If you’re reading this, it’s likely because your condominium or homeowners association has decided to take action regarding your unpaid assessments. You’ve received the letter from an HOA collection agency and now you have some serious choices to make.
You’re facing a very difficult situation, but there is at least a thin silver lining–your association’s board of directors has decided not to send your file to the association’s attorney. Many associations make the drastic decision to jump straight to the Big Red Button when it comes time to take action about delinquency: engaging the community’s attorney to foreclose. When this happens, even if you fight it in the end, it will cost you a lot of money or your residence. It’s not a nice process but that is how it is done in most cases of owners defaulting on their obligations to their HOA/Condo. Eventually, you will pay what you owe and that will also include attorney fees and costs.
Instead, you have an opportunity now to avoid all that potential sunk money and aggravation by working with your HOA or Condo and their collections partner.
Working with an HOA Collection Agency
If your HOA or Condo association has engaged an ethical collection agency (like us), then you are in luck. It is almost as if the HOA has given you a second chance at redemption at a reasonable cost! Though it may seem counterintuitive to believe that a collection agency would be good news, it is. You’re not being forced to settle with an attorney and saddled with outrageous attorney’s fees. Instead, you should be able to make your community whole on a reasonable payment plan without the added costs and fees of engaging legal counsel.
An HOA collection agency such as Axela Technologies should understand that every delinquency has a story and families behind it–that the people who are delinquent do not all deserve to be foreclosed upon. An HOA collection agency should not only reach out to talk to you but should work with you and your needs. Getting on the phone to review and seek out solutions is what they do. Payment plans are often very effective and serve to not only make the association whole but increase harmony among the owners.
Settling Your Debt with an HOA Collection Agency
- Take a deep breath. It’s hard to come to terms with the fact that you have been sent to collections. But at the end of the day, though your community is your home it is also a fully-functioning business, and they need to protect their financial security. Accept that you have an issue and know that it can and will be worked out.
- Follow the instructions. When you receive your initial demand letter (which is required by Federal law) do not ignore it. Even if you cannot pay off all of your owed debts at once, or even a fraction of those missed payments, refusing to answer will only cause the problem to fester and worsen.
- Take action and contact the HOA collection agency. Taking the time to initiate a response shows that you’re serious about getting back on the right foot. You can contact the HOA collection agency by logging into the agency’s provided user or payment portal. If the agency doesn’t have that level of technology, you’ll have to call in directly or email them depending on their instructions.
- Work with the HOA collection company and set up a payment plan that suits your financial situation. Of course, the best way to settle with your HOA is to pay in full to the HOA collection agency but if times are tough, get and stay on a payment plan.
If you are really squeezed for funds, it may be worthwhile to consider alternative funding options, such as a Home Equity Line of Credit. If this is an option you’re thinking about, though, keep in mind that you’ll need to work quickly, because if the HOA puts a lien on your property, then there will be an obstacle to getting this credit facility.
The Best Thing You Can Do
At the end of the day, the best advice is the same advice we would have given the moment you got your first warning letter: pay attention to the notices that your management company and board of directors send you. This is one situation that cannot simply go away on its own, and should it escalate and the board sends you to an HOA collection agency, move fast. Get in contact with them and begin the process of getting yourself paid up and securing your residence.
However, if your HOA or condo association is still using an attorney to recover delinquent assessments, or is using a generic or predatory collection agency, perhaps your board can take a more appropriate response and engage Axela Technologies. We specialize in HOA and condo association collections, and take an ethical, human-focused approach when handling delinquency and recovery. Call us today to get more information for your community.