Don’t File Liens Against Members Yourself

Don’t File Liens Against Members Yourself

When trying to collect assessment arrears owed by delinquent members, don’t file a lien against the member yourself. Instead, refer the matter to your association’s attorney. Managers should avoid filing liens because of the increase in potential liability under the federal Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA) when the number of letters or phone calls to a member is increased.

The consequences for you can be very serious if you don’t leave this matter to an attorney: Some courts have found a manager’s filing of a lien for a client (that is, the association) to be the unauthorized practice of law.

For more on avoiding liability under the FDCPA, see “Avoid Liability When Enforcing Debt Collection Policy,” available to subscribers here.


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