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HOA Fees Collection


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So I've away from credit boards for roughly a decade with no issues and I'm out of touch.

 

Somehow, at the beginning of this year I overlooked paying my home owners association fee and on October 14 recieved a letter from an attorney collecting the debt in an amount that exceeds the original fee by over $500. According to the attorney, my only option to resolve is to send payment, made out to the HOA, to them which they will refer to the HOA for processing.

 

The additional fees represent and increase of 69% which seems highly unfair considering it was a simple oversight. 

 

My question is, are the rules different for this collection versus a credit card debt or similar?

 

This comes at a bad time as I am trying to refinance my mortgage. They say it has not been reported and won't be if I pay.

 

Any information you all can offer will be appreciated. Thanks in advance!

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Pay it. asap. how long did you go without paying it? 

 

You know that HOAs often can foreclose on people who don't pay HOA fees? Of course this varies a lot by state and HOA CC&Rs. Have you read your CC&R to see how it says about late payments and assessment of late fees? Your CC&R should be used and not some general idea of what is fair or unfair.

 

 

Edited by hegemony
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1 hour ago, herbally said:

 

Somehow, at the beginning of this year I overlooked paying my home owners association fee and on October 14 recieved a letter from an attorney collecting the debt in an amount that exceeds the original fee by over $500. According to the attorney, my only option to resolve is to send payment, made out to the HOA, to them which they will refer to the HOA for processing.

 

The additional fees represent and increase of 69% which seems highly unfair considering it was a simple oversight. 

 

 

As hege suggests, pay it ASAP.

 

I would get in touch with your HOA to clarify why you aren't receiving their fee notices.  I know our HOA reaches out several times before referring a fee for attorney collection.

 

As far as the penalty being "highly unfair", I've no doubt that when you committed to the HOA agreement at closing, the fees were spelled out.  If you legitimately didn't receive your HOA dues notices this year, you might see if the HOA is open to a full or partial fee waiver.  In any case, there's nothing "unfair" about the penalty assessment.

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Allowing the issue to fester COULD also result in a uptick in the amount of escrow that will be required. 

 

Is it really worth risking your home to play letter games?  Consider this the penalty for not keeping up with something that is a recurring matter that should be on the calendar and then make yourself a regular at the civic meetings if there are any questions about the notices.  Very few people ever bother to attend those meetings even though that is where things are put on the floor and passed that impact things as mundane as what day you can mow your yard or whether you can keep a vehicle in the driveway. 

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HOAs can be really nasty entities. If you are expecting "fairness" out of an HOA, you will never get it. If you want to have "fair", run for the HOA board and fight for what you deem is fair.

The one thing you should do is to immediately pay the assessments/fees and get them out of your business. 

Edited by insolent1
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Having served time in the barrel (on an HOA board), collection of HOA fees are a PITA. The board hates doing it because they have to hire an atty. which sometimes costs more money than the HOA fees. In our case, the HOA atty handles other HOA issues but because a non-material portion of their work is collecting HOA fees they are subject to the FDCPA so dunning letters reflect that. You have the right for a full accounting of all the fees they are trying to collect. Ask for it.

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23 hours ago, shifter said:

Sounds like you've got a real gem for an HOA. Our HOA which I'm on the board, assesses a 10% late fee for the first year and rarely employs an attorney unless you are severely delinquent. 

That's what ours is too but with a 1 month grace period. We bring in an atty after a h/o is 3 months late but the HOA (all the homeowners in dues) sucks these atty fees. They write FDCPA compliant letters. After 6 months we lien then if they don't pay, sue and include atty fees. It's really rather rare that someone goes delinquent.

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  • 4 months later...
On 10/29/2020 at 9:25 PM, hegemony said:

I pay mine once a year to avoid the hassle of a monthly payment.

 

I'm putting this on my to-do list.

 

Our HOA in CA recently changed management companies.  The old one took credit cards (with no surcharge) and the payments coded as travel.  I'd like to have that back.  :)  

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On 10/27/2020 at 2:49 PM, cashnocredit said:

Having served time in the barrel (on an HOA board), collection of HOA fees are a PITA. The board hates doing it because they have to hire an atty. which sometimes costs more money than the HOA fees. In our case, the HOA atty handles other HOA issues but because a non-material portion of their work is collecting HOA fees they are subject to the FDCPA so dunning letters reflect that. You have the right for a full accounting of all the fees they are trying to collect. Ask for it.

 

On 10/28/2020 at 11:16 PM, shifter said:

Sounds like you've got a real gem for an HOA. Our HOA which I'm on the board, assesses a 10% late fee for the first year and rarely employs an attorney unless you are severely delinquent. 

 

I'm also on my neighborhood's HOA and this year and campaigned elected appointed drew the short straw to be President. Our annual fee is only $200, and our attorneys won't pick up the collection until it hits $1000, so five years. We hit two homeowners that owed each over $10K - never paid a dime in about 15 years of living in the neighborhood - one (IMO) abused BK laws by continually filing and dismissing, the other set up a irrevocable trust to supposedly shield themselves from liens.

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On 3/1/2021 at 1:33 AM, cv91915 said:

 

I'm putting this on my to-do list.

 

Our HOA in CA recently changed management companies.  The old one took credit cards (with no surcharge) and the payments coded as travel.  I'd like to have that back.  :)  

Maybe you should campaign for the HOA board on the platform of bringing back that company- better rewards when everyone pays their HOA dues!

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9 hours ago, IndyPoolPlayer said:

 

 

I'm also on my neighborhood's HOA and this year and campaigned elected appointed drew the short straw to be President. Our annual fee is only $200, and our attorneys won't pick up the collection until it hits $1000, so five years. We hit two homeowners that owed each over $10K - never paid a dime in about 15 years of living in the neighborhood - one (IMO) abused BK laws by continually filing and dismissing, the other set up a irrevocable trust to supposedly shield themselves from liens.

 

OMG!  This is to avoid a $200 pittance?  (I'm afraid to ask what else they penny pinch on in terms of property upkeep ...)

 

That's not to say that I'm any different that others here who have no love for HOA's.  We pay $650 annually, largely for the sake of a pool, tennis courts and a clubhouse that we've never stepped for in/on.  (We have our own pool/spa.)

 

The HOA has typical semi-nazi management that rules by "the best defense is a good offense".  We bought out house 9 years after it was built.  There was a 4-foot high wooden stake plot market (3 in diam) out by the curb when we moved in.   Assuming it had some purpose, we never touched it.  About 3 years into our ownership, a nasty note from an HOA officer asked us to remove this "eyesore".  Fine, plucked it out of the ground and tossed it in the trash.  WTF the need to get snotty?

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On 3/5/2021 at 1:40 AM, hdporter said:

OMG!  This is to avoid a $200 pittance?  (I'm afraid to ask what else they penny pinch on in terms of property upkeep ...)

From what our attorneys determined, these particular homeowners are well skilled at the art of dodging their debts. Multiple CAs, multiple court cases filed against them. We were only a part of their total picture, but with the automatic lien being the HOA we had leverage.

 

Their property upkeep was what you would expect - the minimum. Just enough neither the HOA could wag the finger (because in Indiana HOAs are not permitted to issue "citations") nor the city could issue a legal citation.

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On 3/4/2021 at 3:55 PM, IndyPoolPlayer said:

 

 

I'm also on my neighborhood's HOA and this year and campaigned elected appointed drew the short straw to be President. Our annual fee is only $200, and our attorneys won't pick up the collection until it hits $1000, so five years. We hit two homeowners that owed each over $10K - never paid a dime in about 15 years of living in the neighborhood - one (IMO) abused BK laws by continually filing and dismissing, the other set up a irrevocable trust to supposedly shield themselves from liens.

$200 a year!  Holy cow. Must not be in Calif. The condo I rent runs about $250/mo and my home HOA fees are just under 1k/mo.  Eats up most of my social security check.

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On 3/9/2021 at 9:08 PM, cashnocredit said:

$200 a year!  Holy cow. Must not be in Calif. The condo I rent runs about $250/mo and my home HOA fees are just under 1k/mo.  Eats up most of my social security check.

But what do you get for that $1k/mo? Lawn mowing? Building maintenance?

 

The $200/year we pay goes for ... well ... maintenance on two retention ponds, mowing of a drainage ditch, some playground equipment that's vandalized annually by teenagers, and some trees.

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On 3/9/2021 at 9:08 PM, cashnocredit said:

$200 a year!  Holy cow. Must not be in Calif. The condo I rent runs about $250/mo and my home HOA fees are just under 1k/mo.  Eats up most of my social security check.

 

3 hours ago, IndyPoolPlayer said:

But what do you get for that $1k/mo? Lawn mowing? Building maintenance?

 

The $200/year we pay goes for ... well ... maintenance on two retention ponds, mowing of a drainage ditch, some playground equipment that's vandalized annually by teenagers, and some trees.

 

At $1k/mo, I'm assuming inclusion of greens fees on a private golf course ...

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15 hours ago, hdporter said:

At $1k/mo, I'm assuming inclusion of greens fees on a private golf course ...

No golf. Mostly it's because the lots are pretty large (I love the privacy) and the HOA membership is not very big. So road upkeep and other common property along with 7/24 gate costs are the big chunks. Quite an eclectic group of people.

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3 hours ago, cashnocredit said:

No golf. Mostly it's because the lots are pretty large (I love the privacy) and the HOA membership is not very big. So road upkeep and other common property along with 7/24 gate costs are the big chunks. Quite an eclectic group of people.

 

So I take it we're not talking weirdly out-of-place oversized McMansions on undersized lots?  ;)

 

Anywhere that can inspire residents to kick out $1k monthly on HOA fees sounds like a little shade of heaven to which I'd like to aspire!!

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8 hours ago, hdporter said:

 

So I take it we're not talking weirdly out-of-place oversized McMansions on undersized lots?  ;)

 

Anywhere that can inspire residents to kick out $1k monthly on HOA fees sounds like a little shade of heaven to which I'd like to aspire!!

:)  My home is single story. But there are some biggies here but far enough apart and recessed that about half the homes aren't easily visible from the street. No sidewalks or streetlights either. I bought a small condo in the 70's and lived there until I retired. Was fine when working but way too small after I retired. Realized I could afford a new place so off looking I went. Closed 5 days later.

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