Our association makes every effort to work with homeowners who are having problems paying their assessments. But sometimes people get behind anyway. We want our homeowners to know that the association adheres to the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA), and we 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 you
- Threatening you with violence or harm
- Publishing names of owners who are delinquent or refuse to pay
- Annoying you with repeated phone calls
- Making false statements about you
- Misrepresenting the amount you owe
- Depositing your post-dated check early
- Threatening to take legal action against you when we don’t really mean it
- Providing your personal information to anyone else without your permission
The FDCPA also requires the association to notify you in writing about your 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 you have 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.