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We closed on our house on October 13th. At that time we paid the remaining dues for our HOA assiciation at closing, but were informed that HOA dues were not managed by our escrow due the to fact that HOA dues can vary from time to time, and we would be responsible. 1st of Demember we made out 1st mortgage payment, but realized we had not made a payment to our HOA, and had no bill.
How do we pay this normally? Do most HOA's have a bill they send, or do I need to go to some place to drop it off? I feel that before I pay them they need to ask fro the money... but will I be responsible for late penalties for a bill they never sent to me?
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Did you get HOA docs explaining all the rules, covenants and fees? If so, this should be there. If not, speak with a neighbor. It is my experience that HOA fees are not part of any escrow payments like taxes, insurance, principal & interest, but are paid outside and directly to the HOA or management company monthly, quarterly, etc...
Each HOA has different ways of doing this, and I've never heard of HOA fees being collected in escrow. The last place I lived with HOA dues, they were collected once a year.
Usually HOA dues are deposited into a special mail box or drop box on the property. They are managed by the association which is usually local and has a private or business bank account. Do you have a property manager? Ask someone who has been living in the complex awhile. Bad things tend to happen if you dont pay HOA dues, even if it is not directly your fault. I set mine up to go directly via mail from my back to my administrators home. That may help. Free Bill Pay, gotta love it!
I'm guessing if it is a house, there probably is not a drop box on the property (much more condo-esque). Contact the HOA. You should have gotten the info with the CC&Rs. Each association runs differently. It may be a neighbor that volunteers or a paid property manager that handles it. Really it depends on the amount of members and cost priorities.
Also, be careful not to get an "us v. them" attitude (like they should ask for it)...especially since them = you. As a member, any fees that are inccurred by members being negligent on payment or sending out monthly dues statements are absorded by the membership and are reflected in higher dues. HOAs can be great, and a good way to establish a community. They offer a way to resolve differences and keep property values high. However, they can also be a HUGE source of conflict if you start off on the wrong foot.
I'd say that usually HOA fees are automatically charged to an account, or mailed to the management company. I have never seen a drop box for them, but I suppose a building with onsite managment could have one.
look through your contract and/or sellers disclosures, the name and contact info should have been in there. If you can't find those documents, call your agent/the listing agent. The mls listing normally has the management's phone number. If you know your associations name at least, you might even be able to find it with google. Call them, introduce yourself, and straighten it all out.
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