Debt Collectors Have Rules, HOAs Don’t!

We hear it all too often on this website: How come HOAs don’t have to follow the law like all other debt collection agencies?

The only answer I have is that legislators are either crooked, or stupid, flat-out don’t care or a combination of any of the three. Believe me, your message is getting through to a handful of them. They occasionally contact me. But overall, lawmakers are feigning ignorance of this growing national scandal.

Linked below is a tragic story of an older man who’s dying of leukemia. The $75 dues payment he couldn’t afford has turned into a multi-thousand dollar campaign to snatch this man’s home. Make a note: It’s the Heather Lakes Homeowners Association near Tampa Bay, Florida. Make sure to tell your Realtor you don’t want to live there!

Debt collectors are forbidden by state and federal law from using the collection practices so common in the HOA industry. No one can tell me that this national scam doesn’t amount to organized crime. It does, and it has to be recognized as such.

(HOA fines dying man, FOX13 News)




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Ward Lucas is a longtime investigative journalist and television news anchor. He has won more than 70 national and regional awards for Excellence in Journalism, Creative Writing and community involvement. His new book, "Neighbors At War: the Creepy Case Against Your Homeowners Association," is now available for purchase. In it, he discusses the American homeowners association movement, from its racist origins, to its transformation into a lucrative money machine for the nation's legal industry. From scams to outright violence to foreclosures and neighborhood collapses across the country, the reader will find this book enormously compelling and a necessary read for every homeowner. Knowledge is self-defense. No homeowner contemplating life in an HOA should neglect reading this book. No HOA board officer should overlook this examination of the pitfalls in HOA management. And no lawyer representing either side in an HOA dispute should gloss over what homeowners are saying or believing about the lawsuit industry.

4 thoughts on “Debt Collectors Have Rules, HOAs Don’t!

  1. robert

    “How come HOAs don’t have to follow the law like all other debt collection agencies?”

    Because legally, H.O.A. corporations are creditors, not debt collectors. Therefore, the rules and laws that (are supposed to) apply to debt collectors do not apply to creditors, such as H.O.A. corporations.

    The question you should be asking is “Are H.O.A. corporations treated differently than other creditors. And if so, why?”

  2. Rebecca

    What happens when debt collection agencies like Alliance CAS, (who don’t charge the HOA fees, but promise only to collect them from the homeowner) get out of control and don’t follow State Statutes governing HOA’s and not turning over monies collected from the homeowner for the HOA? How can they do this?

  3. Dave Russell

    I agree with Robert. There certainly appears to be some disparate treatment when it comes to HOA collections. You don’t suppose its all of those HOA lawyers and lobbyists infiltrating our state capitols, do you? Arizona passed a law that says an HOA cannot foreclose on a homeowner unless they are 12 months or $1,200.00 delinquent in HOA dues. While it isn’t a perfect law, it does prevent HOAs from foreclosing on homeowners for trivial amounts.


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