DONíT BE TOO HASTY!
Published June 26, 2020
The Pandemic caused serious financial hardship to many families.
Community associations have seen the result: An increase in
unpaid maintenance dues. But that was to be expected because of
business grinding more or less to a hold, people losing their
jobs and in many cases paychecks got even smaller. The stimulus
check helped, but the package passed by Congress was more aimed
at helping business than the individual person. And that made
sense, because it doesnít help individuals to get more money if
there is no job to return to now that the economy slowly
We went through the foreclosure dramas in 2007/2008 Ė and it
wasnít a nice picture. But that foreclosure crisis was caused by
the economy and reckless money-lending, this financial crisis
was caused by a serious health issue and it is expected that the
economy recovers relatively fast once the health crisis is over.
Here is my opinion about the unpaid dues: Donít throw out
the baby with the bath-water! Yes, itís not easy for
associations to deal with unpaid dues because the bills still
have to be paid, but by quickly turning delinquent owners over
to attorneys for collection will make things even worse for the
families that already suffer from financial hardship. A debt of
$500 can quickly turn into a debt of $5,000 caused by legal
bills, making it impossible for these owners to pay Ė and the
foreclosure is on.
In my opinion it would be more helpful for both sides to accept
payment plans instead of immediately taking the way of liens and
My advice to association boards: Be a little patience Ė it
may pay out in the long run.
||Jan Bergemann is president of Cyber Citizens For Justice,
's largest state-wide property owners' advocacy group.
CCFJ works on legislation to help owners living in
associations. He moved to
in 1995 - hoping to retire. He moved into a HOA, where the
developer cheated the homeowners and used the association dues
for his own purposes. End of retirement!
CCFJ was born in the year 2000, when some owners met in
- finding out that power is only in numbers. Bergemann was a
member of Governor Jeb Bush's HOA Task force in 2003/2004.
The organization has two websites to inform interested
homeowners and condo owners:
News Website: http://www.ccfj.net/.
Educational Website: http://www.ccfjfoundation.net/.
We think that only owners can really represent owners, since all
service providers surely have a different interest! We are
trying to create owner-friendly laws, but the best laws are
useless without enforcement. And enforcement is totally lacking