This month in Collections Corner, we will return to an issue we first addressed in our December 2017 Newsletter - reporting delinquent homeowners Community Association debt to the credit bureaus (enclosed). To briefly recap the contents of that letter, our office became aware of a company advertising services to report delinquent homeowners on behalf of a community association. Our office conducted research and identified a few issues that lead us to recommend not reporting delinquent homeowners. For example, federal laws for credit reporting impose investigation obligations on the creditor who provides the information, opening new avenues for delinquent homeowners to sue a community association. Additionally, we are not swayed that reporting delinquent homeowners actually increases the efficiency of collections.
This month we are highlighting the process of filing a lawsuit to obtain a judgment against a delinquent homeowner. After a lien is filed, we generally send a lien notification letter to the delinquent homeowner advising him or her that a lien has been filed against the property and; further, if he or she fails to remit payment in full or contact our office to negotiate an agreeable payment arrangement, we will proceed with filing of lawsuit to obtain a judgment against the person, which is in addition to the lien against the property. Lawsuits of this nature are typically filed in the District Court (as long as the principal amount sought is under $30,000.00. If the amount sought is $30,000.00 or over then the lawsuit must be filed in Circuit Court). Further, we file the complaint under affidavit which means the accounting is signed under oath by the custodian of records for the Community, i.e., generally the management company.
District of Columbia Foreclosure