Recent reports indicate that about 4 million U.S. homeowners are 90 days or more delinquent on their loans or in foreclosure proceedings. Many experts are forecasting another wave of foreclosures. Follow these links for some interesting stories from the following sources: L.A. Times, Foreclosure Pulse, and MSN Money Central
Adding to the problem are recent reports that suggest that 25% of US homeowners are underwater, owing more on their homes than they are worth. And while it appears that less Californians are losing their jobs, many of those out of work remain out of work, and their prospects for finding jobs are not great. The outlook for an end to the Great Recession in 2010 is not good. What does this all mean? It likely means that California community associations are going to continue to face higher than normal delinquencies and bad debt through at least the end of this year. We wrote about this in December 2009 and refer you to our article IS THE “GREAT RECESSION” OVER YET? FOR CALIFORNIA COMMUNITY ASSOCIATIONS, NOT BY A LONG SHOT!
We know that assessment delinquencies are a serious problem. Managers tell us that dealing with assessment issues and delinquent owners is consuming a substantial amount of their time and distracting the board from dealing with other serious issues at their associations.
At the recent CAI national law seminar, SwedelsonGottlieb partner David Swedelson spoke on collecting delinquent assessments in a troubled economy (follow this link for his article). David was also one of four legal experts sitting on a panel of pundits. David was surprised by the fact that 99% of the questions dealt with assessment collection.
There is little that we can do about homeowners becoming delinquent; what we can all do is learn to cope with the problem.