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Subject: Management company failed to send out a coupon books
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Author Messages
MaxxS


Posts:0


06/20/2020 9:04 PM  
Management company failed to send out a coupons for assessment. Many homeowners receives late fees.
I for one refused to pay the fee $25 and asked immediately for it to be removed.
This is not a board issue and should’ve been removed by the management company.
When I address this to the board they took a vote as to what I should pay. Really?
The management company should’ve removed it immediately, Instead $25 has now turned into $450.
What the heck is going on no one will talk to me about this other than to send me a bill. I will never pay it.
Any thoughts? Thank you.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:9413


06/21/2020 1:16 AM  
A HOA does not have to send you a coupon or bill to be required to pay. That is just a courtesy not a requirement. Youare bound to pay per the terms of your CC&Rs or bylaws. You are on the hook to pay sorry. They can lien for non payment.

Former HOA President
SamE2
(New Jersey)

Posts:265


06/21/2020 3:40 AM  
Check your documents, is anyone required to send you coupons? My guess is no. Second it is a Board decision not a management decision to waive fees. The Board makes or approves the rules the management company just carries them out. You may not pay the fees but your heirs will when they sell the place unless you don't have any equity in it. I would admit I screwed up and beg forgiveness and asked for the fees to be waived or reduced this time.
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:1077


06/21/2020 4:49 AM  
The HOA has to pay for printing those coupon books, so I can see that it would want to eliminate the expense.

We provide owners with several options for electronic payment in my community. As a homeowner I think this is much more convenient and reliable than messing around with coupon books and snail mail. You only need to fiddle with it if the assessment amount changes or if the HOA changes banks.
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:16808


06/21/2020 5:10 AM  
Posted By MaxxS on 06/20/2020 9:04 PM

I will never pay it.
Any thoughts? Thank you.




Worst case, be prepared to lose your home though foreclosure.

Best case, be prepared to spend a lot of money for attorney fees to fight it.


Your choice.


Although I agree that the initial late fee should have been waived (which is a board decision and not that of the management company), it simply doesn't matter what I think. Your board chose to not waive the late charge. Therefore, you now have to decide at what point it becomes too expensive to continue the fight or how much energy you are willing to expend to gather support and become a board member to correct this wrong.

Again, your choice.
GeorgeS21
(Florida)

Posts:2816


06/21/2020 6:45 AM  
Maxx,

What the others said.

If coupons are required, if a reminder is required - by your governing documents, then the fees should be removed.

If not, then you have, through your righteousness, managed to screw up and build a much larger payment.

OK - now deep breath - you need to approach the Board and ask for some consideration - that you were following past process and simply forgot - and, that you would be glad to pay the original fee. My sense is that you have become irate, obnoxious and have made overarching statements - as you have in your original post. And, likely everyone now thinks you a jerk - i.e. positions are being fortified.

I would have given you a chance is you were nice and apologetic - as a function of what the common processes were. But, if you had approached me the way you wrote your initial note for this forum, I might have given you one shot to be cooperative, then told the MC to simply keep the fees coming, then lien your property.

Dude - go mend your fences.
MelissaP1
(Alabama)

Posts:9413


06/21/2020 8:37 AM  
I like to clear up that this isn't the management company but your HOA that is responsible. The MC is hired to manage the money. They don't assess what the dues or late payments will be. That is in your documentation. The HOA was right in voting to make you pay that fee since you owe the HOA not the MC. The MC is it's own company paid by the HOA to manage.

Former HOA President
MarkW18


Posts:1195


06/21/2020 10:03 AM  
The sending of coupon books is not a board decision, it is a decision the management company makes, in my experience, because they are lazy and despective. Why, because per the terms of their contract with the HOA, they are the ones collecting the late fees, not the association. Now, some will have a provision where the HOA collects the late fee but the MC will tack on a additional collection fee, which to me is unethical. So, the HOA assessment is $250.00 monthly, a 10% late fee and then a $15.00 collection fee. The MC doesn't send a collection letter, thus shouldn't be charging a collection fee.

All the associations I have ever managed had monthly assessments. I would never dream of sending a coupon book. I have always sent out monthly statements for two reasons, one so the homeowner see a proper accounting of their account and second, if any correspondence needs to be mailed to homeowners I can include it with the statement at no charge.

Homeowners pay their assessments in a variety of ways, ACH, bill pay, credit card or personal check. If done with ACH, the payment reflects on their checking account the day every month that funds are withdrawn by the HOA. A credit card the day the order is process. A personal check the day it is presented. Online banking or billpay, different beast. The funds are withdrawn the day you have the bank pay the bill. The bank cut another check and mails to the payee. What if the check never reaches the payee or HOA? The homeowner has already had the funds taken of their account.

HOA's are required to review their finances and bank statements which are/should be provided by the MC, if any. Why shouldn't the homeowner be provided the same courtesy. My role as the MC of the Association is to collect owed assessments. I don't get rich on late fees. Actually, in my case, I don't collect until the homeowner actually pays them. I have an understanding with every Board that I have the authority to waive late fees, since it is coming out of my pocket, not the HOA.

So, in the case of the OP, I would waive all late fees once the late assessments are paid and strongly suggest they go on ACH.
SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:3307


06/21/2020 10:52 AM  
I have to disagree with Mark. One of the many reasons we have a management company is because there was lots of confusion over the assessments - how much, where to send the checks (this was long before the internet and online bill pay - and pay by phone).

Our documents require homeowners receive copies of the upcoming years budget by Dec. 1, and so we use that to send the coupon book, collection policy and snow removal policy. We've encouraged people to pay online and about half of the homeowners do so. We've also emphasized its the homeowner's responsibility to pay assessments in full and on time, regardless of how they pay it.

The board decides whether to waive late fees and we used to say If you can't prove your payment wasn't in the office by close of business 10 days after the due date, you're late and will be charged a late fee.

All of that said, if I were on this board and I knew the coupon books were mailed late, I would go to waive late fees for that month. I'd also say to the OP he could have called the property manager, told him or her a book hadn't been received, verify the home address and then pay the assessment. Why not stop by the office and drop it off? Or go online and pay it - surely you know what your account number is?

I would also go to the board and tell them what happened and a responsibility how board would investigate, make a decision on what to do about late fees, then notify the homeowners and apologize for the mishap. And perhaps encourage homeowners to consider online bill that can be scheduled or even use auto pay.
CathyA3
(Ohio)

Posts:1077


06/21/2020 11:05 AM  
In my community, late fees go to the association, not the PM, and is recorded on our books as "Income - Late Fees".
MarkW18


Posts:1195


06/21/2020 11:12 AM  
So, it sounds like do what is minimally required. Who keeps your late fees, the association or the MC? If the MC, do they collect from you before the homeowner pays??

How do you know if the payment was actually received by the HOA. It may show on your bank statement, but that only shows it was sent, not cleared.

You do realize that everyone else sends a statement, either paper or by e-mail. Mortgage, insurance, utility, cable, car, you name it.

So, as I said, I always sent statements and NEVER had a Board disagree, EVER.
BillH10
(Texas)

Posts:510


06/21/2020 11:13 AM  
Mark

In the associations we manage, the decision to use coupon books is made by the Board, not the MC. The Association pays for the books if they are ordered.

In one association, some owners requested coupon books. The Board ignored the requests and did not authorize us to order them, so we did not.

Finally, late payment charges and past due interest are credited to the association and are identified as such on the financial reports. We do charge the association for preparation of hard copy late payment letters when that point is reached in the collections process. However, that preparation charge, which includes the expenses for supplies and postage, is no different than the charge for any other hard copy letter.

MarkW18


Posts:1195


06/21/2020 11:17 AM  
Posted By CathyA3 on 06/21/2020 11:05 AM
In my community, late fees go to the association, not the PM, and is recorded on our books as "Income - Late Fees".



Are you sure?

If I were to charge late fees, the charge to the homeowners would show up as income and the charge to the HOA would be an expense. That's how is it accounted for on an accrual basis. If on a cash basis, when the homeowner paid and when the HOA paid.
MarkW18


Posts:1195


06/21/2020 11:29 AM  
Posted By BillH10 on 06/21/2020 11:13 AM
Mark

In the associations we manage, the decision to use coupon books is made by the Board, not the MC. The Association pays for the books if they are ordered.

In one association, some owners requested coupon books. The Board ignored the requests and did not authorize us to order them, so we did not.

Finally, late payment charges and past due interest are credited to the association and are identified as such on the financial reports. We do charge the association for preparation of hard copy late payment letters when that point is reached in the collections process. However, that preparation charge, which includes the expenses for supplies and postage, is no different than the charge for any other hard copy letter.




Not saying the Board wouldn't make the decision. When we make our presentations, we got over all of this upfront, how we do the billings and it is in our contract, spelled out to the tee. No board has ever made the decision to use coupon books.

I have to assume you don't collect late fees. When I started my company, I looked at lots and lots of management contracts and agreements for comparison purposes. All but one either collected late fees or a separate collection fee. The one company that didn't was one I last worked for. It wasn't in their contract and they supposedly were proud they didn't. One day he decided he needed extra revenue and started charging his clients late fees without notice and without revising his contracts. I left two days later.
BillH10
(Texas)

Posts:510


06/21/2020 12:06 PM  
We also describe the assessment billing and collections processes in our presentations to the Board, in our introductory package to the owners after the contract is signed, and again at homeowner meetings if requested.

When you say you assume we do not collect late payment charges: we follow the association collection process which has been filed in the county in which the association is located. The attorney we normally use for our association clients will not touch account collections without a documented, distributed, and filed (county clerk) collections process. This is a carry-over from a 2011 Legislative mandate in Texas for HOAs which required a number of processes to be documented, distributed, and filed. While the mandates did not apply to condominium associations, it simplifies matters to follow the same processes.

Generally, our first step takes the form of a gentle nudge such as "Whoops, we did not receive your payment, please send it yada yada" via email.

At some point in the process (it varies a bit between associations), we begin sending certified letters, return receipt requested.

The last letter we send is a Demand Letter, again certified with a return receipt. If there is no response, the account is referred to the association attorney who runs through his/her collection process. Once referred to the attorney, we are out of it. If the owner calls regarding the account, they are referred to the attorney.

If that does not bear fruit, the attorney comes back to the Board for approval to lien the property.

Of course, all the costs are charged to the delinquent account. Both we and the attorney are reimbursed when the bill for the expense is received, the Association collects when the account is brought current.

PaulJ6


Posts:0


06/21/2020 12:59 PM  
Posted By n/a on 06/20/2020 9:04 PM
Management company failed to send out a coupons for assessment. Many homeowners receives late fees.
I for one refused to pay the fee $25 and asked immediately for it to be removed.
This is not a board issue and should’ve been removed by the management company.
When I address this to the board they took a vote as to what I should pay. Really?
The management company should’ve removed it immediately, Instead $25 has now turned into $450.
What the heck is going on no one will talk to me about this other than to send me a bill. I will never pay it.
Any thoughts? Thank you.




This is a good situation for “accord and satisfaction”.

Notify the HOA that you dispute the amount; pay only the original amount due; and mark the check with your account number and “Paid in Full”. Then after 90 days the debt is extinguished. The HOA will likely keep trying to make you pay penalties but you will have a good defense.

I would pay the original amount due, at least.
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