Re: Late HOA payments
From: Bonnie Fergusson (
Date: Wed, 15 Aug 2018 09:46:53 -0700 (PDT)
        We have a $25 late fee that starts on the 15th, 2 weeks overdue.  We 
used to have to chase down late or incorrect payments, especially at the 
beginning of the year when the dues amount changed and people forgot to change 
the amount.  We are self managed and the finance Committee got very tired and 
cranky about this so now we have people's monthly HOA dues automatically 
withdrawn from their bank accounts through VANCO and we are 100% signed up for 
this so no more chasing down payments.  Every year in December everyone signs a 
document giving us permission to deduct whatever the new dues amount is for the 
next year every month on the first (usually at our end of year HOA meeting) and 
after that it's all smooth.          In a related issue we set up what we call 
our "Brother can you spare a dime fund" back during the financial meltdown in 
2008 when two households lost their jobs and we were anxious about what we 
would do if people couldn't pay their HOA dues for a while.  We assessed every 
household an extra $25 a month for about a year and that money is available as 
an interest free loan (only for HOA dues every month) for anyone who has a 
temporary cash flow problem which would impact their ability to pay their HOA 
dues.  So we are sort of self insured.  It is used at the discretion of the 
Treasurer (to maintain privacy for the borrower it doesn't go through the whole 
Committee or HOA) so members just talk to whoever the Treasurer is if they need 
the help.  It has been accessed about 4 times in the ensuing years and has 
always been repaid.      We have occasionally discussed eliminating it by 
putting it back in the general fund now that the economy is better but so far 
have always decided to keep it as is.                         Bonnie Fergusson  
                       Swans Market Cohousing                         Oakland, 
    On Tuesday, August 14, 2018, 11:03:01 AM PDT, Sharon Villines via 
Cohousing-L <cohousing-l [at]> wrote:  
 > On Aug 14, 2018, at 11:28 AM, Elizabeth Magill <pastorlizm [at]> 
 > wrote:
> Do you all have policies or procedures for very late HOA payments? How
> late do they have to be before you act? Or how many missing payments?
> When you act, what do you do?

In the beginning being overly solicitous, we never charged late fees. The 
treasurer would just talk to the person and work it out. If there was some 
reason that they would be late or have to catch up over time, they would work 
out a doable agreement and take it to the board for approval.

The policy has always been that a letter is sent on the 15th for payments not 
received and it costs $50 for the management company to send that so the late 
person has to pay that unless it has been charged in error. Delinquency 
interest starts on the 30th of the month.

We rarely, rarely have late payments. One a person got behind 5 months because 
she was unemployed. She worked out a payment plan. Another had sent the wrong 
payment for a year but no one informed her so she had to catch up over a few 
months. Those are the only two I remember, literally. And I’ve been on the 
board about 50% of the time and would have known at least during those 9 years.

Then a new treasurer who was also a new resident who was used to typical condo 
laws and who actually read our policy, reminded the management company to send 
letters. He thought they had just forgotten. They have been sent ever since. It 
was a new era in several ways related to finances. He was more liberal in other 
areas. He was in the DC budget office and viewed the budget as a planning 
document, not a restrictive document written in stone. One year we were $12,000 
under budget. His view was that we budgeted funds to be spent on things we 
wanted to spend them on. If we didn’t spend them then we were in danger of 
short-changing ourselves. Not doing repairs that needed to be done or 
under-supporting community events.

At the beginning of the year people often pay the wrong amount because they 
forget to update their automatic payments. That isn’t treated like a late 

Our management companies are always amazed at how consistently and promptly 
condo fees are paid. I’ve seen them check with each other because they don’t 
believe it.

Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC

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