portal allows clients to upload a copy of their drivers license or passport in an encrypted format.

    Contributed by Cervantes Chatt & Prince PC

  • December 19, 2023 11:32 AM | Michelle Wilson (Administrator)

    9 Jan 2024 - Beginning in 2024, Illinois will make charging electric vehicles easier for residents of multi-family residential properties. Earlier this year, Governor Pritzker signed a bill into law which known as the "Illinois Electric Vehicle Charging Act" (765 ILCS 1085.) The Act provides that "[a] new single-family residence or a small multifamily residence shall have at least one EV-capable parking space for each residential unit that has dedicated parking, unless any subsequently adopted building code requires additional EV-capable parking spaces, EV-ready parking spaces, or installed electric vehicle supply equipment."

    The Act also pertains to new construction as it requires all new single-family homes and multifamily buildings to include EV-capable parking which means the electric panel capacity and conduit needed for charging but does not require the installation of EV chargers. This requirement also includes existing multi-family buildings consisting of five or more units that are being “renovated” by a developer converting a property to a condominium or common interest community property. 

    Finally, condominium, common interest, and homeowner associations are subject to the Act as well and any restriction or prohibition the governing documents of the Association which conflict with the Act will be deemed void and unenforceable. Associations may impose reasonable conditions on the installation consistent with those in place for alteration or modification to common elements or common areas, provided however, the Association must approve the request within (60) days of the request and the failure to do so shall be deemed approved for unless the delay is a result of a reasonable request for additional information. The owner must pay the costs of installation and the Act sets out conditions for installation.

    Associations, landlords, and builders should familiarize themselves with these new requirements. Consult your attorney to address any questions regarding the new law.

    Contributed by Cervantes, Chatt, and Prince PC

  • December 19, 2023 11:29 AM | Michelle Wilson (Administrator)

    13 Dec 2023 - Not surprisingly, many associations are not aware that Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae have been maintaining “blacklists” for associations they will not underwrite loans for. Fannie Mae recently announced it will make its secret “blacklist” of condos it will not finance available to condo associations and unit owners next year. Its counterpart Freddie Mac, meanwhile, will roll out new guidelines by early 2024 that will enable condos ineligible for financing to appeal their status.

    Combined, the two guarantors provide financing for 70% of home loans in the country. Typically, lenders write home loans and sell them to one of the two guarantors while continuing to collect mortgage and escrow payments so being blacklisted is a serious concern for associations. In actuality, the list itself is not meant for public circulation to third parties. Fannie compels lenders to maintain the list as confidential so as not to divulge the details to borrowers.

    According to sources, between April and October of 2023, the list grew from about 1,700 to 2,306 properties and based upon status of needed structural repairs, reserves, lawsuits, special assessments and other issues. Additionally, the well-known criteria such as inadequate reserves, inadequate insurance, abnormally high delinquencies, disproportionate commercial space within the association, structural or construction issues, abnormally high outstanding assessments, and too many rentals, can make an association ineligible for Freddie and Fannie financing and susceptible to being blacklisted.

    The most obvious consequence to associations is lack of fluidity in their transactions. Given most transactions of purchases within association are made possible through financing, if potential purchasers are blocked from Fannie and Freddie backed loans, the likelihood a deal will close is greatly lessened. In turn the increased difficulty in closing transactions will predictably hurt overall homes values within associations.

    Associations asking what can be done to get their associations off these blacklists need to look to “best practices” when it comes to the administration of their associations. It comes down to the aforementioned criteria that have landed them on the blacklists in the first place. In other words, maintain structural components, maintain adequate reserves, maintain proper insurance, minimize uncollected assessments, maintain a balance of commercial and residential homes in accordance with Freddie and Fannie guidelines, and make sure rentals do not exceed guidelines.

    In truth, Fannie and Freddie have been using these stringent criteria for many years and they don’t appear to be ready to loosen guidelines any time soon so who are either blacklisted or in dangerous of being deemed so are advised to take corrective action to reverse or prevent that consequence from becoming reality.

    Contributed by Cervantes, Chatt, and Prince PC

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