“Ferrer, Tu & Payne – Protecting one of your most valuable investments, your home.”
Integrated Practice Areas
Ferrer, Tu & Payne offers integrated practice areas. It is by no accident that our firm practices Property Owners Association, Business law, Real Estate and Collections. At Ferrer, Tu & Payne, we understand that a non-profit organization, such as a Homeowner’s Association, needs to run as efficiently as any other business. By the same token, Property Owners Association law is an area of Real Estate Law. Your attorney must be familiar with homestead laws, title searches and deed restrictions. As collectors for your community, we understand that we must treat your neighbors with respect, decency and care. We must accomplish these tasks while conforming to federal laws, such as the Fair Debt Collections practices act and state law, such as the Texas Debt Collection Act.
Our integrated practice areas in collections and business allow us to deliver you professional corporate representation without sacrificing personal attention. We will help you protect your neighborhood’s value and, thus one of your most valuable investments, your home.CORPORATE COUNSEL
DEED RESTRICTION ENFORCEMENT
GOVERNING DOCUMENTS/DRAFTING AND AMENDMENTS
ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION
A properly incorporated community association is a corporation, with corporate responsibilities similar to any other. Our law firm advises and counsels our clients on many types of corporate issues. Nothing is too basic. If you need to know how to conduct a meeting, or if your association needs counsel regarding something more significant, we can help. We often help our clients with the following:
- Contract negotiations, drafting and review including contracts for maintenance, repair and other services provider contracts.
- Answering questions regarding corporate governance and operation.
- Interpreting governing documents: declarations of covenants, conditions, and restrictions, the articles of incorporation, and the bylaws of the association.
- Advising clients on the best methods of maintaining non-profit status, board member fiduciary duties and implementing safeguards to reduce the board member’s risk of liability.
- Amending governing documents to meet the current needs of your community and eliminate obsolete provisions.
Assessment collection is vital to a property owners association’s fiscal health. Part of living in a planned community requires that everyone live up to the agreement they entered into on the day they purchased their home. That includes paying their fair share of the services their home uses and requires. Services such as streetlights and maintenance to common areas are not free.
- Foreclosure, but only when necessary. Our firm offers a tough, but fair approach to collection, while keeping in mind that delinquent homeowners are also your neighbors and friends. Foreclosure is our last resort.
- Innovative collection process. We believe in giving people second chances. Our collection process is designed to exhaust collection efforts through the use of contracts, notices and telephone calls before pursuing foreclosure. We may also pursue bank account garnishments before pursuing foreclosure.
- Strict adherence to State and Federal Law. You will find our firm strictly adheres to State and Federal laws. We will not harass, demean or otherwise violate the integrity of your neighbors. Additionally, we are a bonded debt collector. You may find evidence of our bond at the following link: http://direct.sos.state.tx.us/debtcollectors/DCSearch.asp
- We make collections affordable. We have an alternative deferred billing payment plan. Please contact our office for more information regarding this plan.
DEED RESTRICTION ENFORCEMENT
Your association is charged with maintaining the appearance of your planned subdivision, condominium or community. Houston lacks zoning and local governments lack the funds to enforce basic ordinances. Thus, your homeowners association’s deed restrictions are likely your neighborhood’s only legal protection against overgrown yards and dilapidated homes. Our firm will help your community preserve its character by doing the following:
- Avoiding waiver of restrictions. On the surface, a deed violation can seem like a simple matter. But, as the old saying goes, “One bad apple spoils the whole barrel.” Let one violation go, and soon enough others will appear. Grave legal consequences may occur, such as leading to the waiver of deed restrictions altogether!
- Maximizing deed restriction enforcement value. Our program minimizes your out-of-pocket legal costs by combining fixed legal fees with a uniform deed restriction enforcement program.
GOVERNING DOCUMENTS/DRAFTING & AMENDMENTS
Every successful association is built upon a foundation of effective governing documents (declaration, by laws, and articles of incorporation). Ambiguous or poorly drafted governing documents can create great liability or leave the board members open to litigation. Out dated documents can lead to extraneous or unlawful provisions. We can help you avoid these problems by:
- Evaluate the documents. Before advising the board, we will review and evaluate your documents and determine whether amendments or revisions are necessary. After completing the evaluation we will meet with the board to discuss our recommendations.
- Revising and redrafting the documents. After meeting with the board and gaining approval to make the recommended changes, we will prepare a revised set of governing documents or tailor a specific limited amendment.
- Assisting you in getting the amended documents approved. We will assist the board members by providing an explanation of the approval process necessary to pass the amendment. Then, we will create a form letter, in laymen’s terms, addressed to owners. The form letter will detail the changes in the amendment and explain the importance of passing the amendment. Lastly, we will provide the association with consent forms and proxies to use in passing the amendment.
ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION
Litigation should be the last resort when resolving a problem between neighbors and board members. If litigation is unavoidable, mediation and other Alternative Dispute Resolutions (ADR) may bring about more satisfying results to all parties involved. With an Arbitrator and a Mediator as our law firm’s Founding Members, we know the process of ADR and can represent your Property Owner’s Association effectively. If your Board is faced with the possibility of litigation, give us a call and let us set up a meeting to explain the pros and cons of ADR to all parties involved.
Ferrer, Tu & Payne, PLLC – Attorneys at Law
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