Around the world, governments and financial service providers are announcing debt deferment to help individuals experiencing an unusually tight budget due to the pandemic. During the holidays, it may be possible to have loan payments held for the next three months for short-term relief from mortgage payments due to illness, loss of work, loss of income, or time off caring for others. For homeowners living in HOA and COA communities, debt relief in other areas may make paying assessment fees easier. Otherwise, owners can request delayed payments from Community Associations as well.
Equity Experts saw a 12% increase in debt collection this August on top of recent annual increases of 38%. The community management industry expects a significant increase in delinquencies this year. They must prepare for a higher volume of past due accounts and evaluate them for impacts due to COVID-19. These homeowners are different and need to be identified as early as possible to determine the best course of action to learn:
Community Associations must understand the homeowner’s position now and during the rest of this year to avoid foreclosures. These are residents Equity Experts recommends communicating with regularly to keep an eye on their personal circumstances.
If you haven’t made changes in debt collections procedures, reach out to Equity Experts to support staff and homeowners. We offer software integrations and analytics that give you the data to make predictions and decisions about debt collection needs. Automated systems handle the increased volume of activity, and you’ll be able to separate those at risk of moving through collections in the next few months from those who aren’t.
Remember that owners with financial issues resulting from COVID-19 aren’t “standard” collections risks — many of them have probably never had late payments before now. They are good people who have fallen on hard times due and threatening foreclosure won’t help anyone.
Equity Experts make early repeated attempts using various methods to collect a debt, so there is time to get a response, collect the payment, or set up a payment plan. The community association should delay placing a lien on the property for as long as possible and avoid rushing to legal action or foreclosure.
Since March, the economy has seen homeowners facing mounting debt as businesses closed, paychecks were reduced, school was delayed, and temporary unemployment ran out. Offer each homeowner an opportunity to defer payments over the holidays with structured plans to continue in January. Given some extra time, they are more likely to bring their accounts up to date.
This year, contact Equity Experts to learn how to maintain a thriving community with patience and empathy.