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.


Administrative Fees

An HOA or Community Association pays an administrative fee to an HOA management company or property management company for administrative costs, like paperwork, phone bills, staffing, or other costs that an office might experience in day-to-day operations. Administrative fees are also paid to third party vendors for professional services rendered outside the scope of their maintenance tasks.


Appreciation means the financial gain on resale attributable solely to the home’s increase in value over time, and not attributable to government-provided assistance or below market financing.

Articles of Incorporation

Articles of Incorporation, which are also known as the “Articles,” are brief and include things like the name, location, and purpose of the association.

Artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) makes it possible for machines to learn from experience, adjust to new inputs and perform human-like tasks. Most AI examples that you hear about today – from chess-playing computers to self-driving cars – rely heavily on deep learning and natural language processing. Some of the well known AI applications are ChatGPT and Google Bard.

Association Dues or Fees

The term “homeowners association (HOA) fee” refers to an amount of money that must be paid by certain types of residential property owners every month to their homeowners or community associations (HOAs). These fees are collected to assist the association with maintaining and improving properties.

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.


A type of digital currency in which a record of transactions is maintained and new units of currency are generated by the computational solution of mathematical problems, and which operates independently of a central bank. Visit the BitCoin Website

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.


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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Caliber Software

Caliber Software is the premier solution for HOA accounting and property management, offering advanced technology, unparalleled support, and seamless data management. Caliber is an accounting software product with fully integrated property management features. It offers AP, AR, GL, cash, accrual, and modified accrual-basis, compliance, maintenance, architectural, delinquency and more. Built on Microsoft .NET and SQL Server technology, it is the most advanced system of its kind with a unique dashboard and toolbox system that makes learning and using Caliber easy and intuitive. Products also include Caliber Portal, Mobile and Anywhere solutions. Learn more about ReadyRESALE's integration with Calibar Software here.

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: .


The CC&Rs (also known as the HOA Declaration of Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions) is a document that is signed by each homeowner upon entering into a contract with an HOA. The document is legally binding and is filed with the state in which the home is purchased. Within the pages of this contract are listed many of the important items that are agreed upon by the community or association. This can include clarifications about maintenance responsibility, restrictions regarding property appearance and use, assessments and fees, and insurance requirements. These homeowner association documents also contain the guidelines for enforcement and resolution of conflict. The HOA CC&Rs define the rights of every resident, as well as the management company and community itself. Due to the very nature of these association documents, they are typically the most comprehensive. They are also widely regarded as the most crucial out of all the HOA governing documents. Learn more about HOA Documents here.

CINC Systems

CINC provides online, integrated property management and accounting software to the community association industry. We designed all of our products, from pure management and accounting to integrated accounting and banking, to work for you. Learn more about ReadyRESALE's integration with CINC.

Client Referral Program

ReadyRESALE's Client Referral Program for its existing RESALE Clients. Since we value our outstanding clients, we would like to hear about any colleagues you have that would like to join the AssociationREADY family and share our services with those that want to get in on the fun! We are offering a $25 Visa Gift Card for all qualified referrals! Learn more about the client referral program today!

Closing Agent

The person or entity that coordinates the various closing activities, including the preparation and recordation of closing documents and the disbursement of funds. (May be referred to as an escrow agent or settlement agent in some jurisdictions.) Typically, the closing is conducted by title companies, escrow companies or attorneys.

Cloud Based or Cloud Computing

Cloud computing or Cloud Based Computing, is the on-demand availability of computer system resources, especially data storage and computing power, without direct active management by the user. The term is generally used to describe data centers available to many users over the Internet.

Collection Attorney

A debt collection attorney can represent you if you're a creditor or a debtor. A lawyer can help come up with strategies either to get back money that you've loaned out or to protect yourself from overeager creditors. Your attorney can handle paperwork for you or represent you in court.

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: .

Community Association Manager

The community association manager (CAM) represents the HOA management company around the community, at meetings, or as they follow up on HOA fees. Community association managers work closely with an HOA or condo board to advise and assist them with their functions. They also help respond to resolve any complaints or issues that come up within the community that need to be address.

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 Bureaus

Credit bureaus, also known as credit reporting agencies or consumer reporting companies, play an integral part in the financial lives of millions of people. While the bureaus don't actually make lending decisions, they sell credit reports and credit scores to banks, mortgage lenders, credit card issuers and other types of creditors.

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

DMS (Document Management System)

s the use of a computer system and software to store, manage and track electronic documents and electronic images of paper-based information captured through the use of scanners or other hardware. Learn more about a Document Management System here.

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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.


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.

FRONTSTEPS Association Management

FRONTSTEPS is an integrated software platform that specializes in community management solutions and is a prominent player in the software solutions arena, particularly catering to the needs of the Homeowners Association (HOA) industry. For more info visit FRONTSTEPS 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.

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

The General Data Protection Regulation 2016/679 is a regulation in EU law on data protection and privacy in the European Union and the European Economic Area. It also addresses the transfer of personal data outside the EU and EEA areas. For more information visit GDPR Informational Website

Governing Documents

Governing documents typically are a package of other important HOA documents suchs as Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws, Declaration of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC&Rs) and Rules and Regulations. The seller or seller's agent typically furnishes the governing documents to a buyer. The seller may obtain the governing documents and other documents of the community from the HOA or Condo Association. Learn more about Governing Documents here.

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HOA Assessments

HOA Assessments are additional fees, on top of regular HOA fees, that are typically used in the event of budget shortfalls, emergencies or unexpected costs. Usually, a board vote is needed to approve an assessment past a certain threshold, before charging homeowners additional fees. At times a association or HOA will need HOA Lawyers to enforce or collect HOA fees, violations and assessments.

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.

HOA Bylaws

HOA bylaws are governing guides. Bylaws are supposed to be about the government of the corporation. They should cover things like how often you have meetings, how many people are on the board, how often you have to have membership meetings, and what's a quorum.

HOA Reserve Study

A reserve study is a long-term capital budget planning tool which identifies the current status of the reserve fund and a stable and equitable funding plan to offset ongoing deterioration, resulting in sufficient funds when those anticipated major common area expenditures actually occur.

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A request for the court to require a party to stop doing something (or sometimes to do something) until the situation can be resolved legally.

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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.


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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MIS Solutions

MIS Solutions provides managed IT services in the Atlanta area. Experience unparalleled IT solutions delivered with heart and soul. Work with a partner who speaks your language, powers your business, and allows you to focus on what you do best. Visit MIS Solutions website.

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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On-site Property Managers

On-site property managers are responsible for day-to-day operations for one piece of property, such as an office building, shopping center, or apartment complex. To insure the property is safe and being maintained properly, on-site managers routinely inspect the grounds, facilities, and equipment to determine if repairs or maintenance are needed.

Open Meeting

Open Meeting refers to the portion of a Board Meeting that permits any member of an association to attend, except when the board adjourns to executive session to consider litigation, matters relating to the formation of contracts with third parties, member discipline, personnel matters, or to meet with a member, upon the member's request, regarding the members payment of assessments. Open meetings can be attended by all members, including homeowners association board members, HOA community management experts, and members of the association (or a single representative).

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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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A quorum is the smallest number of board members necessary to legally conduct the business of your HOA. The minimum number of owners required to hold a meeting of the association. The number of owners required varies according to the governing documents. It should be defined in your HOA's bylaws.

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


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. Our online solution that turns process into profit for management companies and self-managed communities and simplifies the ordering process for title companies, lenders and closing attorneys. For more info about .


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 .

Resale Packages

A resale package is a packet of vital information provided to those purchasing a condominium or a home in an association. The package includes a complete set of recorded documents that govern your association. The Resale Package will vary from state to state. Typically, the documents included are: Annual Financials, Articles of Incorporation, Budget, Bylaws, CC&Rs, Insurance Declaration Page, Regular Meeting Minutes, Resale Certificate/Demand, Reserve Report, Rules and Regulations.

Role Based Security

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

Rules and Regulations

They are usually smaller considerations regarding pool use, parking, pets, AIRBNB, and general use of community amenities such as gold courses and common spaces such as renting out the club house. The rules and regulations help day by day interactions between homeowners, and their families, pets, and properties, in order to make everyone comfortable. The HOA rules and regulations are set in place as a safety net to include anything that was missed or did not fit into categories in the CC&Rs and bylaws.

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Buildings and dwelling units overseen by unit owners or unit shareholders.

Single-family Home

A single-family detached home, or single-family home or detached house for short, also variously known as a single-detached dwelling or separate house (see below), is a free-standing residential building. Most single-family homes are built on lots larger than the structure itself, adding an area surrounding the house, which is commonly called a yard in North American English or a garden in British English. Garages can also be found on most lots. In older homes, they are typically detached, standing as a separate building, either near a driveway or facing an alley in urban areas. Newer homes in North America favor attached garages, often facing the street, as most recent developments do not include alleys.


SouthData is a national, full-service document management provider specializing in electronic and paper based billing; high quality variable printing; distribution and mail services; electronic and film based storage; and medical release of information. AssociationREADY has selected SouthData as the exclusive printing company for our ReadyCOLLECT Application service. SouthData uses technology and talent to manufacture billing and imaging products for clients throughout the United States in a wide range of markets.

Subordinate Mortgage

This is a loan secured by a mortgage against a homeowner’s property that is junior to the first loan and secured against the same property. Subordinate mortgages are frequently structured as “soft” (involve no interest and no payments by the purchaser) and are typically forgiven gradually over time. A soft subordinate mortgage is paid according to the loan terms and/or upon resale of the home. Subordinate mortgages also can be used to record restrictions or conditions on the use or resale of the property.

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The right to, and the ownership of, property. A title or deed is sometimes used as proof of ownership of land.

Title Company

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

Title Insurance

Insurance that protects lenders and homeowners against legal problems with the title.

Title Search

A check of the public records to ensure that the seller is the legal owner of the property and to identify any liens or claims against the property.

TOPS Software (Enumerate)

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.

Urban Land Institute

The Urban Land Institute, or ULI, is a non-profit organization with offices in Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, and London. Its stated mission is "to provide leadership in the responsible use of land and in creating and sustaining thriving communities worldwide." ULI advocates progressive development, covering topics such as sustainability, smart growth, compact development, place making, and workforce housing. The ULI was founded in 1936 and currently has over 39,000 members. More than 20% of the members work in government, academia, or public-private partnerships. Most of the rest are involved in the real estate and urban development industries. The organization makes several awards annually, including the ULI Awards for Excellence, the Gerald D. Hines Urban Design Student Competition, the J. C. Nichols Prize for Visionaries in Urban Development, and the ULI-Kenneth M. Good Graduate Student Fellowship.

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VA Mortgage

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

Vantaca Community Management

Vantaca is the comprehensive software that powers community association management. Vantaca focuses on delivering a robust and user-friendly platform that addresses the diverse needs of HOA management. Visit or learn more about Vantaca Integration with ReadyRESALE.

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The voluntary relinquishment of a right, claim, or privilege.


A stipulation, explicit or implied, in assurance of some particular aspect in connection with a contract, as of sale (home warranty).

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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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