Out of Court Binding Dispute Resolution
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Out of Court Binding Dispute Resolution: narrative
Colorado HOA Forum:  Homeowner Advocates
Out of court binding dispute resolution flow chart
YOU DO NOT LOSE YOUR ABILITY TO TAKE YOUR CASE TO COURT WITH OUT OF
COURT BINDING DISPUTE RESOLUTION, THAT'S A FACT

We already have mediation in State Law and most HOA by-laws (governing documents).  
Making mediation mandatory when it currently doesn't work solves very little and will only
add time, cost, uncertainty, and more process to an already weak HOA enforcement system.

Homeowners want an accessible and affordable HOA enforcement system and one that
has a defined process from beginning to end. An enforcement process that renders
decisions expeditiously and based on HOA law and their own by-laws.  An HOA legal
enforcement process that is out of court for most homeowner complaints and is binding.  

The idea of mandatory mediation contradicts all the positive aspects we advocate in
enforcing HOA law.  Mediation, optional or mandatory, is an enforcement system based on
"hope", "if", and "maybe" not certainty of a decision nor does it bring the feature of finality in
the complaint process; it is aimed at resolving some, not all, complaints thus leaving many
homeowners with the costly, time consuming, and litigious court system to resolve simple
problems which is the current problem;  it will add time, cost, and more hoops for
homeowners to jump through to gain a decision on a dispute; it will still clutter our court
system with HOA cases that neither belong in court nor require the formality of our court
system for a judgement; and this process will require homeowners to gamble several
hundred dollars on a mediation session that in many cases will not result in any or only a
partial decision which is simply unacceptable and unaffordable for homeowners.  

The idea is to resolve complaints, have decisions rendered, make dispute resolution
affordable and accessible.  Our proposal of med-arb meets this criteria.  Mediation,
mandatory or not, will simply add more process, time, cost, and uncertainty to dispute
resolution which is no one's goal.  
Comparison of Dispute Resolution Processes
Med-Arb, Mediation (Mandatory Mediation), Court
Cost effective, timely, efficient only for those cases in which a binding will
leave many left in the court as only solution.
Accessible but can result in homeowners not pursuing a complaint since they
must "gamble" several hundred dollars in this process which is lost if
agreement is not reached.
Affordable: Requires homeowner to risk cost of mediation and may simply
add to cost if agreement not reached.
Only reduces caseload for complaints settled. Pertains only to cases: seeking
under $7,500 damages; not felonies; and must concern non-compliance with
State HOA laws/HOA governing documents. Cases not ending in total binding
solution can end up in court
Welcome aboard Virginia, a wake-up for Colorado.  See how
Virginia resolves most HOA complaints and it isn't via
mandatory mediation!  (a starting point but needs to be
modified, see our charts below)
Evaluation Criteria
Med-Arb
Mediation
Court
Option for Court Case
X
X
X
Cost Effective
X
X (partial)
 
Litigious
    X
Timely, Efficient
X
X (partial)
 
Guaranteed Binding
Decision Rendered
X
  X
Minimizes steps in
process from beginning
to definite end
X
   
Definite and defined
process
from point of
filing complaint to
decision
X
  X
Accessible to
Homeowners
X
X (partial)
 
Easily Understood by
Homeowners
X
X
 
Due process of law
guaranteed
X
  X
Affordable
X
X (partial)*
 
Applicable to all HOA
Disputes
X (partial)*
X (partial)*
X
Reduces Court caseload
and costs
X
X (partial)*
 
Professionally licensed
and regulated
X
   
Avoiding Court System
X
X (partial)
 
Credentialed with HOA
education
X
   
Did you know that mediators in the State of Colorado are not
licensed or regulated and have no professional requirements to
fulfill?  The person practicing card reading or astrology is regulated
the same as a mediator that may be hearing your HOA case under
current HOA law!  Another argument why the current system of
dispute resolution doesn't work.
State HOA Dispute Resolution Study:
Opportunity for Real Reform OR Continue
Failed Policy
DID YOU KNOW THIS ABOUT MEDIATORS WHO HANDLE YOUR HOA PROBLEM

No State licensing requirements
No mandated credentials
No mandated background/educational requirements on HOA law
No oversight by State regulators or enforcement of professional standards
No required background checks
No process to legally remove unethical mediators from practicing
No formal vetting, review, or examination of those practicing mediation on HOA cases

These professions are licensed but HOA mediators who can be assigned to resolve your
complaint have no State professional requirements,
anyone can be a mediator!

Plumbers
Manicurists
Social Workers
Hairstylists
l
Barbers
Dentists
Full List

Out of Court Binding Dispute Resolution corrects this flaw by requiring professional educational
standards and licensing for those listening to and making decision on HOA compalints.
Homeowners can still choose to file their complaint in court vs out of
court binding dispute resolution
Look at what Arizona does to provide an out of court
binding dispute resolution process and compare to
our recommendation