Prompt payment of assessments by all owners is critical to the financial health of the Ponderosa Heights Homeowners Association, Inc. in Lolo, Montana (the “Association”) and to the enhancement of the property values of our homes. Under the Declaration of Restrictive Covenants (the “DRC”) for the Association, the Board of Directors (the “Board”) is obligated to enforce the members' obligation to pay assessments.
The policies and practices outlined herein have been adopted by the Board to ensure a prompt and fair collection of delinquent assessments. These policies and procedures shall remain in effect until such time as they may be changed, modified, or amended by a duly adopted resolution of the Board.
Therefore, pursuant to the DRC (see Assessments and Collection Procedures, beginning on page 6), the Association’s delinquent assessment practices and policies, are as follows:
Assessments, late charges, interest, and collection costs, including any attorneys' fees, are the personal obligation of the owner of the property at the time the assessment or other sums are imposed.
Annual assessments are due and payable by January 1 of each year. Notices of the annual assessment are mailed to property owners in early November prior to the due date.
The assessment shall be deemed delinquent if not paid fifteen (15) days after the stated due date.
All other assessments, including special assessments, are due and payable on the date specified by the Board on the Notice of Assessment, which date will not be less than thirty (30) days after the date of notice of the special assessment.
A special assessment payable in installments shall be deemed delinquent thirty (30) days after the stated installment due date. Any remaining installments will be accelerated, and the entire unpaid balance shall become immediately due and payable and shall be subject to a late charge and interest as provided below.
Assessments which are not postmarked or received within the grace period following the due date are delinquent and shall be subject to a ten dollar ($10.00) late charge.
Interest, at the rate of ten percent (10%) per annum, will be assessed against any outstanding balance, including delinquent assessments, late charges, and cost of collection, which may include attorneys' fees.
Interest charges shall accrue thirty (30) days after the assessment becomes due and shall continue to be assessed each month until the account is brought current.
The first notice of past due assessment ("1st Reminder") will be prepared and mailed by the Association’s property management company (the “Management Company”) once an assessment becomes delinquent and will include the amount of late charge also due.
The second notice of past due assessment ("2nd Reminder") will be mailed if the required payment has not been received within fifteen (15) days of mailing the 1st Reminder and will include the amount of interest accrued in addition to the late charge.
If an assessment is not received within forty-five (45) days after the assessment becomes delinquent, the Management Company, on behalf of the Association, will send a Pre-Lien Letter by first class mail, to the owner's mailing address of record advising of the delinquent status of the account, and impending collection action. Charges associated with the preparation of the Pre-Lien Letter will be considered a "cost of collection" and will be charged to the owner.
Notwithstanding this provision, the Association reserves it right to issue a Pre-Lien Letter following delinquency but before expiration of the forty-five (45) days referenced above, when (1) there is an open escrow involving the owner's lot; or (2) if a special assessment becomes delinquent.
Communications to Owner
All communications to the owner as referenced herein will be made to the owner's property address. Owners have the right to provide a secondary address for the purpose of receiving collection notices. The owner's request shall be in writing and shall be mailed to the Management Company in a manner that verifies the office has received it. An owner may identify or change a secondary address at any time, provided that, if a secondary address is identified or changed during the collection process, the Management Company shall only be required to send notices to the indicated secondary address from the point the office receives the request.
Communications to Association via the Management Company
All communications to the Association as referenced herein should be made by phone or mail to:
Ponderosa Heights Homeowners Association
c/o Gatewest Management Company
2100 Stephens Ave, Ste 110B
PO Box 8599
Missoula, MT 59807
If an owner fails to pay the amounts set forth in the Pre-Lien Letter within fifteen (15) days from the date of the letter, the Management Company will record a lien for all delinquent assessments, late charges, interest and/or costs of collection, including attorneys' fees, if any, against the owner's property. The owner will be charged for the fees and costs of preparing and recording the lien. The lien may be enforced in any manner permitted by law, including, without limitation, judicial or non-judicial foreclosure.
Once the lien has been recorded, the Association may foreclose the lien as provided for by the laws of the State of Montana.
Owners could lose ownership of the subject property if a foreclosure action is completed and may also be responsible for significant additional fees and costs if a foreclosure action is commenced.
All liens filed will be recorded in the minutes of the next open meeting of the Board.
The Board must maintain the confidentiality of the delinquent owner(s) by identifying the matter in the minutes by only the parcel number of the owner's property.
Prior to the release of any lien, or dismissal of any legal action, all assessments, late charges, interest, and costs of collection, including attorneys' fees, must be paid in full to the Management Company.
Any owner who is unable to pay assessments will be entitled to make a written request for a payment plan for consideration by the Board. An owner may also request to meet with the Board in executive session to discuss a payment plan if the payment plan request is mailed within fifteen (15) days of the postmark date of the Pre-Lien Letter.
The Board will consider payment plan requests on a case-by-case basis and is under no obligation to grant payment plan requests. Payment plans shall not interfere with the Association's ability to record a lien on an owner's separate interest to secure payment for the owner's delinquent assessments.
If the Board authorizes a payment plan, it may incorporate payment of ongoing assessments that accrue during the payment plan period.
If a payment plan is approved, additional late fees from the owner will not accrue while the owner remains current under the terms of the payment plan. If the owner breaches an approved payment plan, the Association may resume its collection action from the time the payment plan was approved.
Nothing herein limits or otherwise affects the Association's right to proceed in any lawful manner to collect any delinquent sums owed to the Association.
Payments received by the Association from Owners shall be applied towards 1) collection costs, including attorney’s fees, 2) monetary penalties, 3) interest, 4) late charges, 5) individual assessments, 6) special assessments, and 7) regular assessments, in that order.
There is no right of offset. All assessments shall be payable in the amounts specified by the Association, and no offsets against such amount shall be permitted for a claim that the Association is not property exercising its duties of maintenance, operation or enforcement.
An owner will be charged a twenty-five-dollar ($25.00) fee for any returned check unpaid by the owner's bank.