Florida Rising Magazine FRM March 2019 - Page 29

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Are outbound phone calls by a licensed and insured collection company, possibly the most effective way to get a delinquent owner on the right track, acceptable to the board of directors?

Is the board comfortable having delinquent owners mailed certified letters advising them that a collection agency has taken on the file?

Does the board have any objections to having owners reported to the credit bureaus?

Does the board want liens placed on delinquent units?

Are there other things a board can do to compel an owner to pay their maintenance fees?

Determine if your state allows you to suspend voting rights and use of amenities for delinquent payers. It can be a powerful incentive to get owners back on the right track. The board must follow up on their warning and send the file in when the time arrives. However, the key is to be determined and treat this debt as if it were any other consumer debt.

Once the board has reviewed all of the above and agreed to what they expect from collections, the next step is to establish a timeline for your action plan. Here is my suggestion based on a monthly payment period:

Unit owner misses his/her first payment the management company should send a courtesy email seven days after the due date and wait until the next due date.

If by the next due date the owner has not paid, send a letter advising that they have 15 business days to pay or contact the office or their file will be sent to collections.

The board must follow up on their warning and send the file in when the time arrives. However, the key is to be determined and treat this debt as if it were any other consumer debt.

I hope that this gives you a good enough outline for your board to sit down and have a productive discussion on what has to be done.

What About payment Plans?

If they are willing to allow payment plans, what is the maximum length of what they would accept?

Are there any objections to making a demand to the delinquent unit owner’s first mortgagee lender for the delinquent amounts owed (if a PUD or Condo Rider was signed)? In my opinion it can be done and should be done.

Is your board of directors prepared to work out matters with delinquent owners using a payment plan? Some boards absolutely object, and take a hard line stance saying that they are not financial institutions. It’s the board’s decision if no laws in your state require it.