Mounting bills force Florida condo associations into bankruptcy

At least seven Florida condo associations have filed for bankruptcy since the real estate market took a nose dive -- and there may be more on the way.

For a growing number of strapped condo associations, bankruptcy could be the last defense against their hallways going dark and their spigots running dry.

In one of the most recent Chapter 11 filings, the creditors of Maison Grande in Miami Beach are planning to meet Tuesday to discuss the bankruptcy.

A rare occurrence in better days, such filings now are seen as a last-ditch bid by associations to shield themselves from bill collectors and find a way out of mounting financial problems.

While an association is in bankruptcy, utilities can't cut off the power or turn off the water, problems that have already surfaced at some South Florida condos.

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