Condominium and HOA Update: Upcoming Changes to LARA Corporate Filing Submissions Starting October 30, 2017
At least once a year, property managers, attorneys or the association itself files corporate documents with the State of Michigan’s Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (“LARA”) on behalf of the association. In a Michigan condominium association or homeowners association, certain documents such as Amended and Restated Articles of Incorporation or a Change in Resident Agent may be filed infrequently. However, each condominium association and homeowners association in Michigan is required to file Annual Reports with LARA on a yearly basis and therefore each association should be interacting with LARA at least once each year.
For those property managers, attorneys or associations who previously used the MICH-ELF filing system, that system is being terminated and the new Corporations Online Filing System (COFS) will be available on October 30, 2017.
There is a significant change between how COFS works versus MICH-ELF. Under the MICH-ELF system, attorneys or property managers could file documents on behalf of all their clients by using just the attorneys’ or property managers’ own MICH-ELF filing number. Now with COFS, in order to log into the system, a person will need to know the CID number [Customer Identification Number] and the PIN number for each individual association.
According to LARA, current resident agents for Michigan associations should receive very soon a new ID#, CID and PIN for each individual association. For example, if a property management company manages 60 associations and is the resident agent for all of those associations, the property management company should expect 60 new CID and 60 new PIN numbers to manage and maintain. In all practical terms, this means that a law office or property manager will need to know each of its clients’ CID and PIN numbers in order to submit documents through the new COFS system as opposed to using one login for all the law office’s or property manager’s clients. This is a significant change in how e-filing will take place.
Importantly, documents may still be submitted for filing by mail or in person as well as the new COFS system. It is unclear whether acceptance by facsimile formerly permitted will still be allowed.
While the new system has not yet been implemented, in the future new boards of directors for condominium associations and homeowners association will want to request the CID and PIN information from the prior board. If the prior board is unable to provide the information or refuses to do so, you can contact the Corporations Division to request the CID and PIN: [email protected].
Joe Wloszek is a Member of Hirzel Law, PLC where he focuses his practice on condominium and homeowner’s association law, commercial litigation, commercial real estate, large contractual disputes, and related real estate matters. Mr. Wloszek has been a Super Lawyers Rising Star in Real Estate Law from 2013-2018, an award given to only 2.5% of the attorneys in Michigan each year. He was also named a Top Lawyer in commercial law by DBusiness Magazine in 2014, a Michigan Top Lawyer in real estate law by Michigan Top Lawyers in 2016 and the Pro Bono Volunteer Attorney of the Year in 2014 by Michigan Community Resources. He is a Certified Real Estate Continuing Education Instructor through the State of Michigan and the past Chair of the Oakland County Bar Association Real Estate Committee. He can be reached at (248) 478-1800 or [email protected].