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Habitat Magazine Business of Management 2021

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Non-Responsive Management Company or BoardFeb 20, 2021

Hello All;

I am seeking some advice regarding a situation that has stumped me as a potential buyer of a coop unit in Queens.

Me and my wife are under contract to purchase a coop as our primary residence. Our mortgage is approved and the customary board package was submitted, after being duly reviewed by both real estate agents, in early October 2020.

By way of background, I am a bank employee and my wife is a self-employed attorney who fully owns her own legal practice. Our credit scores are excellent and we've had no issue securing a mortgage. However, between the two of us, we do own 9 investment properties, including a coop we rent out in Queens. Anticipating an issue, we included a very detailed analysis of our debt-to-income ratios in our board package which also had the customary tax returns etc. etc.

It has been over 4 months and the board has yet to grant us an interview. Initially, the management company didn't even pull our credit and ask for any information. However, in mid January, they would occasionally ask a question, say every two to three weeks. It is clear from the little communication that we've had with them that they are stumped by my wife's self-employed income. We've re-submitted portions of tax returns highlighting her income along with a Profit and Loss statement and a letter from our CPA. We have also offered to meet (via Zoom or in person or over the phone) with the board or the management company to explain our financials which are very strong. However, there has been no response. We haven't been declined either but the occasional message from the management company is that they are still analyzing our financials.

To make matters more puzzling, the sellers have also been calling the management company and have received no response.

This is a major coop in Queens, which I would rather not name, and I doubt that they have never seen a self-employed purchase applicant befpre

There is no way for us to know if the management company is stalling or is it the board. There have been other sales in the coop since October. Our frustration is that even if the board or the management company is not clear about our finances, they should simply grant us an interview and ask us questions and then make a decision. Or the management company can just talk to us.

As long time coop owner and the president of my own little coop (though that is irrelevant), I know this situation is not typical. Any ideas on how to move this forward? Apologies for the long post and thank you for your advice.

Amer

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Non responsive management - Marty Feb 20, 2021

I think the Board should have made a decision after all this time. Whether it's yes or no, they should have contacted you. Even if you have a somewhat detailed and complicated application, 4 months is enough time to decide.

I would not grant you an interview until a decision has been made about your finances. It sounds like this is what's happening to you.

I can imagine why they might have possible reservations. I would also keep in mind that the pandemic probably heightens their worries given the potential economic impact on all businesses that exists right now and may exist for years to come.

- I'll assume that your earnings are steady. Anyone with self earnings will cause concern for the co-op. Has your wife had a steady income during her years of self employment? If it has not been steady, they may be worried about her future earnings.

- Without knowing anything other than what you've told us, I think your 9 investment properties could be raising potential red flags. I assume you have financial obligations on most if not all 9 properties.

The co-op may be worried that with the economy being so unreliable these days, they may wonder what happens in the worst case scenario, where most or perhaps all of your investment properties lose their income and you still have your financial obligations. They are surely asking "How would that situation affect you, your wife, and all co-op shareholders in the worst case scenario?"

As the President of your own co-op, I'm sure you can understand the potential pitfalls of your application.

Having said that, 4 months is enough time. If they won't grant you an interview, then it's probably time to move on to another co-op.

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> Join the conversation Comments (1)
Non-Responsive Management Company or Board - Amer Feb 21, 2021

Marty;

Thank you for your very detailed and insightful comments.

I can now see why we might not have been interviewed yet. Though why the management company/board doesn't ask for information to make a decision is beyond me.

My wife's earnings have actually been increasing and our ratios are still pretty good even if you eliminate the rental income from all the investment properties. I also plan to sell our present coop apartment once the purchase is completed.

From another perspective, it's a good sign that we really haven't been declined yet.

Thank you, again. Your comments were very helpful.

Regards,

Amer

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Suggestion - Grant May 06, 2021

We review and approve in a matter of a week or so at the longest. You have a really lame board that you are dealing with.
And your misery has just begun if you follow thru with this purchase.
I'd get out while the getting is good.

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