If you have been reading this blog, you likely have seen the articles relating to the County Court collections process. While obtaining a money judgment against a delinquent owner can be an effective remedy, collection of that judgment does not always mean that an owner will be caught up to date in the payment of their assessments and other charges.
For example, let’s say that an association obtains a Judgment against a delinquent owner for amounts coming due through January. If the owner does not voluntarily pay the judgment amount, an association may have to collect the amount through a wage garnishment. However, the wage garnishment can sometimes take months to collect a delinquent balance. In this scenario, we will assume that the judgment was not collected until July. What if the homeowner did not pay assessments from February through July after the judgment was obtained?
Unfortunately, since the judgment was only good through January, that leaves the association in a situation where it will have to start over with a new lawsuit to collect the difference. To avoid this frustrating scenario (perhaps perpetually), an association can elect to accelerate its future assessments to provide for a ‘cushion’ against delinquencies arising after the judgment enters. An association should check both its Declaration and Collection Policy to determine whether it has the legal right to accelerate and, if so, determine the proper process to follow.