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.

Age Restrictions

The generic term for restrictions based on age which are part of several recognized types of senior housing/housing for older persons (e.g., “55+” or “all-62” housing), as defined in state and federal law. To impose restrictions or rules based on age in communities not otherwise qualified as senior housing may result in a violation of various fair housing laws.


Generally, associations do not have routine cause to either perform a fiscal audit or be subject to an outside audit. Audits are thorough reviews of all association fiscal records, including operating and reserve accounts. The purpose of an audit is to ensure that no fiscal mismanagement has occurred. If you receive notice of an audit, immediately contact your legal counsel.

Cable Television

Depending on the provisions of an association’s governing documents, an association can enter into cable contracts without membership approval. Bulk cable contracts provide a reduced rate for cable services. Even if the board has authority to enter into a cable contract for the entire community, member approval may be required if the term of the contract exceeds any service contract term limits in the governing documents.

Commingled Funds

Generally speaking, association funds that are representative of different financial accounts should be kept separate and distinct. For example, the general operating fund should be kept in a separate bank account from reserve funds. This procedure creates clear paper trails and may reduce the chances for embezzlement. The Civil Code specifically states that managers for associations may never commingle funds from difference associations.


Most construction or repair work with a value over $500 must be performed by a contractor that is properly licensed (Bus & Prof. Code 7028 and 7048). A summary of the licenses issued by the State of California, and the work that can be performed by a person holding each type of license can be found at www.cslb.ca.gov. A check of this website should be made before any contract is signed to ensure that the Association is working with a person or company lawfully entitled to do the work and that the license is active and valid.

Derivative Actions

A lawsuit brought by a shareholder of a corporation on behalf of the corporation to enforce or defend a legal right or claim, which the corporation has failed to do. Derivative actions in the context of homeowners associations are lawsuits brought by a member of the association, typically against a member of the board of directors or the entire board of directors, to enforce a legal right of the members of the Association that the board has failed to do or for malfeasance against the board or board member. The person bringing the derivative action cannot allege or recover damages on behalf of him or herself.


An easement is an incorporeal interest in the land of another that gives the easement holder the right to use the other’s land or to prevent the other person from using the land. Easements can be created in many ways, including by deed, agreement, CC&Rs, through necessity, hostile use (prescription), and through petitioning the court to exercise it equitable powers. The owner of the land usually retains the right to use the land encumbered by the easement to the extent that such use does not unreasonably interfere with the easement holder’s use. Easements frequently give rise to disputes concerning what may be done in the easement by the easement holder and the land owner, whether the easement is being overburdened, who must maintain and repair the easement area, and who must share in the cost of that work.


Before a purchaser or owner seeking refinancing in a condominium project can obtain a federally insured loan, the project must be approved for FHA by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Excepted from the requirement are projects where no portions of the individual condominium units abut one another. To qualify for FHA, a project must satisfy a number of requirements, including requirements related to occupancy, solvency and insurance.