Note: COOCVE would like to thank Rosenbaum PLLC for this update.
Any community association with a delinquent owner knows that the association must send two collection letters, the notice of intent to lien and notice of intent to foreclose; however, beginning July 1, 2021, now your association must first send a Notice of Late Assessment.
Effective July 1, 2021, Florida Law requires community associations to send delinquent unit/parcel owners a Notice of Late Assessment in substantially the same form as provided by the new statute. Among other requirements, the Notice of Late Assessment must include the maintenance due and the dates for which it is due, late fees and interest due along with the dates in which it is due. Further, the Notice of Late Assessment must be sent by first-class, United States mail to the owner’s address reflected in the association’s records, and the unit/parcel, if different from the address in the association’s records. The association may not require a delinquent owner to pay attorneys’ fees without first providing the delinquent owner the Notice of Late Assessment and an opportunity to pay the delinquency.
If your association does not comply with the new statutory requirements, it may not be able to recover the attorney’s fees you expend to collect from the delinquent owner. Collections can be an expensive item for a community association, so it is imperative for your community to comply with the new statutory requirements.
Your community should decide who will prepare the Notice of Delinquent Assessment because if it is not prepared correctly, the association can be required to redo the letter or lose its ability to collect attorneys’ fees from the delinquent owner. This consideration is essential because your association cannot recover the cost to prepare and send the Notice of Late Assessment if the owner timely pays the delinquency, unlike the other collection letters.
Before the next delinquency, your community should take the opportunity to review and update, and implement, its collections policy to include the new statutory requirements. Also, you should consult with your community association manager and legal counsel to determine who will prepare your Notice of Late Assessment when a delinquency does arise.
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