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HOA fees and credit reports

| Oct 28, 2018 | Homeowner Association Law |

People who own units in townhome and condominium developments in Missouri must join the homeowner’s association. Even many people who own single family residences find themselves members of HOAs. These groups provide oversight to many elements in a neighborhood and say that they help to maintain property values for homeowners. In turn, homeowners must pay regular dues to these associations.

According to the San Francisco Gate, homeowners’ associations themselves have not historically reported payment histories to credit bureaus. This is because the cost to do so is generally too high to justify the benefit for these organizations. This, however, does not mean that a person who owns property that is part of an HOA can miss or be late on payments without fear of negative ramifications on their credit.

For starters, an HOA can refer a member’s account to a collection agency if a delinquency is severe. The collection agency is quite likely to report activity to a credit monitoring agency and these reports reflect very negatively on consumer’s accounts.

Also, Credit.com explains that there may be data aggregators that collect and provide information to credit bureaus on behalf of HOAs. These aggregators bill themselves as beneficial to other creditors as they make HOA fees of equal importance to other bills that a person may have to pay. Missouri homeowners who must pay regular homeowners’ association fees should carefully review the documents outlining their financial responsibilities as members of the HOA so that they know how to protect themselves against black marks on their credit.