DONíT BE TOO HASTY!

By Jan Bergemann

Published June 26, 2020

 

The Pandemic caused serious financial hardship to many families. Community associations have seen the result: An increase in unpaid maintenance dues. But that was to be expected because of business grinding more or less to a hold, people losing their jobs and in many cases paychecks got even smaller. The stimulus check helped, but the package passed by Congress was more aimed at helping business than the individual person. And that made sense, because it doesnít help individuals to get more money if there is no job to return to now that the economy slowly recovers.

We went through the foreclosure dramas in 2007/2008 Ė and it wasnít a nice picture. But that foreclosure crisis was caused by the economy and reckless money-lending, this financial crisis was caused by a serious health issue and it is expected that the economy recovers relatively fast once the health crisis is over.

Here is my opinion about the unpaid dues: Donít throw out the baby with the bath-water! Yes, itís not easy for associations to deal with unpaid dues because the bills still have to be paid, but by quickly turning delinquent owners over to attorneys for collection will make things even worse for the families that already suffer from financial hardship. A debt of $500 can quickly turn into a debt of $5,000 caused by legal bills, making it impossible for these owners to pay Ė and the foreclosure is on.

In my opinion it would be more helpful for both sides to accept payment plans instead of immediately taking the way of liens and foreclosures.

My advice to association boards: Be a little patience Ė it may pay out in the long run.


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Jan Bergemann Jan Bergemann is president of Cyber Citizens For Justice, Florida 's largest state-wide property owners' advocacy group. CCFJ works on legislation to help owners living in community  

associations. He moved to Florida in 1995 - hoping to retire. He moved into a HOA, where the developer cheated the homeowners and used the association dues for his own purposes. End of retirement!

 

CCFJ was born in the year 2000, when some owners met in Tallahassee - finding out that power is only in numbers. Bergemann was a member of Governor Jeb Bush's HOA Task force in 2003/2004.

 

The organization has two websites to inform interested Florida homeowners and condo owners:

News Website: http://www.ccfj.net/.

Educational Website: http://www.ccfjfoundation.net/.

   
We think that only owners can really represent owners, since all service providers surely have a different interest! We are trying to create owner-friendly laws, but the best laws are useless without enforcement. And enforcement is totally lacking in Florida !


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