Monday, January 13, 2014

Homeowner associations crackdown on delinquent accounts

Homeowner associations have become more aggressive in the last few years delinquent collections on unpaid fees. A recent Reuters article highlighted a homeowner association in Kentucky that foreclosed on a homeowner for $288 in unpaid fees. The now former homeowner rents the house that she lived in from the person who bought her foreclosed property.

The article mentions that the woman received 30 notices in the mail from the association. One issue that we run into as a taxing authority is that a few delinquent taxpayers like simply ignore the bills or letters that they receive, even if language used gets more severe with each mailing.

That is part of the reason why we don’t limit ourselves to regular mail. Sending certified mail, setting liens, notifying mortgage companies, making phone calls to owners, advertising delinquent accounts in The Champion, and physically posting a notice on the property on a wooden stake prior to the tax sale are methods that we use to try reaching property owners before the delinquency reaches a tax sale scenario.

I’m not sure what methods homeowner associations are using besides mail to get the attention of delinquent owners, but as a best practice I would suggest that a variety of methods before foreclosure, which should be a last resort.

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