How to respond to an HOA's demand letter or delinquent assessment notice
Your homeowners association exists to govern community rules and administer common areas and activities that benefit the entire community. When you signed the closing agreement, you agreed to pay your mortgage, insurance, taxes and any membership dues or assessments your association requires. When an assessment becomes delinquent, the association has the right to pursue the payment.
However, there are certain rules and regulations that dictate how an association can collect delinquent assessments. Many times the association will choose to hire a third party collector than pursue the matter internally as a way of keeping the peace between board members and homeowners.
So why did I receive this notice?
If you are a homeowner of a property in a community association or homeowners association who received a notice from your association's legal counsel, you may be asking yourself why.
The law firm representing your community issued a notice, based on the association's records, to inform you that an unpaid bill is now late and your account has been turned over to collection.
This notice is intended to report the delinquency and aid both you (the homeowner) and the association with a remedy.
5 steps you should take when receiving a Demand letter or a Delinquent Assessment notice / Claim of lien.
Whatever you do, do not ignore the notice. Whether this is a mistake on their part or yours, avoiding the issue will only make it worse – and can lead to higher penalties and fees if you're in the wrong.
- Review the legal document thoroughly. Determine exactly what payment has been missed, when it was due and how much it was for.
- Check your records and gather any supporting documents/proof of payments you may have. Make sure that this outstanding balance isn't for something you've already paid.
- Contact the law firm and provide those supporting documents/proof of payments. They will be able to determine what went wrong and remedy the situation.
- Explore your options if a balance remains outstanding. See if a payment plan proposal or settlement offer, two common options, are right for you.
- Request a closed letter once account has been resolved. Once the debt has been paid or the issue has been resolved, make sure you obtain proof that the debt has been cleared. Save the document in your records.
If you've received a demand notice or delinquent assessment notice and would like legal advice regarding your situation, contact PeytonBolin today. We're a Florida-based, full service real estate law firm in that specializes in community association law.