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Archive for the ‘Board Education’ Category

Cardinal Hosts Class to Aid Boards in Collecting Delinquent Assessments

Cardinal Property Management was honored to host Sandra Gottlieb, Esq., of SwedelsonGottlieb, recently as she taught 17 members of a variety of community association boards in Orange County about collecting delinquent assessments after a judgment has been obtained.

Before the seminar, Cardinal provided dinner and soft drinks for the attendees as they mingled and became acquainted.

Kathy Gonzales, executive director of the Orange County Regional Chapter of Community Associations Institute (CAI-OCRC), talked with the group about the benefits of CAI-OCRC membership before introducing Ms Gottlieb.

Ms Gottlieb discussed the steps that can be taken when an association forecloses on a property and becomes the owner.

After the hour and a half seminar and a lively question and answer session, Cardinal held two drawings

Casitas Californias Townhouses Association Board Member Mike Connell’s name was drawn for a $50 gift card for dinner at a local restaurant. This gift was awarded compliments of Cardinal.

Orange Park Community Association Board Member Charles McNees won a gift package of reference books for community leaders and a Starbucks gift card. This gift was sponsored by CAI-OCRC.

Ms Gottlieb thanked Cardinal at the conclusion of the class. “It’s amazing that Cardinal gives board members the opportunity to become educated in these areas so you all can make informed decisions for your communities,” said Ms Gottlieb.

Cardinal has a long history of hosting classes for new and seasoned board members as well as members of boards whose communities Cardinal does not manage. The educational seminars are also open to community members. Why does Cardinal focus on educating boards and community members?

According to Cardinal President Farrah Esquer, “The more people understand about community laws, the more they can make sound decisions and better the community living experience for all. We are partners with our communities. When a community is successful, Cardinal is successful.”

The final class of the year will be in October. This course will touch on Hot Topics such as nuisances, patrol, security, parking issues, new case law, and other hot topics affecting your communities.

Please visit to read the course flyer and register.


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Sign In: 6:00 p.m. (Refreshments will be provided)

Class: 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.











National Expert Kelly Richardson Teaches Cardinal’s First Board Member Class of the Year

Cardinal Property Management, AAMC/ACMF, hosted attorney and national expert Kelly Richardson on February 19 as part of Cardinal’s commitment to board education. This first class of 2014 was titled “Advanced Board Meeting Issues and Strategies.” Kelly offered tips and techniques to run effective and efficient board meetings.

The evening seminar opened with Cardinal President Farrah Esquer introducing Kathy Gonzalez, executive director of the Orange County Regional Chapter of Community Associations Institute (CAI), to the 34 attending board members. Kathy presented the mission and benefits of CAI, and how the institute helps boards around the world create and maintain successful common interest communities. CAI members have access to information about the trends in this rapidly changing industry with practical knowledge and insights from leaders in the field, best practices, research, and tools that can be used every day.

Kathy then presented attorney Kelly Richardson to the class. Kelly is widely recognized as an expert in common interest developments, boards of directors, and community managers. He is the author of HOA Homefront, a syndicated weekly column dedicated to reducing conflict in California communities. He has also been a member of CAI’s national board of trustees since 2011.

Kelly shared information from agendas to emergency decisions to disciplinary meetings, then held a question and answer session complete with handouts for members to take back to their boards.

Join us as we help you build your tool chest as a board member throughout the year. Classes are held at Cardinal headquarters at 1290 N. Hancock St., Suite 103, in Anaheim. To see the classes lined up for 2014 and register for courses, go to Cardinal Property Management’s Board Resources at and click on the Course Registration page or the Register Now link.


Cardinal Hosts National Expert To Share Techniques Of Effective Board Meetings

Kelly-PhotoCardinal Property Management, AAMC/ACMF, is proud to host national expert Kelly Richards on February 19 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. as he shares techniques and tips to run effective board meetings. Do your meetings run long? Is there a lot of nonbusiness-related conversation? Has every board member read all materials before your meeting? Kelly can help your board adhere to your agenda, hear everyone’s needs, and adjourn on time. He is widely recognized as an expert is common interest developments, boards of directors, and property managers. Kelly is the author of HOA Homefront, a syndicated weekly column dedicated to reducing conflict in California communities.

Join us at Cardinal corporate headquarters, 1290 N. Hancock St., Suite 103,  in Anaheim. Refreshments begin at 6 p.m.  To see the classes lined up for 2014 and register for this course, go to Cardinal Property Management’s Board Resources  and click on the Course Registration page or the Register Now link.


Nuisances Board Education Class

2013 08 Nuisance (2)Barking dogs, loud parties, offensive odors…does this sound familiar yet?  These were the topics discussed at our August Board Education course on nuisances.  James McCormick of Peters & Freedman entertained the almost 40 attendees as he discussed the best approach in dealing with nuisance complaints within the community.

Nuisances in general can be a gray area and the definition is broad.  Something that is offensive and a nuisance to one may not be a nuisance to others.  How should a Board of Directors determine if a violation of the nuisance clause exists?  The main point of James’ discussion was investigation.  If a nuisance complaint is received, the Board should investigate the situation by determining how many are affected by the nuisance, the severity of the nuisance and attempt to witness the nuisance itself.   Depending on the nuisance, other appropriate investigations can also be made. 

If the Board determines a nuisance does exist, the Board, through management, should follow the Association’s adopted Violation & Fine Policy by sending a violation letter and scheduling a Hearing if the issue is not resolved.  At the Hearing the Board can vote to impose a fine and suspend common area privileges, if the documents allow.  The owner should continue to be called to a Hearing and fined until the matter is corrected and an offer made to meet with the owner using the Internal Dispute or Alternative Dispute .  If the owner is unresponsive and the fines do not compel the owner to resolve the issue, the Board should seek legal advice as to whether or not to proceed with legal action.

Additionally, other avenues can also be taken to assist with enforcement.  The Board can determine whether the nuisance is also in violation of another section of the governing documents that is more direct, rather than the broad definition of nuisance.  For example, a stored vehicle can be considered a visual nuisance, but there may also be a clause in the governing documents prohibiting vehicle storage.  If the nuisance is also in violation of a County or City ordinance, the Board and individual homeowners may report the matter to the county or city code enforcement.  Additionally, every homeowner also has the option of enforcing the governing documents against another owner. 

2013 08 NuisanceJames also explained that if the Board finds that a violation does not exist, the Board may suggest that the owners participate in mediation.

The attendees enjoyed the class and the food from Corner Bakery compliments of Cardinal.  Our next scheduled board education class will discuss board member basics including fiduciary duty on October 16th from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Register Now!



An Evening of Learning: Collections & Bankruptcies

Pictured from Left to Right: Christine Dunn, CAI-OC; Sandra Gottlieb, SwedelsonGottlieb 

Sandra Gottlieb of SwedelsonGottlieb and Association Lien Services facilitated the May 30th course on Assessment Collection and Bankruptcies to an audience of community association volunteer leaders in Cardinal’s corporate office.  Sandra discussed the methods of collecting delinquent assessments including personal money judgments, judicial and non-judicial foreclosure.  She provided a thorough explanation of the benefits and disadvantages of each and the steps in each process.  Lastly, Sandra concluded with a discussion on bankruptcies beginning with the types of bankruptcies and definitions of bankruptcy terminology and the avenues an Association can follow to protect the Association’s interest and possibly collect delinquent assessments.

Christine Dunn from the Orange County Chapter of CAI was also present to discuss the benefits of CAI membership and upcoming events.  The evening ended with two raffle drawings for those in attendance.  Terry B. from Saratoga Condominium Association won a complimentary one-year membership to the Orange County Chapter of CAI and Nerisa M. of Heritage Walnut Condominium Association won a $50 gift card for a dinner and a movie.  The attendees enjoyed gourmet sandwiches, salad and dessert from Corner Bakery and Starbucks coffee.

Don’t miss our next education course on Financial Review to be held in our corporate office on Tuesday, July 31st.  Visit our website to view the full 2012 Course Schedule as well as the course descriptions and register early, as space is limited.

About Our Speaker:


Sandra L. Gottlieb is one of California’s leading community association attorneys and a founding partner of the law firm of SwedelsonGottlieb, which limits its practice to the representation of California homeowner associations, including condominiums, planned developments and cooperatives.

Sandra began her practice of law in 1978 and first represented unions as labor counsel, then worked for ABC as labor counsel representing management’s interest in union and employment matters. Thereafter, Sandra spent seven years working at 20th Century Fox, first as Director of Business Affairs in its telecommunications division, then as Vice President of Business Affairs in its licensing and merchandising division. Sandra began representing and providing legal counsel to community associations in the mid-eighties. Sandra has lived in two condominium associations, including a master and sub-association. Sandra’s extensive negotiating skill acquired in the early years of her practice has given her the ability to work with volunteer board members, associations’ managing agents and opposing counsel, and to provide sound counsel regarding Association operational issues.

Sandra and her partner David Swedelson formed their law firm in 1987, bringing together David’s extensive litigation experience with Sandra’s extensive transactional background. As the firm’s Managing Partner, she also leads the transactional team at SwedelsonGottlieb. Sandra’s experience in representingCalifornia community associations allows her not only to provide legal representation but also counsel on the many different matters and issues that impact California homeowner associations.

Sandra Gottlieb has long been a prominent name in the community association industry, having served as President of the board of directors of three chapters of the Community Associations Institute (CAI) in Los Angeles, Orange County and Channel Islands. On a national level, she represents the firm on the CAI National Faculty, the CAI National Attorneys Committee, and the CAI College of Community Association Lawyers (CCAL). In addition, Sandra serves on the Legal Advisory Committee for California Association of Community Managers (CACM), teaching community association managers the legal implications of their work, and she served as the immediate past Editor of CACM’s Law Journal and the designated attorney on its Professional Standards Committee. Additionally, CACM honored Sandra with its 2009 Vision Award for Lifetime Achievement. In 2010, the CAI-Orange County Chapter presented Sandra with the President’s Award and also honored her in 2011 with the Speaker of the Year award.

Visit the website of SwedelsonGottlieb at


Cardinal’s March 29th Board Education Course is a Huge Success

On March 29th the Board Meeting Tactics course was held in Cardinal’s corporate office and was taught by Kelly Richardson of Richardson Harman Ober, PC.  Mr. Richardson explained the role of a volunteer Director, discussed the importance of maintaining a balanced community and explained the Business Judgment Rule and protection from personal liability.  Finally, Mr. Richardson focused on tactics to run effective and less stressful Board Meetings to combat meeting “traps” like excessive discussion on specific topics, overly ambitious agendas, avoiding “town hall” meetings and handling conflict and disagreement.

This was the first time this course has been offered to Cardinal’s clients and was a success with over 20 attendees present.  The evening ended with two raffle drawings for those in attendance.  Adriana R. from Sunny Hills Homeowners Association won a complimentary one-year membership to the Orange County Chapter of CAI and Rex V. of Orange Park Community Association won a $50 gift card for dinner and a movie.  The attendees enjoyed gourmet sandwiches and salad from California Pizza Kitchen and Starbucks coffee and dessert.


“Really enjoyed the Thursday night meeting.  That subject matter should be addressed once a year, in my opinion.  Excellent speaker.” – David M., Criterion Towne Homes I Homeowners Association  

Don’t miss our next education course on Assessment Collection to be held in our corporate office on Wednesday, May 30th.  Visit our website to view the full 2012 Course Schedule as well as the course descriptions and register early, as space is limited.

About Our Speaker:

Kelly G. Richardson, Esq.

Mr. Richardson is Managing Partner of Richardson Harman Ober PC, a firm of twelve attorneys with offices in Pasadena, Riverside and Costa Mesa. He has advised common interest developments for 23 of his 29 years in law practice.

He is a National Trustee of the Community Associations Institute and a member of its College of Community Association Lawyers, a member of the Housing Committee of the California Association of Realtors, an Associate in the American Board Of Trial Advocates and has received an AV® Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review rating.

Kelly is co-author and co-originator of CAI’s eight hour California Law Course for Managers and its three hour Basic Board Education course. He was 2009/2010 Chair of CAI’s California Legislative Action Committee.  For CAR, he is the author of its “Buyers Guide to Common Interest Developments”.   Kelly is also the author of “HOA Homefront,” a weekly column on community association issues appearing in newspapers including the Orange County Register, Long Beach Press-Telegram, and LA Daily News.

He currently serves on the Board of the Orange County of CAI, and is a Past President of the Greater LA Chapter.

Kelly is a licensed real estate broker, and a member of the faculty of the Professional Realty Institute.  He graduated from UC Riverside in 1980 and USC School of Law in 1983.

Visit the website of Richardson Harman Ober, PC at










Financial Statements 101: The Fundamentals of Financial Review for Volunteer Directors

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By:  Kristi Boren, CCAM, CMCA, AMS, Portfolio Account Manager, and Farrah Esquer, CCAM, CMCA, AMS, PCAM, President

One of the many tasks of a volunteer director is the review of the association’s monthly financial statements.  If you do not consider yourself a “numbers person” this may seem like a daunting task that you would rather leave to the treasurer or other financial gurus on the board.  Before you happily pass your responsibility onto your fellow directors, keep in mind that you have a duty to the association to perform a review of the financial statements on at least a quarterly basis.  You are not expected to be an expert, but you can become familiar enough with the financials to perform a basic review.

There are several key items that should be included in your monthly financial statements that you can review to understand the financial position of the association, as well as become alerted to any possible concerns.

Balance Sheet

Begin your financial review with a review of the association’s Balance Sheet.  The Balance Sheet will reflect the Assets, Liabilities, and Equities of the association.  This report will allow you to monitor the total funds invested in each banking institution to be sure funds are kept below FDIC limits.  Also be sure that any investments are maintained in either Money Market Funds or Certificate of Deposit accounts to attempt to ensure the safety of the principal.  The Balance Sheet will also allow you to review the association’s outstanding receivables and payables so you are aware of the association’s cash-flow position when making decisions about potential expenditures.  The reserve line items will also be detailed so you are aware of how much is available in each line item and how much has been expensed from each line item during the fiscal year.

Income Statement

The Income Statement will include a summary of the current month, as well as the year-to-date, income and expenses.

Budget Comparison

The Budget Comparison is a useful tool to monitor actual versus budgeted income and expenses.  The Budget Comparison will include a year-to-date as well as a current month comparison.  It is especially helpful to review the variance column in both the monthly and year-to-date sections of the report.  This will allow you to easily note any overspending or other issues, such as double-payments and possible misclassifications of expenditures.  Identifying overspending will allow the board to make any necessary mid-year adjustments to the budget, plan for upcoming projects, and plan the budget for the next fiscal year.

Accounts Receivable Aging Reports

The Accounts Receivable Aging Report will provide the details for the account receivables line item on the Balance Sheet and will include a breakdown of the delinquent owners and total amount owed.  The aging report should also include a notation of the collection status of each account so that the board can monitor the progress of the collection activity.  If no collection activity is noted, steps should be taken to pursue the delinquency.

Accounts Payable Aging Reports

If the financials are reported on a full accrual basis of accounting, the financials will include an Accounts Payable Aging Report which reflects expenses that have been incurred, but not yet paid.  This will help provide the board with an accurate reflection of the available cash.  If the accounts payables balance exceeds the cash balance, further review should be conducted to determine whether the situation is temporary or if it is a long-standing problem that may need to involve increasing the monthly assessments to meet cash-flow needs.

General Ledger

The General Ledger report should be reviewed to note the transactions that have posted throughout the month.  The General Ledger report will provide further details of the expenses and to which line item they were posted to ensure accuracy in the financial reporting.

Bank Statements

And last but certainly not least, the association’s bank statements as well as the corresponding account reconciliations should be reviewed for any possible discrepancies, such as checks that have not cleared for several months, checks that have cleared for the same amount, checks for large amounts, and checks that have cleared out of sequence.

Protecting the association’s financial interests is one of the most important duties of a board member.  Remember, if you are unsure of anything noted in the financial statement it is always best to ask questions and obtain clarification.  Make a point to meet with the accounting personnel or the association’s CPA to review the financial reports in more detail and become familiar with the reports.  CAI-OC also offers courses in financial management so you may sharpen your financial reviewing skills.


This article was printed in the January/February 2012 edition of the OC View, a bi-monthly magazine published by the Orange County Chapter of the Community Associations Institute (CAI-OC) and was re-printed with permission.  To learn more about CAI-OC visit their website at 



Board Education Course


Community Association Management San Bernardino, community association bylaws, professional community association manager, condominium association laws, homeowners association management company
John R. MacDowell, Esq., Fiore Racobs & Powers and Cardinal Property Management Executive Vice President Farrah Esquer cohosted a seminar entitled “Community Association Board Member Duties” for approximately 30 community association board members at Cardinal’s corporate headquarters. Diane Weissberg, Fiore Racobs & Powers, meets with attendees. Kathy Gonzales, Executive Director of the Orange County Regional Chapter of the Community Associations Institute, talks with attendees about the finer points of being an association director.

Board members and vendors greet each other before the course. Board members and vendors greet each other before the course. Kathy Gonzales, Executive Director of the Orange County Regional Chapter of the Community Associations Institute, talks with attendees about the finer points of being an association director.

Representatives from Prendiville Insurance Agency, Professional Services, Inc. and Harvest Landscape Enterprises, Inc. display their company’s services during Cardinal’s Board Education Course.

Assessment Collection Course

Sandra L. Gottlieb, Esq., Swedelson & Gottlieb and Cardinal Property Management President Farrah Esquer cohosted a seminar on assessment collection for approximately 35 community association board members.

Community association board members networked with vendors before and after the assessment collection seminar.