In New Jersey, a Condominium Unit/ Homeowner’s obligation to fully and timely comply with Association fee and assessment obligations is “unconditional”. There is no right whatsoever to withhold the payment of fees assessed by an Association. As nonprofit collectives of Homeowners the Association’s collections of fees assessed to its members is critical. Courts in NJ, have analogized the collection of fees and assessments as the “life blood” of an Association. Community Associations operate on a stated budget, which projects each member’s compliance with their fee and assessment obligations. The failure of a member of the Association to fully and timely comply with his/her assessment obligations has a detrimental impact upon the Association’s ability to administer, govern, and maintain the Community. A Unit Owner’s refusal or inability to pay falls upon the shoulders of the other compliant members of the Community. Although Communities throughout NJ are experiencing an unprecedented increase in Unit Owner delinquencies based upon declining fair market value, Governing Boards are duty bound to collect fees and assessments levied to each individual member of the Association.
In these economic times, it is more crucial than ever for Boards to be vigilant and proactive in the collection of fees assessed to members of the Community. It is vital that Governing Boards adopt and uniformly follow a collection protocol, which sets forth each members obligation to timely, and fully comply with their fee and assessment obligations. That policy should include but not be limited to the following: a clear statement as to when the assessment is due; the assessment of a late fee if not paid by a due date; the issuance of late notices by Management in an effort to gain compliance; the time when the Unit Owner’s account is turned over to Association counsel for handling; the actions to be take by Association Counsel given the Unit Owner’s continued noncompliance; and how funds received by the Association from a noncompliant Homeowner will be applied.
The Board’s adoption of a Resolution setting forth a policy for the Collection of delinquent assessments and enforcement procedures should be recorded in the County Clerk’s office and can thereafter be relied upon by the Association, it’s Attorney and the Court in the event a Unit Owner contests the Association’s collection efforts. Giaimo & Associates has provided assistance to Governing Boards in preparing collection policies specifically tailored to meet a Community’s needs.
Giaimo & Associates has been recognized throughout New Jersey as having expertise in providing swift, and cost effective collection services to Community Associations. Our firm has collected millions of dollars in unpaid fees and assessments. We know the collection process and take great pride in gaining a Homeowner’s compliance with his/her financial obligations to your Community. We have been actively pursuing Community Association collections for over 25 years.
We are aggressive, responsive, and dedicated to this aspect of Community Association Law. However, we are not just satisfied in collecting unpaid fees and assessments. We strive to and have had great success in obtaining for the Communities we represent full reimbursement of the Association’s Attorney’s fees and cost incurred incident to collection. Our firm is responsible for the leading Case Law authority in NJ, which holds that Community Associations are entitled to be reimbursed for their Attorney’s fees and cost incurred incident to seeking to compel a Unit Owner to comply with their fee and assessment obligations. Our success is evidenced by the thousands of Judgments, that we have secured and docketed for our Communities, which include an award of Attorney’s fees and cost incurred by the Association.
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