Kathleen W. Panagis

Kathleen W. Panagis

COUNSEL
kpanagis@wtplaw.com
RICHMOND
T: 804.977.3303
F: 703.280.9139

FALLS CHURCH
T: 757.300.2199
F: 703.280.9139



Ms. Panagis has been practicing law at Whiteford, Taylor & Preston since 2008.  She serves as general counsel to homeowner and condominium associations located in Virginia, which essentially operate like non-stock corporations or mini city governments.  Ms. Panagis' representation of community associations includes transactional work, corporate governance, and litigation support.  In addition to serving as general counsel to community associations, her practice also includes general civil litigation.

Recognitions

  • Recipient of Volunteer of the Year Award for the CA Day Committee for SEVA CAI, December 2017
  • Recipient of Rising Star Award for SEVA CAI, December 2016
 

Memberships & Activities

  • Member:  Southeastern Virginia Chapter of Community Associations Institute
    • Co-Chair: Education Subcommittee for CA Day 2018 
    • Chair: Programs Committee
  • Member:  Virginia Beach Bar Association

Community Associations

  • Advise community association boards on day-to-day business operations, compliance with governing documents, operating procedures, meetings (including quorum, voting, and proxy issues), insurance matters, directors issues and disputes, owner disputes, real property transactions, and assessment collections.
  • Provide advice, guidance, and education to association board members on various areas of the law, including annual updates to the Virginia Property Owners’ Association Act, Virginia Condominium Act, Virginia Nonstock Corporation Act, and Virginia Common Interest Communities Act.
  • Work with and collaborate with community association boards and management team members in taking proactive steps to best protect associations’ interests.
  • Advise on repair and maintenance responsibilities of community associations.
  • Prepare comprehensive policy and administrative resolutions.
  • Experience in reviewing land records, analyzing chain of recorded documents, and researching contents of plats and plans.
  • Assist condominium associations in seeking and obtaining FHA certification and recertification.
 

Interpretation/Amendment of Governing Documents

  • Draft and amend community associations’ declarations, bylaws, master deeds, and/or articles of incorporation.
  • Assist community associations in proceeding with proposed amendments such as attending town hall meetings with members of the community, preparing explanatory letters explaining the amendments, and preparing proxies and/or ballots for membership vote on amendments.
 

Contract Negotiations

  • Review, draft, and negotiate contracts on behalf of community associations, including, but not limited to, professional management company contracts, service contracts with various community vendors, licensing agreements, easement agreements, and settlement and release agreements.
 

Community Association Litigation, and Rules and Covenants Enforcement

  • Initiate and defendant lawsuits brought by or against homeowner or condominium associations.
  • Pursuit of injunctive relief and specific performance actions on behalf of community associations for covenants enforcement actions in both Circuit and General District Courts.
  • Litigate assessment collection cases and experience in pursuing post-judgment collection enforcement actions.
 

General Litigation, Insurance Coverage, and Defense Litigation

  • Representation of individuals and business entities in areas of personal injury, wrongful death, title disputes, breach of contract actions, and breach of fiduciary duties.
  • Litigation experience includes both plaintiff and defense work.
 

Clerkship

  • Law Clerk to the late Honorable David T. Stitt, Circuit Court of Virginia, Nineteenth Judicial Circuit, Fairfax, Virginia
 

Counsel to Boards of Directors

  • Advise community association boards on day-to-day business operations, compliance with governing documents, operating procedures, meetings (including quorum, voting, and proxy issues), insurance matters, directors issues and disputes, owner disputes, real property transactions, and assessment collections.
  • Provide advice, guidance, and education to association board members on various areas of the law, including annual updates to the Virginia Property Owners’ Association Act, Virginia Condominium Act, Virginia Nonstock Corporation Act, and Virginia Common Interest Communities Act.
PRESENTATIONS & PUBLICATIONS

Co-Presenter: Show Me the Money! (but help me avoid liability) From Post-Judgment Actions to Fair Debt Collections Practices Act to Bankruptcy, Southeastern Virginia Chapter of CAI, June 2017

Author: Update to the Owner Occupancy Requirement for FHA Certification and Recertification, Currents Magazine for Southeastern Virginia Chapter of CAI, Winter 2016

Author: Do Community Associations Have the Authority to Regulate Drone Usage on Their Common Area or Common Elements?, Whiteford, Taylor & Preston LLP's Community Associations Newsletter, January 2017

Co-presenter: Bankruptcy Proceedings and How to Protect Community Associations from Liability Under the Bankruptcy Code, Whiteford, Taylor & Preston LLP’s Community Manager Luncheon Seminar, September 2016

Author: Increasing Number of Condominium Projects Eligible for FHA Certification and Recertification Through New Federal Law, Whiteford, Taylor & Preston, LLP’s August 2016 Community Associations Newsflash.

Author: Enforcement Procedure Options, Washington Metropolitan Chapter of Community Associations Institute’s Quorum Magazine, Spring 2016

Speaker: Update on FHA Certification and Recertification Requirements and Procedures, Whiteford, Taylor & Preston LLP’s Community Manager Luncheon Seminar, February 2016

Author: Expanding the Marketability of Your Condominium Association:  Obtaining FHA Certification and Recertification, Whiteford, Taylor & Preston, LLP’s February 2016 Community Associations Newsletter.

Co-presenter: How Not to Get You or the Association in Trouble:  Fiduciary Duties of Board of Directors for Community Associations, Whiteford, Taylor & Preston, LLP’s Presentation to thirty Community Managers at LandMarc Real Estate, June 2015

Co-presenter: Proper Due Process Procedures for Suspending Community Privileges and Amenities, Whiteford, Taylor & Preston, LLP’s Community Association Manager Lunch Seminar, March 2015

Co-presenter: How to Conduct Effective Meetings by Using Parliamentary Procedures, Whiteford, Taylor & Preston, LLP’s Presentation to forty-plus Community Managers at Cardinal Management Group, Inc., March 2015

Co-presenter: Architectural Design Standards Enforcement and Due Process Procedures, Whiteford, Taylor & Preston, LLP’s Webinar Presentation to Largest Professional Community Association Management Company in Northern Virginia, February 2015

Co-presenter: Annual Almost Free Legal Advice Roundtable, Washington Metropolitan Chapter of Community Associations Institute, February 2015

Author: Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, Washington Metropolitan Chapter of Community Associations Institute’s Quorum Magazine, Fall 2014

Co-presenter: Covenants Enforcement and Due Process Procedures, Whiteford, Taylor & Preston, LLP’s Community Association Manager Lunch Seminar, Fall 2014

Author: Suspension of Community Privileges: Virginia, Whiteford, Taylor & Preston, LLP’s Spring Newsletter, April 2014

Speaker: Social Media and Website Concerns Within the Context of Community Associations, Whiteford, Taylor & Preston, LLP’s Community Association Law Fall 2013 Seminar for Association Managers and Board Members.

Virginia Cle Co-presenter: When Your Creditors Are Your Neighbors: Community Associations and Bankruptcy, Northern Virginia Bankruptcy Bar Association, Spring 2013

ARTICLES

Update to the Owner Occupancy Requirement for FHA Certification and Recertification

On October 26, 2016, the Federal Housing Administration (“FHA”) issued a new mortgagee letter regarding new owner occupancy requirements for FHA certification and recertification applications.  This mortgagee letter is in response to the Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act that the President signed the end of July 2016.  A copy of the new mortgagee letter 2016-15 can be found in its entirety here:  Mortgagee Letter 2016-15.  As discussed in more detail below, the mortgagee letter clarifies what is considered an owner-occupied unit and discusses how the standard owner-occupancy requirement of 50% can be lowered to 35% under certain circumstances for existing condominium projects.

Increasing Number of Condominium Projects Eligible for FHA Certification and Recertification through New Federal Law

Through unanimous approval by Congress and then the ultimate approval by the President, the Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act (the “Act”) potentially opens the door to many condominium associations to obtain FHA certification that were not previously eligible and directs the Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development to streamline the FHA recertification process.  Many condominium associations desire to be FHA certified so that condominium units located within the association are available for sale to a much broader pool of potential buyers.  In a serious effort to broaden the number of condominium associations eligible for FHA certification, the Act put forth four major changes regarding requirements for FHA mortgage insurance.

Expanding the Marketability of Units in your Condominium Association to a Bigger Pool of Potential Buyers: FHA Certification and Recertification

When a condominium project is FHA certified, it means that the units located within the condominium project are eligible for FHA-insured loans.   An FHA insured loan is a Federal Housing Administration (“FHA”) mortgage insurance backed-mortgage loan, which is tied to an FHA-approved lender.  In other words, FHA does not issue loans; rather it insures loans from private lenders.  


Suspension of Community Privileges: Virginia

A community association’s ability to suspend an owner’s voting privileges and community privileges, such as parking, pool, and/or fitness center access, is a powerful tool associations can use in getting the attention of owners who are in violation of association governing documents.  This tool is typically used when an owner is delinquent in paying his or her assessments and can serve as a deterrent for non-payment as well as an effective means of assessment collection.  It is important to note, however, that before an association can proceed with suspending an owner’s voting.


FHA Certification and Recertification

FHA certification makes it easier to sell units in your condominium association.  Applying for FHA certification has become more straightforward recently.