Hiring the right law firm to represent your homeowners association can significantly improve HOA assessment collections and make life easier for the board of directors. Arizona law imposes many requirements for the successful collection of unpaid assessments. An HOA’s failure to comply with these statutes, court rules, and laws could result in the case being dismissed or even a court award for the delinquent homeowner’s attorney fees to be paid by the HOA. There are many reasons to hire an HOA law firm to represent your association. We put together this article to focus on how to improve HOA assessment collections with an Arizona HOA law firm.
Steps to Improve HOA Assessment Collections
The revenue from HOA assessment collections is the lifeblood of any planned community or condominium. Those assessments cover the costs of operating the community and continuing to provide the services that keep property values high and members happy with where they live. If members start falling behind on payments and the association takes a relaxed approach to collecting those fees, the association can quickly face challenges to its viability. Here are a few important steps for every HOA to review and improve their assessment collection process:
1) Clear Collection Policy and Process. The first thing to do is establishing a clear collection policy with defined steps to the assessment collection process for any members that fall behind. This ensures all members are treated equally and enforcement of assessment delinquencies remains consistent.
2) Assessment Ledgers & Records. Ledgers are the cornerstone of any successful assessment collection case. The HOA must have clear records of all past payments and charges on each account. The ledger must contain basic information such as the homeowner’s name, property address, dates of all charges and payments, a running balance, and amounts owed.
3) Notify Members of Deadlines and Penalties. Make sure your association has clear deadlines for all assessments and fees paid by members and have assigned a specific penalty for late payments. There are also statutory requirements and limitations in your governing documents such as the CC&Rs and Bylaws for late fees and charges. Review your current strategies with a law firm that specializes in HOA representation if you already have them or work with an HOA law firm to craft these important concrete steps that will be taken if members become delinquent on their assessment payments.
Although collecting assessments can be a cumbersome task, it is essential to the longevity of your association to get this process streamlined. Even if your current process has worked, it is advisable to periodically review your governing documents and assessment collections process with an attorney who specializes in Arizona HOA laws.
Final Demand Letters
When a member falls delinquent, the HOA must send a final demand letter concerning the delinquency with several requirements covered in this article. Having an experienced HOA attorney is crucial to a collection policy that conforms to both state law and your community rules.
Management Companies to Stay on Top of Assessment Collections. While board members are tasked with running the association, they have lives outside their duties for the board and it can be easy to fall behind on important steps in assessment collections. Some HOAs are self-managed and handle all the administrative tasks, accounting, bookkeeping, letter drafts, appeals, fine enforcement, and much more on their own. Having your entire assessment collections process from first notice to any necessary legal action handled by a professional management company that specializes in community management means that your association will always stay on top of any delinquent fees and members in violation of the community rules.
Find an AZ HOA Law Firm For Your Association
If your condo association or planned community is looking for ways to improve your assessment collections, the best next step is hiring an HOA law firm to review and revamp your entire process. It might sound like a time-consuming and expensive process, but it does not have to be. Halk, Oetinger And Brown only represent Arizona associations and planned communities. Our firm focuses on providing unique HOA solutions, not on racking up billable hours. We have industry-leading monthly plans available that are cost-effective and we can make an immediate impact on your assessment collections process. Schedule an initial consultation our contact us page.
Halk, Oetinger, and Brown shares this article for informational purposes only, and it does not create an attorney-client relationship.