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P. Simmons
P. Simmons, Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  16 yrs. of trial experience
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MY HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATIONS BOARD OF DIRECTORS HAS VOTED TO

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MY HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATION'S BOARD OF DIRECTORS HAS VOTED TO RETURN ANY PARTIAL PAYMENTS RECEIVED FROM HOMEOWNERS. I MAINTAIN THAT IT IS NOT LEGAL TO REFUSE A PARTIAL PAYMENT. AM I CORRECT? AND WHAT LAW ARE THEY BREAKING?
Hi, My name is Philip. I am an attorney with over 16 years experience. Hopefully I can help you with your legal question.

Actually, there is no law that requires an HOA to accept partial payment. So there is not a law that the HOA is breaking.

As a private entity (under NM law, an HOA is a corporation so they are a legal entity) the HOA can demand payment in full of any amount due and can reject partial payments.

One of the reasons that an entity can have a policy to refuse to accept partial payments is due to the legal doctrine of accord and satisfaction. This legal doctrine of Accord and satisfaction is a contract law concept about the purchase of the release from a debt obligation. The payment is typically less than what is owed and is not paid by the actual performance of the original obligation. The accord is the agreement to discharge the obligation and the satisfaction is the legal "consideration" which binds the parties to the agreement.

In NM, accord and satisfaction can only apply if the creditor has notice of the intent of the debtor that the partial payment was rendered as payment in full...so if, for example, a debtor owes a creditor $100 and give a check for $80 and it says "payment in full" that can be used to claim satisfaction of the debt by the debtor.

But regardless of if the partial payment contains such language (the accord and satisfaction language) a creditor like an HOA can refuse to accept partial payment. There is no law that prevents this.

Some would argue that this is silly...why in the world would an HOA refuse money it is owed. And it may well be a silly policy. But it is not against any law.


Please let me know if you have more questions...happy to assist if I can
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