Thursday, February 28, 2013

Homeowners' association gets creative with delinquent dues-payers

One Mint Hill homeowner's association has found a way to get neighbors who owe association dues to pay up without turning to the courts or foreclosures.

Homeowners' associations have found themselves dealing with unprecedented numbers of homeowners either unable or unwilling to pay association dues as the real estate market crashed and recession lingered. 

Many associations typically turn to liens and foreclosures when homeowners fail to pay assessments or dues, a costly and time-consuming process. Last weekend, I wrote about how some boards are trying new tactics, such as turning to rentals or agreeing to short sales.

Homeowner and association board member Shelton Lee contacted me after the story ran to share his board's creative solution to the growing number of homeowners who had stopped paying dues.

Most of these neighbors were current on their mortgage but had failed to pay association dues for various reasons.

Lee said when he joined the board five years ago he quickly realized that liens and foreclosures cost the association and rarely yielded any financial return. It costs the association about $300 per lien and $1,500 to pursue a foreclosure, he said. 

With about 100 homeowners not paying their dues, "the homeowners' association would have gone broke," paying for all the foreclosures, he said.

He said he also didn't want to foreclose on neighbors, saying as a homeowner's association board member, his duty "is to protect dues-paying homeowners and non-dues-paying homeowners" and to help keep neighborhood values healthy.

The board turned to what's known as a dunning collection agency, meaning the agency doesn't buy the past-due accounts. Rather, it writes and calls homeowners asking them to pay past dues and eventually informs them that if they don't get current their credit rating will take a hit.


The collection agency charges $20 per account, which the homeowner pays the association back. 



When a homeowners' association forecloses, homeowners can stop the foreclosure late in the process by offering to pay past dues. The association, meanwhile, suffers cash flow problems and may have to charge extra assessments to cover needed repair or upkeep. 

Lee said the response has been positive and swift. At least 60 of 85 delinquent homeowners in his Versage neighborhood have paid up. Others are approaching board members asking about getting current on their accounts. 

People care about their credit rating because it can affect their ability to get a phone, buy a car and even land a job, Lee said.

The association, meanwhile, is building up its reserves and hasn't had to file one lien or initiate foreclosure proceedings during the past five years, Lee said.

"There is another solution to this problem," said Lee, who has been a carrier with Federal Express for 25 years. "It's been so effective."






Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2013/02/23/3869750/faced-with-unpaid-dues-hoas-try.html#storylink=cpy

34 comments:

Anonymous said...

Nothing new here. We have been doing this for years.

Anonymous said...

Simply, stay away from Neighborhoods that have HOA's. It's always going to be an issue. From not cutting grass, repainting home, mailboxes, fences, etc. HOA are a pain.

Anonymous said...

Most all HOAs are made up solely of soccer mom/elitist women who are power hungry and have experienced some type of emotional trauma in their lives, and men who suffer from inferiority conflicts and other deficiencies.

Sadly, their attempt to try and make people conform, or simply to try and use false power over people is now coming back to haunt them. We have the right to paint our home any color we want, and we also have the right to keep our yards the way we want since we paid for them. Anything else is nothing but a violation of our civil rights. All the elitist racism in the world won't do any good. Thank God we now have lawyers that are standing up for us against these sick, hateful people.

Anonymous said...

Right. Why should anyone in their right mind give a ______ about my mailbox or my yard?! It's mine and not yours so I will do with it as I please.

I think of all the Ballantyne type people that revel in this mess and they don't know how foolish they sound. It's not how the real world works. You can't tell people what they can and can't do with their property!

Anonymous said...

Sure. Paint your home putrid puke or bright pink. Let your mailbox rot and your yard look like you grew up in a mobile home park. That's fine. But, if you buy in a neighborhood that has an HOA, you agreed to abide by those rules. Funny, I guarantee that Ballantyne Country Club homes are worth more than yours. Having a neighborhood to be proud of and one in which neighbors abide by the rules keeps home values up. Your home is an investment and if you do not understand that, you should not have purchased one in the first place, phillistine.

Anonymous said...

Our HOA was more concerned about block parties among their cliques than road safety. All HOAs I have dealt with in my life have been run by people who need to wield some power over others. They are more intrusive and obnoxious than any government agency.

Anonymous said...

You can vote people on your HOA board and vote the ones you don't like out by that measure.

Anonymous said...

I see we struck a nerve with one of the masculinly deficient male HOA board members from Ballantyne. Sir, you can keep your racist, homophobic life down in that pit of hell. For one day, you all will split Hell wide open for the sorry way you have lived and treated others.

No one has painted their home pink, and maybe that is just 'putrid' to you only. Just because you think something looks good does not mean it is. Only someone like yourself would not see that. Regardless, those 'agreements' you refer to are worthless, thank God - and thanks to our lawyers. Everyone should have a taste of the good like and be allowed to live where and as they please. Now get back down in your bubble before it bursts, by God.

encee said...

Redistribution of liability.

Anonymous said...

Funny. You assume too much. I do not live in the Ballantyne Country Club nor am I a member of an HOA. I do, however, volunteer my time in my neighborhood making sure that the homeowners in my neighborhood are abiding by the rules they agreed to abide by in the by-laws. Letting one's home rot or leaving garbage out is not a sign of a good neighbor. If you disagree, you must be that neighbor. Pay your dues, keep the neighborhood looking good and go on with your day. $300 buck a year should be too much. Cut out your cigarettes, liquor, tatoos and fast food and you may be able to afford to live in a nice neighborhood. If you cannot, live in your mobile home and enjoy all those vices. I, for one, know that my home is something to be proud of and the nieghborhood in which to raise my family is important to me.

Anonymous said...

What a sorry, racist, elitist little man. Your comments are laced with hate and elitism. Lawyers we have love people like you, as your words are so damning that it now doesn't take much to prove the overbearing truth about people's civil rights being violated.

A person's belongings are not 'garbage' and it's their yard, so they have a right to put things where they want to. Also, saying that one lets 'their home rot', is very subjective and means nothing. If it's someone else's home, they have a right to do with it as they please. Neither you nor some group of trashy soccer moms have any say in the matter, regardless of how many tantrums your throw.

Your racist, homophobic attitude will not prevent people from having their rights to do with their property as they please, and wherever they please. Too bad for you and your kind, because there is nothing you can do about it. May God have mercy on your sorry, lying soul.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 12:30 PM

You are the one who seems full of hate and judgment, based on your posts here.

Anonymous said...

Funny. I didn't bring race or homophobia into any context of my responses. You did and from what, it cannot be determined. You have a chip on your shoulder. I have no problems with any race or sexual orientation. We are discussing maintaining a neighborhood in good repair and one to be proud of. If you cannot, you have a choice to live in a neighborhood that doesn't care how it looks or about it's home's values. Ad hominems aside, you cannot make a viable argument except to bash someone that makes perfect sense.

Anonymous said...

No, we only hate those who are trying to oppress. They have judged themselves.

Anonymous said...

Most all HOA people, like yourself, are full of hate and false power, which is usually driven by racism and homophobia. It's all too common.

Regardless, try and deflect the truth if you must, but in the end you will see that we all have the right to live where we please, and as we please. It's our property, and we can do with it as we want, no matter where it is. Maybe you trying to create your little 'utopia' in the past worked, but those days are over.

Anonymous said...

Funny, every time I drive through Ballantyne, I'm amazed you people moved so close to the sewage plant in Pineville. It always smells like crap in your high priced neighborhood.

Anonymous said...

Moreover, you cannot do with your property as you please. The city in which you live also has laws. You cannot have a junkyard on your property without being duly licenced or zoned to do so. You cannot pile trash on your property. You cannot run a brothel. You cannot have a meth lab or grow marijuana. You cannot do many things you want. If you want to do those things, there are places for you to live.

Anonymous said...

Again, I am not an HOA member. There is no oppression. Unless you choose to believe that oppression takes the shape of being proud to live in a well kept and prosperous neighborhood with people that want to raise their families in a safe, well tended community with increasing home values. Oppression is the man running the country right now. That is not racism, by the way. He is not upholding the Constitution and is driving this country toward socialism and a welfare state.

Anonymous said...

Done here. I make valid points; you make disparaging and hateful speach.

Anonymous said...

Sadly, we have a poster, who has taken a discussion about HOA dues to use for his or her personal rants to disparage people of whom he knows nothing but merely judges based on a myopic view. You know what I smell (and I'm not close to Pineville)?

Jealousy and class envy.

Anonymous said...

"Cut out your cigarettes, liquor, tatoos and fast food and you may be able to afford to live in a nice neighborhood. If you cannot, live in your mobile home and enjoy all those vices."

So, no stereotyping here at all. A lost argument on your part. Regardless, just wait and see. You cannot interfere with others livlihood, not matter what title you have given yourself under an HOA. I can't wait to see people like you throwing their tantrums and pounding fists when they can't control others. We will be praying your your soul.

Anonymous said...

Sadly, there is truth to that quote among other truths nobody likes to admit because they like to blame others for their problems. No tantrum needed. Simple, if you live in an HOA community and you do not pay, the story above explains what happens. Next time, choose your neighborhood to fit your needs. I guarantee, as the story suggests, people can make their payment but choose to do other things with their money.

Anonymous said...

If it is not your own neighborhood, you do not have to go very far to find a neighborhood that looks terrible, unkempt, with home values that have plumetted. There is a reason that our state has the North Carolina Planned Communities Act, that reason being to protect every homeowner from those that do not care how their property appears and what condition is in. It always the one that complain it seems that allow their properties get in a state of disrepair.

Anonymous said...

First -- it's rather funny to see Anonymous fight with it's evil twin Anonymous. So i will jump in as Anonymous for the trifecta.

Did i read the basis of the argument correctly? WE WILL LIVE WHERE WE WANT AND WE ARE FREE TO DO WHAT WE WANT!!! Funny how people invoke freedom and rally against oppression in the same sentence because someone chose to live in a neighborhood with an HOA. WHY ARE YOU UPSET? Because someone else decided to live there and ignored the rules? The same Rules that made the neighborhood what it is and enticed them to buy there in the first place? That's solid logic....

Anonymous said...

I am so glad I leave in a neighborhood with an HOA so that I am not subject to the whims of you losers that make a community's value go down because of your "you cannnot tell me what to do" attitude.

Anonymous said...

How can I find more information about this services.

Anonymous said...

Hoaboard.org is a good resource.

Anonymous said...

Great! Tell me more.

Anonymous said...

Hey everybody who thinks HOAs are run by power mongers, I have an idea - let's overthrow the government, HOAs, etc. and live FREE! We can paint our houses with feces and park inoperable boats on our roofs! The common areas that develop into small forests will be ripe for huntin'! We'll use the mailbox as a baby crib while we have a bonfire in the front yard! Because ain't nobody gon' tell me what to do! I'm an American!

Then when we're done, we'll sell our homes for less than we bought them for, to another wonderfully proud and free family. We're not idiots for doing so, we just don't like to be told what to do.

Anonymous said...

The white racism flowing out of elitism here in Charlotte makes me sick to my damn stomach.

Anonymous said...

Most all HOAs are made up solely of soccer mom/elitist women who are power hungry and have experienced some type of emotional trauma in their lives, and men who suffer from inferiority conflicts and other deficiencies.

Sadly, their attempt to try and make people conform, or simply to try and use false power over people is now coming back to haunt them. We have the right to paint our home any color we want, and we also have the right to keep our yards the way we want since we paid for them. Anything else is nothing but a violation of our civil rights. All the elitist racism in the world won't do any good. Thank God we now have lawyers that are standing up for us against these sick, hateful people.

Joe Delgado said...

As the Secretary of my Homeowner Association in Fort Collins, it’s sometimes a challenge trying to maintain work, family and my HOA duties . However, when I discovered Association Online all of that changed. No need to worry about piles of paperwork, their software is quite easy to use and all our HOA documents are stored and managed online. This allows our Board of Directors to operate in a more effective way. You should check them out at www.associationonline.com or call (970-226-1324). I highly recommend them for all Homeowner Association needs.

17c4bc72-42f0-11e3-9b2b-000bcdcb2996 said...

Simple don't move into a neighborhood that has HOA and never buy a condo.

How hard is this for people to figure out.

Death to America and Death to all who oppose us

Anonymous said...

I live in a Los Angeles HOA condominium complex. I understand how difficult it is to pay HOA dues especially the highly over-inflated ones of our community. However at some point when one year, then two, three and now into year four go by it's time to realize you cannot afford your home. Stealing from the HOA and subsequently your neighbors is only going to come back on you in one way or another. For the honest homeowners who are struggling to get by, our HOA dues were raised 10% in 2013 to make up for the shortfall caused by "5% homeowner delinquencies." I don't necessarily understand that math. Our BOD and management are not transparent on this issue and don't seem to care about an owner going into year #4 of paying nothing to live here as long as it can be charged back to the rest of us. Now I pay an additional $720 per year while a neighbor enjoys a free residence, free cable, free gas, free HVAC, free water ... all provided by the HOA which the BOD refuses to terminate. In my opinion this refusal is as corrupt as the owner who refuses to pay. This owner in particular stopped paying beginning 2010 or so, our HOA attorney assured us they were 'going after' the owner. 2014 arrives and the owner continues to live in a large, beautiful condo, has a roommate, a job, recently had two roommates, took a vacation ... all on our funds. Corruption supported by management, BOD and HOA attorneys.