Don’t Lose Your home Over Small HOA Dispute

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Oct. 28, 20176 – Question: Recently I got a letter from my homeowner's association stating that I owe money that I know I paid. My management company is not the easiest to deal with. What specifically do I need to do to clear this up? – Rafael

Answer: It's difficult to detail just one procedure for dealing with community associations, because they run the gamut from huge and professionally run to small and self-managed. But here are some general guidelines that should help.

Don't make a small problem into a large one. I have seen more than one home foreclosed for what started as a $10 discrepancy and then mushroomed out of control with all sorts of fees tacked on. You'll want to keep a detailed journal of all communication. Call your management company and find out what the problem is and see if it can be resolved. Follow up with an email.

If the company agrees that it was a mistake, ask for an updated statement in writing. You might also send a trackable letter (return receipt requested), repeating the conversation and its resolution, and asking the company to confirm the details of your letter or correct any misunderstanding.

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