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This might be the start of a new trend, condo associations filing for bankruptcy because of the housing bust …

From the Daily Business Review: Bankruptcy: $1 million debt sends condo association into Chapter 11.

Facing almost $1 million in claims by unsecured creditors, a troublesome recreational lease, and at least 100 unit owners delinquent on payments of their fees, the association filed a Chapter 11 petition last month in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Miami.

As one of the first condo association bankruptcies of the current economic crisis … With residential foreclosures and personal bankruptcies soaring in South Florida, Maison Grande’s decision is expected to become more commonplace, said attorney Aleida Martinez Molina of Becker & Poliakoff in Coral Gables.

The significant drop in property values is a key factor pushing associations toward bankruptcy filings, said attorney Robert Kaye of Kaye & Bender in Fort Lauderdale. … “In prior times, there was enough equity in all the properties [in an association] so that assets would likely exceed liabilities,” he said. “Now, since a large percentage of associations are upside down, that’s changing their view about bankruptcy. Their debts have overtaken their assets.”

File Under: Don’t worry condo assoc, Barney Frank is on the job.

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