Those of you that attended our recent ROC seminars at the Molokai community in Leesburg and Sandalwood Park in Venice know that the Federal Trade Commission has delayed the implementation of the "Red Flag" Identity Protection Rules until June 1, 2010. I briefly summarized my understanding of these rules and how they may impact resident owned communities at those two seminars and will present the same summary at our upcoming seminars at Old Bridge Village in Fort Myers and Westwinds Village in Bradenton.
The Community Associations Institute recently published an article that may help ROC managers and board members determine whether their association will have to comply with the "Red Flag" rules and, if so, the type of identity protection program the association will have to adopt and maintain.
A number of factors will have to be considered, including:
- Whether the association is a "creditor" because it accepts installment payments of maintenance fees or assessments (while this does not seem to include rent payments, a cooperative association that finances residents’ purchases of membership shares would appear to be a "creditor")
- Whether there is a risk of identity theft as measured by factors, including the volume of identity-related information that is received by the association and the number of association employees and board members that review that information
The CAI’s article provides an outline of a basic identity protection program that associations might want to consider. The association should consult with its attorney to help prepare and implement the community’s identity protection plan.
A great deal of uncertainty still surrounds the "Red Flag" rules and I would not be surprised if the FTC decides to delay the implementation of these rules again as the June 1 deadline approaches. However, managers and board members should strive to protect the privacy of every resident in their communities. Please remember that the association’s attorney should be consulted whenever a question involving a request to provide a resident’s "private" information arises as the provisions of the Florida Statutes governing condominium associations, cooperative associations, and homeowners’ associations may require the production of information that a resident, board member, or manager considers to be "private".