I have been arguing with my HOA since 2010. I fell behind in my dues in 2010 and kept the board in the know of our situation. In 2011, I made a payment of $660 with a letter on how to apply the funds and a discussion about other homes that were allowed to not pay their late fees. I even gave them copies of the other units monthly statements that showed the fees were not paid. In March 2011, we received a statement showing that we were late in our 2nd qtr dues. What they did was take all of our money and apply it to the late fees that are in question. Never did they contact us to discuss the matter. It is not stated in our CCR or were we given any documents that stated how they would apply payments. I talked the the treasurer and he said he would get back to me. It was not until June when I received another statement with more late fees. I went to the president of the HOA who said they found no verification that people were let go of fees, that in fact they couldn't see where fees were added. She then stated that the books would be audited and we would talk after the findings. I said we were will to be fair. In the meantime, they kept adding late fees although I was paying my quarterly dues on time. They were putting the money towards the fees and not my current dues. It was in October when I finally heard that the books were done, and they were not willing to sit down a discuss the issue. Move forward to June 2012, I decided that I wanted to be done with this and sent a letter with 2 checks one for 2nd quarter dues with $20 for late fees, and one for $40 half of the original late fees for 2010. I said that on July 31st they would get the other $40 in fees and 3rd quarter dues but all the added fees to the fees needed to be forgotten. Today, I received a letter to lien my property and both checks returned with another added late fee of $10. Where do I go from here? I have documents that show that at least one other home did not have to pay fees in 2010, that was my complaint as well as now, I thought that it was illegal to charge a late fee for an unpaid late fee. Mortgage companies are not allowed to do this are HOA? Do HOAS have to apply the funds according to how the homeowner states if there is no policy for applying the payments?
Country relating to Question: United States
State (if USA): Washington
Talking with them
Making a fair proposal
Giving them written documents and letters from other homeowners.
Willing to discuss with board and other homeowner present, they refused.
Hello. My name is XXXXX XXXXX X will be happy to answer your question.I am sorry to hear about your unfortunate situation.Unfortunately, it is not illegal to add late fees to outstanding balances and if the balance is not paid in full to charge another late fees and most HOA and Condo Association do it all the time and it is perfectly legal, as long as the late fees are permitted by the Rules.Also, unfortunately just because late fees might have been waived for another unit within an HOA, it doesn't obligate HOA to waive it with all the units, unless you can prove that you are being targeted or HOA is refusing to waive their late fees due to an illegal discrimination based on race, nationality, religion, etc....Unfortunately, since the HOA has placed a lien or is going to place a lien, if the fee in dispute is under $100, it would make perfect practical sense to simply pay it and to put this issue behind you, as if the lean is placed on your property, it can costs you thousands in legal fees and costs to have it removed.
I was under the impression that you can not lien a property for late fees.I was also told that unless it is stated in the CC&RS or other documentation, they had to apply the payment according to directions when payments are made.That then leads me to only owing late fees. Which as I understand, you can not add a fee to a fee. After February 2011, my dues were paid on time.
Thank you for your follow up.1) Generally, the late fees become part of the outstanding past due balance, if not paid by the time the next billing statement is generated and the HOA can legally place a lien if there is any outstanding dues that are past due.2) The HOA has the right to apply the payment to cover the entire balance that is outstanding and unfortunately you were misinformed that the HOA has to apply the payment toward the items specified by the HOA member, as past due late fee, do become the part of othe overall outstanding past due balance.I wish I could truthfully provide you with a more favorable answer, but please understand that I do have professional obligations to provide each JustAnswer.com customer with correct answer, even if the answer is not favorable to the customer.
Experienced Licensed Attorney
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