HB 1276: One Year Later

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It has been just over a year since House Bill (HB) 1276 has gone into effect.

The “HOA Debt Collection” bill has had a big impact in HOA management and operations. Drafted and approved in 2013, the bill began playing a role in all Colorado HOA collections activities on January 1, 2014.

The biggest impact initially was getting all of the HOAs to have complaint collections policies signed and adopted by that January 1 effective date. With over 5,800 HOAs in Colorado, that was a big undertaking! Fortunately, we at CAP Management were able to write new policies in-house for most of our HOAs to streamline the process. Based on each association’s governing documents, monthly/semi-annual assessment figures and existing policies, we were able to create policies that met the requirements of the law.

The biggest new requirements were that HOAs have a clear and consistent method of communicating with delinquent owners (via a standardized series of notices), offer a payment plan to those owners if they can’t become current within a short time (a month or two usually), and foreclosure proceedings can only happen after a certain amount of time – by the association itself or by other parties.

We have found that the only difficulty with this, and barely so, was administrative in nature. Once everything was hammered out and policies adopted by our HOA boards, things have actually become smoother. It appears that the legislative intent of HB 1276 was to protect homeowners from arbitrary and capricious foreclosure actions by boards and agents of their hired help. It seems to be working! Not only does the law benefit owners, but having such a straightforward, predictable and easy to understand collections process makes it easier for all involved. In a perfect world, there would be no need for this, and of course we prefer owners pay on time, but we do find that HB 1276 has done what was intended to do.

What are your thoughts or experiences? Call us at 303.832.2971 or email us at help@capmanagement.com to share your stories or ask us more about we handled HB 1276.