Time to bail-out condo associations?

South Florida real estate broker Ricardo Wolf of Wolf International Realty, Inc. recently argued that a portion of the funds from the stimulus package should be used to "stabilize" struggling condominium associations in hard hit locales, where soaring foreclosure numbers are giving associations a hard time collecting HOA dues.

It sounds crazy, and self-serving. Wolf is, after all, a Florida real estate agent. But he actually might be on to something. When condominium associations run into trouble and are unable to maintain common areas, it causes property values to plunge. Property values plunge, more people let their homes go and the result is a vicious cycle of foreclosures and a deteriorating building for the hearty souls who stick it out.