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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JULIE MCGHEE HOWARD FEATURED IN CAI’S COMMON GROUND: ASSESSMENT DELINQUENCY ISSUES DUE TO COVID-19
August 1, 2020, Atlanta, Ga. – Julie McGhee Howard, attorney, co-founder and managing partner of NowackHoward, LLC, has been featured in the Community Associations Institute’s (CAI) Common Ground magazine to offer comment and insight on delinquency and collections during these difficult and unprecedented times created by the COVID-19 crisis.
As part of an ongoing series, CAI has offered a feature article and a live Q&A session with Howard and other association professionals to offer some perspective and guidance for those boards struggling with homeowners who can’t or won’t pay HOA assessments. Though the session is not intended to offer legal advice, it does offer some paths that associations can pursue with their own attorneys and boards as we all try to keep neighborhoods functioning while individual homeowners may be struggling.
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Howard offers her approach of prevention and compassion as a way that boards can both meet their obligations while accommodating resident homeowners who may need considerations. While NowackHoward focuses, strongly, on preparing boards with clear documentation and smart policy, the nation’s current situation is straining the imagination and forcing interpretations that were unheard of at the beginning of 2020.
“We need to be coaching our boards to act with some grace,” says Howard. “There are always going to be exceptions. What do we do if somebody is in quarantine and can’t work?”
The firm expects delinquencies to rise and homeowners to need more flexibility, but Howard also notes that the board and association must continue to function and must continue to collect assessments because of the association’s financial obligations. Associations must continue to keep up the shared common areas and utilities, as well as insurance, management, landscaping, and the many other serves that benefit the entire community. Communication and clear expectations will be key, as neighborhoods work through the rest of this year and possibly the next. The firm encourages communication, early, to avoid delinquency and collection.
About Julie McGhee Howard
Julie McGhee Howard is co-founder and managing partner of NowackHoward, LLC, and has extensive experience advising community associations having counseled condominium and homeowner associations across Georgia since 1996. An active member of the Community Associations Institute (CAI), Howard has served CAI at every level, including Georgia Chapter President in 2003 and national President in 2014. Howard is a fellow in the prestigious College of Community Association Lawyers and served as the College’s 2018 President. Howard is an active and long-time lobbyist for community associations and has helped draft every change to the Georgia Condominium Act and Georgia Property Owners’ Association Act since 2007 and frequently testifies before Georgia Senate and House of Representatives Committees on proposed laws that could impact community associations. Howard has earned the AV Preeminent rating from Martindale-Hubbell, the legal profession’s most prestigious rating service.
About the Community Association Institute
CAI is an international membership organization dedicated to building better communities. With over 40,000 members, CAI has 64 chapters worldwide, including Canada, the Middle East and South Africa, and relationships with housing leaders in a number of other countries, including Australia and the United Kingdom. CAI provides information, education and resources to the homeowner volunteers who govern communities and the professionals who support them. CAI members include association board members and other homeowner leaders, community managers, association management firms and other professionals who provide products and services to associations.
About NowackHoward LLC
NowackHoward LLC is Atlanta’s most experienced and effective law firm concentrating in advising and representing homeowner and condominium associations. Lawyers at NowackHoward are among the most experienced attorneys in the United States focusing on this specific area of the law. NowackHoward lawyers have helped write almost every law in Georgia that pertains to condominium and homeowner associations and worked to get them passed, helping create more harmonious communities. With both founding partners receiving the AV Preeminent rating from Martindale-Hubbell, the legal profession’s most prestigious rating service, NowackHoward has become home to Georgia’s top-rated community association lawyers.