The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) preserves and promotes public confidence in the U.S. financial system by insuring deposits in banks and thrift institutions for at least $250,000; by identifying, monitoring and addressing risks to the deposit insurance funds; and by limiting the effect on the economy and the financial system when a bank or thrift institution fails.

An independent agency of the federal government, the FDIC was created in 1933 in response to the thousands of bank failures that occurred in the 1920s and early 1930s. Since the start of FDIC insurance on January 1, 1934, no depositor has lost a single cent of insured funds as a result of a failure.

The FDIC receives no Congressional appropriations – it is funded by premiums that banks and thrift institutions pay for deposit insurance coverage and from earnings on investments in U.S. Treasury securities. The FDIC insures trillions of dollars of deposits in U.S. banks and thrifts – deposits in virtually every bank and thrift in the country.

The standard insurance amount is $250,000 per depositor, per insured bank, for each account ownership category. The FDIC’s Electronic Deposit Insurance Estimatorcan help you determine if you have adequate deposit insurance for your accounts.

The FDIC insures deposits only. It does not insure securities, mutual funds or similar types of investments that banks and thrift institutions may offer. (Deposit Insurance: What’s Covered distinguishes between what is and is not protected by FDIC insurance.)

The FDIC directly examines and supervises about 4,000 banks and savings banks for operational safety and soundness, more than half of the institutions in the banking system. Banks can be chartered by the states or by the federal government. Banks chartered by states also have the choice of whether to join the Federal Reserve System. The FDIC is the primary federal regulator of banks that are chartered by the states that do not join the Federal Reserve System. In addition, the FDIC is the back-up supervisor for the remaining insured banks and thrift institutions.

The FDIC also examines banks for compliance with consumer protection laws, including the Fair Credit Billing Act, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the Truth-In-Lending Act, and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, to name a few. Finally, the FDIC examines banks for compliance with the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) which requires banks to help meet the credit needs of the communities they were chartered to serve.

To protect insured depositors, the FDIC responds immediately when a bank or thrift institution fails. Institutions generally are closed by their chartering authority – the state regulator, or the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. The FDIC has several options for resolving institution failures, but the one most used is to sell deposits and loans of the failed institution to another institution. Customers of the failed institution automatically become customers of the assuming institution. Most of the time, the transition is seamless from the customer’s point of view.

The FDIC is headquartered in Washington, D.C., but conducts much of its business in regional and field offices around the country.

The FDIC is managed by a five-person Board of Directors, all of whom are appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate, with no more than three being from the same political party.


For more information, visit: https://www.fdic.gov/


A license is an authorization given by the owner of land to another to perform an act or acts on the owner’s property. The owner’s permission may be expressed or implied. The license is a personal privilege; it is not an interest or right in the land. Generally, licenses are revocable at will by the land owner. The classic license is personal to the license holder and cannot be transferred, assigned, conveyed, or inherited. Written license agreements frequently blur the line between easements and licenses.


Disputes large and small are a regular part of life in homeowner associations. While always prepared to litigate, Epsten believes it is preferable to settle many disputes through quicker and less costly methods, including negotiation and mediation. Experience has shown that the results of mediation can be effective and satisfying. Mediation can be the fastest, most-effective solution to conflicts between homeowners and homeowners in conflict with their association.

In mediation, the disputing parties present their problem to a neutral third person who is an experienced mediator. Investigation and documentation of the complaint is made and the mediator conducts meetings to openly explore the opposing positions and guide negotiation between the parties. If the parties do not reach a compromise on their own, the mediator presents a resolution of the dispute that the parties can either accept or reject. While mediation is non-binding, studies have documented a success rate of 85% when a mediator is employed to settle a dispute.

Annual Policy Statement

Every year, pursuant to Civil Code section 5310, community associations are required to provide their members with Annual Policy Disclosures. These disclosures range from the association’s discipline policy to their delinquent assessment policy. These disclosures must be provided to members no more than 90 and no less than 30 days prior to the end of the association’s fiscal year.

Bank Statements, Reviewing

Pursuant to Civil Code section 5500, board members have a fiscal duty to review the latest account statements prepared by the financial institutions where the association has its operating and reserve accounts. In addition to other duties set forth in this section, this particular duty aims to prevent embezzlement, theft and misappropriation of association funds.


A recorded document (generically referred to as the “declaration” of “conditions, covenants and restrictions” or “CC&Rs”) setting forth use restrictions governing the common interest development, making membership in the association, and payment of assessments, mandatory. “CC&Rs” may also refer to recorded amendments of the original CC&Rs. For CC&Rs first recorded after January 1, 1996, the declaration has to contain a legal description of the development, a statement identifying the development as one of four types of common interest developments, the name of the association, the use restrictions, and (occasionally) other statutorily-mandated items. Civ. Code §§4250, 4255.

Common Interest Development or “CID”

This is the generic term used to describe the types of developments that are subject to the Davis-Stirling Act, specifically condominium projects, planned developments, stock cooperatives and community apartment projects. This is defined in Civil Code section 4100. Requirements for establishing a common interest development are found in Civil Code section 4200, and there is a requirement that no common interest development can exist if it has no common area. (Civ. Code §4201)

County Tax Assessor

Most associations have streets and common area parcels/lots that were deeded to them by the developer. In most cases, the mailing address for tax bills (if any) would go to the association c/o its management company. In some cases, the last known mailing address for those streets and common area parcels/lots is that of the developer. Unfortunately, the easiest way to verify the ownership and mailing address for each of the Association’s streets and common area parcels/lots is through a title company or through the law firm that has title plant access.


A physical and/or mental condition which interferes with a life function. The definition of disability differs slightly under state and federal law. A person suffering from a disability may be entitled to a reasonable accommodation (or the right to make a modification at the applicant’s cost) under state and/or federal law, generally by reference to California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (Gov. Code 12900 et seq.) or the federal Fair Housing Act (42 USC 3601 et seq.)

Electronic Communication

The Corporations Code generally defines electronic transmissions as communications delivered by fax, email, electronic message boards or other means. Members may give consent to the board to transmit certain types of communications, notices or disclosures to members via electronic communication. Consult with your attorney for further information concerning consent and the types of electronic communications authorized under the law.