For many associations, a good portion of the Board meetings are spent reviewing the ever-growing delinquency report. Boards are faced with different variables when dealing with their delinquency report. For example, a large delinquent account could be a vacant unit that has had a mortgage foreclosure pending for over two years. Another delinquent account could be an owner-occupied unit where the owner is unemployed and is not paying any of his/her bills. There are also smaller delinquent accounts where the unit owner encountered hard times over a six to nine-month period and requested a payment plan to address his/her arrears, but does not always adhere to the payment arrangement. Boards are left in the difficult position of making the decisions of choosing the best method of collecting on these delinquency accounts.
If the balance on an account is less than $15,000.00, we usually recommend that a lawsuit be filed in the Special Civil Part of the Superior Court, as judgment can be obtained in a relatively quick and efficient manner. Once a judgment is obtained, there are various methods of collecting on this judgment, e.g., wage garnishment, bank levy, rent levy, or car levy. The best method of collection will depend upon the specific variables of a given case. For example, if a unit owner is living in the unit and is unemployed, the Board may seek to pursue a bank levy or a car levy. If a unit owner has left a unit vacant and is living in state with employment, the Board may seek to pursue a wage garnishment. Associations may utilize multiple methods of collecting on the judgment at the same time. To learn more about these collection methods, please refer to my previous blogs.