Pay Up! The Subtle Art of Collecting Arrears

 During the tough economic environment of the past few years, many condo owners  have faced job losses, pay decreases or just financial uncertainty.  Unfortunately, this sometimes leads to owners not paying their common charges.  

 Unpaid, overdue debt that is not collected can wreak havoc on a condominium  association. In small communities, it could quickly cause the association to  have trouble meeting operating expenses. Even larger associations will  eventually feel the effects of the shortfall if multiple units fall into  arrears.  

 “No one wants to throw anyone out of their house, which is why there are steps to  warn and help people,” says attorney Mark A. Sank of Mark Sank & Associates, LLC in Stamford, Connecticut. “They have to make payments because the board has a responsibility not to expose  the association.”  

 It’s vital for boards and managers to take a proactive role in collecting common  charge arrears to ensure that their condominium associations remain financially  stable.  

 “The best way to protect yourself is to have a collection procedure in place,” says Jim Toscano, PCAM, president of Property Management of Andover, Inc. in  Lawrence, Massachusetts. “You need to keep people educated. We have a very fast turnover [in  Massachusetts] and if funds are not received in a timely manner, they go to  collections after five weeks.”  


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  • I am on the board of directors for a 66 unit condominium complex. We have just had an assessment with added about $85 to the $225 fees. One family is having a hard time paying on the 15th but can towards the end of the month. I have no problem with this seeing that monthly late charges will add up and be an extra burden on the family. But some of the board members are giving me flack about this. Have you dealt with this before? I would like some advice on this. Thank you
  • Once the family is paying late charges, they have the right to pay late.
  • how do I sue my condo association for discrimination on a disabled unit owner?