Navigating the Delicate World of Debt Collection: How To Collect What You’re Owed, Even During Difficult Times

Like the Great Recession and other crises before it, the COVID-19 pandemic has cast a bright light on how community association managers and their clients should handle the collection of past due assessments.

High unemployment and mortgage delinquency rates, as well as eviction and foreclosure moratoriums, have put many associations in a difficult position. They want to show compassion to owners suffering through no fault of their own, but they rely on assessments to maintain and repair common property and keep owners safe.

Of course, collections can prove challenging even when delinquencies aren’t skyrocketing. That’s because owners in default tend to fall into one of three categories.

“I call them the needy, the greedy, and the seedy,” says Mitch Drimmer, president of business development at Axela Technologies, a Florida-based collections firm specializing in delinquent association fees. “The needy have debts but just don’t have the money.

“The greedy have the money but repeatedly hold off until the very last minute; they’re the ones who always ask for the fees to be waived.

“The seedy are those who bought their units with no intention of ever paying. They’ll play every game possible, from quitclaiming the deed from one person to another to filing bankruptcy or lawsuits for debt collection violations — everything they can to prevent the association from collecting.”

This Special Report provides expert advice on how you can increase the odds of collecting from every kind of debtor you and our clients may encounter. It includes insights on how to improve collections during both regular times and those periods when developments such as COVID-19 threaten the finances of wide swaths of owners.

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Table of Contents

  • A Message from the President
  • Building a Better Debt Collection Policy
  • Getting Repayment Plans Right
  • Liens: To File or Not to File
  • Handling Collections in Times of Crisis
  • The FDCPA: Does It Apply to You or Your Clients?

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