By: Helsing Admin 

Question: I did not pay my assessments for a few months due to financial difficulties. Now I owe thousands of dollars to a collection agency, or at least they claim I do. This seems very unfair. The collection costs now exceed what I am late to the association.

While I am not familiar with the particulars of your issue, I suspect that your association is starting to go through a non-judicial foreclosure process on your home. That is the typical remedy because your association is a not-for-profit entity, and when homeowners become delinquent other owners have to have their assessments increased to cover those that are not paying. The association then needs to take action at some point (depending on your delinquency policy, but typically somewhere around the 30 to 60 day mark), and will start proceedings to lien and possibly foreclose on your home so that another homeowner can buy it and make the association financially whole.

Yes, this process is expensive. It involves research, filing of papers, legal notices – and of course the collection agencies doing this make their profit as well. When you try to pull your home out of that process, if you do not pay those fees your neighbors have to pay those fees. Your neighbors should not have to pay those fees; they are not delinquent. Typically, the association will allow the lien process to continue until something is worked out to make the association (and those they contracted with to collect) whole again.

I think far too many homeowners feel that being delinquent on homeowner assessments is not as serious as being late on car payments, or credit cards, or other debt. Unfortunately, it is more serious because delinquencies cost your neighbors more and make it harder for everyone to sell or refinance.

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