Courtesy of Your Observer.com
By Michael Eng
April 3, 2010
FOOLS — In the wake of several reports of
large fines levied by homeowner’s associations, Lakewood Ranch HOA leaders
announced plans to launch a new program that will simplify the payment process.
Under the new Fine Unbind program, residents will be able to store their
checking account information with their respective HOAs. In the event of a rule
violation, HOA leaders will be able to assess the fine and automatically debit
the amount from the homeowner’s account.
|The new F.U. program, leaders
say, will help eliminate situations in which exorbitant interest
accrues because of non-payment.
When a participating homeowner is found in violation of an HOA
rule, the HOA will send one notice via certified mail of the
violation and the fine. The money will be automatically deducted
within five business days of the postmark date of the notice.
If the debit is rejected because of insufficient funds, the
homeowner will be responsible for any and all bank fees as well
as a $500 convenience fee in addition to the original fine.
HOA leaders also are making fine payment easier for homeowners
leery of supplying their account information. Using fines
already collected, Ranch HOAs will be installing ATM-style
kiosks at Town Hall. Homeowners will be able to pay their fines
conveniently through these machines, which will take check,
debit and all major credit cards.
The new payment options come after several reports of Lakewood
Ranch residents paying fines of more than $1,500 because of HOA
violations such as having too many decorations
ATM-style kiosks at Town
Hall will take checks, debit
cards and all major credit
the front yard and placing a small sign on the front of the home. Leaders said
the new payment options are the simplest and fairest way to enforce the HOA
Homeowners wishing to take part in the F.U. program can pick up a form at
Lakewood Ranch Town Hall.
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