Senate Majority Leader Ellen M. Corbett (D-San Leandro) has introduced SB 561 which will, if signed into law, make some fairly significant changes to the law impacting how California community associations collect delinquent assessments. Senator Corbett has been quoted as saying that “[u]nscrupulous debt collectors are increasing the amount owed based on penalties and fees, and foreclosing on people’s homes… It’s a terrible practice. The penalties are just way too harsh.” Unfortunately, Senator Corbett has failed to provide any examples or proof that delinquent owners are incurring anything more then the reasonable costs and fees of collection. We really have no idea what penalties or fees she is referencing, and based on our more than 20 years of experience, what Senator Corbett is quoted as saying is not accurate.
David Swedelson and Sandra Gottlieb have analyzed SB 561, and based on their many years of experience dealing with assessment collection issues, they believe that this is bad legislation based on incorrect facts and circumstances. They have written an article summarizing their analysis. This bill has been approved by the California State Senate and will soon be taken up by the Assembly. We are hoping that a massive showing of opposition will motivate the assembly to reject SB 561. We will be forwarding additional information soon.