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Collecting Delinquent Dues is Important

Is your association following the law to prevent

legal recourse from delinquent owners?


Your association should make every effort to work with

homeowners who are having problems paying their

assessments. But sometimes people get behind

anyway. You want your homeowners to know that the

association adheres to the Fair Debt Collections

Practices Act (FDCPA), and that you do not harass

homeowners for unpaid assessments.

Community associations are REQUIRED to collect

assessments, which many state and federal courts

consider to be debts. The FDCPA requires those who

collect debts from individuals—like homeowners in a

community association—to refrain from tactics that

might be considered invasive.

The FDCPA prohibits the association from:

• Harassing owners

• Threatening owners with violence or harm

• Publishing names of owners who are delinquent or

refuse to pay

• Annoying owners with repeated phone calls

• Making false statements about an owner

• Misrepresenting the amount an owner owes

• Depositing a post-dated check early

• Threatening to take legal action against an owner

when the board doesn’t really mean it

• Providing personal information to anyone else without

the owner’s permission

The FDCPA also requires the association to notify

owners in writing about delinquent assessments. This

correspondence must state that it is an attempt to collect

a debt, include the amount of the debt and the


association’s name, and it must state that the owner has

30 days to dispute the debt in writing. If an association

violates any of these stipulations, it could be liable to the

homeowner for damages, attorneys’ fees, and court

costs.

For more information about the Fair Debt Collection

Practices Act, visit the Federal Trade Commission’s

Consumer Information page at

www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0149-debt-collection.

Article Provided by Community Associations Institute

How to Prevent and/or Minimize Damage


from Water Leaks


Water leaks can cause serious damage resulting in high

repair costs. Use the following advice to save your

association from these preventable disasters.

1. Require all units to heat the unit to a minimum of 50

degrees. Even though a unit may be winterized, and

the water turned off, there is still exposed plumbing

below the shutoff valve that will freeze and break the

water line.

2. Know the location of all the curb stops (the shutoff

valves located underground). Have these mapped

so you can quickly turn off the appropriate water

valve when a water line breaks.

3. Test the curb stops annually to ensure they are in

working order. Failure to “exercise” these valves

regularly will result in them seizing, a cost that will

be more than $1,000 to repair.

4. Create an action plan to share with your residents.

Quick action by them will help you to resolve the

problem quickly.

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