A Policy to Encourage On-Time Payment of Association Fees

Finance & Legal 2004-01-07

Summary:

Sets a deadline after which late fees will be applied.

Background:

On the monthly statement of Association fees, it reads "Please pay by
the 15th of the month." It does not say what should happen if we don't. A policy to address on-time payment of fees is almost a given for any
organization, including co-housing communities; and one that F&L feels should be addressed now.

Proposal:

The monthly statement sent to each household at the end of a month will display 2 amounts: One will represent the normal statement total, and payment by the 15th of the month will pay the statement in full. A second figure, 5% higher, will represent the payment necessary if paid later than the 15th. This surcharge will apply to all new charges shown on the statement. This policy will take effect the first full month of billing after its adoption.

Example
Unit 38, in a Lower walkout E unit [w/5 bedrooms & 7 baths] receives this statement:
Balance forward $ 0
Association fee $ 100
LTCRF $ 50
Water $ 50
Common meals $ 50
Total due, if paid by the 15th $ 250
Total due, if paid later than the 15th $ 262.50

Discussion
Our Association budget is under heavy pressure. If some people pay late, then their share of the budget must be carried by others, or we will simply be unable to do what we intend to do. Payment of Association fees is a major component of what defines membership in the Great Oak community.
The option of paying a larger fee later would, let us hope, encourage on-time payment, and the small additional charge for paying late would offset some of the costs to the community. It is phrased this way - there is an option to pay later, for an increased charge - to avoid any problem collecting a "late fee." There is also the intent that this be seen not as a penalty, but as a realization that there are real costs to the community when fees are not paid on time.

Arguments against:
1. We don't want to treat our members the same way that corporations may treat their customers.
2. This policy will make our bookkeepers' records messier.
3. It makes things harder for households that are already stretched thin.

Arguments in favor:
1. The community - all of us together - has real, significant needs that must be kept in balance with the needs of individual households.
2. Emergency cases can be taken care of through another proposal that will be coming forward soon.

Comments:

Also discussed on 12/3/2003

Process Comments:

0 standasides