Glossary of Industry Terms & Definitions

Use the resale, collections, convenant violations & document management glossary to understand the most important terms. Brush up on your knowledge with explanations for some common industry terms to help you understand more about the resale & collections industry. Select a letter below.

Association Manager

Advises and provides administrative, managerial, and operational counsel to the association governing body. A manager can account for financial activities covered by the Management Agreement, perform onsite property inspections, solicit and evaluate bids for association services, supervise maintenance activities and contractor performance and oversee payment for primary association services. A manager should have extensive knowledge of community or association bylaws and governing policies.

Association Management Company

A association management entity contracted by a Board of Directors or community to provide a variety of services including but not limited to collecting assessments, sub-contractor endeavors, financial advisement and statement/reports preparation and analysis, general maintenance and problem resolution, and advisement on legal and other property related matters. Management companies can be contacted online or by telephone by community or Board members, or individuals whose communities are seeking a management company for representation.

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Better Business Bureau

Founded in 1912, the BBB is a network of local organizations based in the U.S & Canada which work together through the Council of Better Business Bureaus (CBBB). The BBB's goal is to foster a fair and effective marketplace, so that buyers and sellers can trust each other. Many BBB services can be accessed online through their website. BBBs gather and report information on business reliability, alert the public to frauds against consumers and businesses, provide information on ethical business practices, and act as mutually trusted intermediaries between consumers and businesses to resolve disputes. News media frequently turn to the CBBB and local BBBs as expert sources of news about scams and consumer issues.

Board Of Directors

In relation to an Association, Community or other formal organization, a director is an officer (that is, someone who works for the company) charged with the conduct and management of its affairs. A director may be an inside director (a director who is also an officer or promoter or both) or an outside, or independent, director. The directors collectively are referred to as a board of directors. Sometimes the board will appoint one of its members to be the chair or president/chairperson of the board of directors, traditionally also called chairman or chairwoman.

Bylaws

A set of rules or guidelines regarding the operation of a non-profit corporation such as a Board. Bylaws generally set forth definitions of offices and committees involved with the Board of Directors. They can include voting rights, meetings, notices, and other areas involved with the successful operation of the Association.

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CAN - Community Advocacy Network

The Community Advocacy Network is Florida's leading voice for the interests of community associations statewide. A not-for-profit, non-partisan organization operating under the guidance of a statewide volunteer Advisory Council, CAN provides education, advocacy and outreach services to Florida communities year-round. Through its website, CAN Alerts and "Capitol Connection" email tool, CAN keeps association leaders and residents informed and enables them to play a meaningful role in legislative processes that impact their communities. For more about CAN activities and membership, visit: .

Collection Letter

Seller or exporter's order that accompanies a demand draft or time draft (with shipping and other collection documents) and instructs the collecting and remitting banks on interest charges, demurrage charges, case of need, protest, etc. Also called collection order.

Collection Procedure

A detailed statement of steps to be taken regarding when and how the past-due amounts are to be collected. The collection procedure is laid down usually in the credit policy.

Community Associations Institute (CAI)

Founded in 1973, Community Associations Institute was formed to deal with problems with association management. It was an educational organization then, but Community Associations Institute made substantial changes in 1992 to its structure and became a business trade group primarily to lobby state legislatures. In 2005, Community Associations Institute dropped its membership category for HOAs since, presumably, HOAs were consumers, users of Community Associations Institute services - and don't belong in a tax benefited group whose aim is to support the business interests of its members. For more info visit: .

Covenant Violations

Covenant violations aka enforcement issues are when the owners are in violation of any community rules and regulations.

Covenant Violation Software

Covenant Violation software helps manage the violation process such as corrective notices, legal filings and any fees associated. is an example of software application that can help a association or law firm manage violations, notices and fees.

Credit Report

A report detailing a borrowers credit history including payment history on revolving accounts (ex. credit cards) and installment accounts (ex. car loan, mortgage). A credit report also includes information found from public records including tax liens, garnisments and judgements.

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Demand Letter

A demand letter, or LOD, i.e. a Letter Of Demand (of payment), is letter stating a legal claim (usually drafted by a lawyer) which makes a demand for restitution or performance of some obligation, owing to the recipients' alleged breach of contract, or for a legal wrong.

Disclosure Documents

A document that explains the fee structure, potential risks, and the style of trading for a fund. The Securities and Trade Commission requires that all funds provide disclosure documents to prospective investors. These documents are then forwarded to the United States Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) as evidence of the date of conception of the invention. The disclosure document shall be forwarded to the PTO by the inventor or by any one of the inventors when there are joint inventors. A Disclosure Document is usually retained for two years. Later it shall be destroyed unless it is referred to in a separate letter in a related patent application filed within those two years. A Disclosure Document is not a patent application.

UPDATE: In response to the 2007 mortgage crisis new federal regulations recently took effect which relate directly to Disclosure Documents. To find out the impact of these new regulations please visit our page Impact of New Mortgage Disclosure Regulations

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Escrow

A third party that handles all funds in a real estate transaction. Buyers places their deposits into escrow, the lender funds the loan into escrow. Escrow pays the real estate brokers commission, pays off any loans/liens against the property, pays real estate taxes and any other fees associated with the transaction and sends the balance of the money to the seller.

Estoppel

In law, estoppel is a series of legal and equitable doctrines that preclude "a person from denying or asserting anything to the contrary of that which has, in contemplation of law, been established as the truth, either by the acts of judicial or legislative officers, or by his own deed, acts, or representations, either express or implied

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Fair Debt Collection Practices Act

A 1977 federal law that serves to regulate collection agencies. The FDCPA outlines the conditions under which these agencies may operate in an effort to prevent deception, harassment, and other unfair debt collection practices. The rules of the FDCPA only apply to third-party debt collectors, and only to debts held by individuals (not by businesses). The FDCPA outlines a number of activities that would be seen as deceptive or harmful, and are hence prohibited, as well as requiring a number of helpful activities to be followed. THE FDCPA is enforced by the Federal Trade Commission, who also presents an annual report to Congress in regards to these issues.

Federal Housing Administration

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) is a United States government agency created as part of the National Housing Act of 1934. The goals of this organization are: to improve housing standards and conditions; to provide an adequate home financing system through insurance of mortgage loans; and to stabilize the mortgage market. For more info visit FHA Website.

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Gated Community

In its modern form, a gated community is a form of residential community containing controlled entrances for pedestrians, bicycles, and automobiles, and sometimes characterised by a closed perimeter of walls and fences. Gated communities usually consist of small residential streets and include various amenities. For smaller communities this may be only a park or other common area. For larger communities, it may be possible for residents to stay within the community for most day-to-day activities. Gated communities are a type of common interest development, but are distinct from intentional communities.

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Homeowners' Association

A Homeowners' Association (HOA) is a legal entity created by a real estate developer for the purpose of developing, managing and selling a community of homes. It is given the authority to enforce the covenants, conditions, and restrictions and to manage the common amenities of the development. It allows the developer to end his responsibility over the community, typically by transferring ownership of the association to the homeowners after selling off a predetermined number of lots. Viewed as a voluntary association of homeowners gathered together to protect their property values and to improve the neighborhood, a large percentage of U.S neighborhoods where free standing homes exist have an HOA. Most homeowners' associations are non-profit corporations, and are subject to state statutes that govern non-profit corporations and homeowners' associations.

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Judgment Lien

A judgment lien is a type of nonconsensual lien (a lien that attaches to your property without your agreement). It is created when someone wins a lawsuit against you and then records the judgment against your property.

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Lender Questionnaire

A lender questionnaire is a form that a lender provides to a management company to have completed that answers vital questions the lender needs in order to underwrite a loan within a certain community. They are community-specific in nature and only answer questions relative to the project and/or subject phase and not the specific property.

Lien

A monetary claim made against a property for unpaid mortgage, taxes, contractor work, or other charges. A lien attaches to the property, not the owner, but must be recorded in the property records of the resident county.

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Money Judgment

A "money judgment" or "personal money judgment" (PMJ) is an order from a court that a person pay the association a specific amount of money which the court awarded to the association as damages. The judgment can be for delinquent assessments, for reimbursement of costs incurred by the association repairing common areas damaged by a person, etc.

Mortgage Insurance

Required insurance on a mortgage if the down payment is less than twenty percent and a single loan is used to finance the property. Mortgage Insurance (also known as mortgage guarantee and home-loan insurance) is an insurance policy which compensates lenders or investors for losses due to the default of a mortgage loan. Mortgage insurance can be either public or private depending upon the insurer.

Mortgage Lender

An institution that originates mortgage loans either to keep for interest income or sell on the secondary market. The lender provides funds for a mortgage and also manage the credit and financial information review, the property and the loan application process through closing.

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Neighborhood Association

A neighborhood association is a group of residents or property owners who advocate for or organize activities within a neighborhood. An association may have elected leaders and voluntary dues. Some neighborhood associations in the United States are incorporated, may be recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization, and may enjoy freedom from taxation from their home state. The rules for formation of a neighborhood association in the United States are sometimes regulated at the city or state level.

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Proforma Budget

Proforma Budget is an annual budget for the association setting forth the estimated revenue and expenses along with a summary of the association's reserves. A copy must be distributed to al association members not less than 30 days nor more than 90 days prior to the beginning of the fiscal year.

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ReadyCOLLECT

Online application solution for collections & enforcement for law firms & management companies. For more info about .

ReadyRESALE

Software application that automates closing document ordering, preparation, & delivery for management companies, associations and law firms. The service allows title companies, lenders, real estate agents, attorneys and your residents to request necessary resale and community documentation required for property closing or refinancing in a secure online environment. For more info about .

ReadyDOCS

Software application that enables homeowners & community associations and property managers to make community information available to residents. Associations and communities can sell community documents directly and generate additional revenue. Visit .

Role Based Security

In computer systems security, role-based access control is an approach to restricting system access to authorized users.

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Title Company

A company involved in examining and insuring title claims, usually for real estate, on behalf of its customers.

TOPS Software

The industries leading provider of software for association management. Complete package of financial management services with additional modules for tracking community Architectural Violations, Work Orders, Parking and Pool Passes, etc. TOPS Software has been recognized as a leading provider of accounting-based software for condominium and homeowner's association management since 1985. With a solid reputation for innovative software solutions TOPS Software has developed many add-on products such as Mobile Manager, Maintenance Manager, Utility Billing, Gate Security and more. TOPS Software's commitment to the industry is evident by their pursuit of new technologies, services, and solutions such as their industry leading Interactive Web Sites, Online Payments and Internet Backup Service that provide their customers with a competitive advantage while containing costs. Visit

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Underwater Mortgage

A mortgage whose balance exceeds the value of the property. Also known as an “upside down” mortgage.

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VA Mortgage

A mortgage offered to veterans and their families that is guaranteed by the Veterans Administration.

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Zoning Laws

Local zoning ordinances and regulations are important considerations when choosing your business location. Zoning laws impact several critical business decisions such as purchasing property or making improvements to your existing property, so it is important to understand the laws before you commit to anything. Property is zoned into commercial and residential uses, so a commercial building cannot be built in a residential neighborhood and vice versa, unless there is a change in zoning ordinances. Other considerations also come into play such as how you intend to use your facility, the nature of any renovations, and so on.

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