FLORIDA – Thousands of Poinciana residents face ballooning debt after HOA fees sent to collection agencies
CCFJ.NET: Thousands of Poinciana residents face ballooning debt after HOA fees sent to collection agencies
Article Courtesy of The Orlando Sentinel
By Steve Lemongello
Published December 23, 2015
Poinciana Villages, with nearly 70,000 residents and 23,000 homes, would be one of the largest cities in Central Florida if it were a municipality. Instead, it’s one of the largest private homeowners association (HOA) in the United States.
But now the HOA is under fire for what residents say is a persistent and ongoing effort by outsourced debt-collection agencies to inflate back dues with thousands of additional dollars in legal fees and late charges.
Some of the estimated 4,000-plus homeowners whose debt was sold — more than 1 of every 6 homes in the association — say they’ve never received a line-by-line breakdown of what those fees actually are. And by the time they’re able reach someone at the agency, their late fees and legal fees have doubled, tripled, quadrupled and more.
At issue, residents say, is the possibility of thousands of owners losing their homes because of ballooning debts that were originally only in the hundreds of dollars.
Steve Sepulveres, an attorney hired by Friends of Poinciana Villages, said he and others are concerned about how “the goal posts have been moved” for residents who have fallen behind on their dues. Read more: