Our accountant sends out the original invoice. If payment is not received, reminder statements are sent.
The Directors may approve a payment plan (contact the Treasurer). Two copies are sent to the lot owner, one to sign and return, and one to keep for their file. Note that interest (2% per month or 24% per annum) will continue to be calculated on the outstanding balance of the annual fee. Interest is not compounded.
Six months after the invoice date, if the debt has not been paid or if the payment plan is in default, LLE will proceed with collection action to recover the debt. This action will consist of a series of follow up letters and could result in court action. Costs incurred will include but not be limited to $50 for the first letter, $75 for the second letter and $100 for the third letter. Postage will be charged in addition to these amounts. In the event payment is not made as a result of these letters LLE will engage the services of an attorney to pursue the matter in court.
Once LLE has a judgement in our favour and the lot owner has not paid the debt or defaulted on a payment plan, LLE will turn the collection activity over to a bailiff. It takes time for the bailiff to go through all the necessary steps to seize and sell the property to recover the debt owed. Until the day that the Court accepts an offer to purchase the lot, the lot owner still has the option of stopping the process by paying the debt in full.
In the event that the lot is sold to recover the debt, the amounts owed to the bailiff and LLE are paid in full first. Any remaining balance will be paid to the former lot owner. Note that the debtor is responsible for the interest on the debt and for the cost of collection.
This has been a source of concern for all lot owners since the inception of the subdivision in the ‘70s. There has always been a group of owners who feel that they are exempt from paying their fair share of fees – water, maintenance, or property taxes. When they fail to pay their share then it is up to the remainder of the honest lot owners to cover for them.
In some years, as much as 30 % of the total fees assessed was not paid. This money that would ordinarily go to road improvement, or similar maintenance and improvement projects, is lost and everyone loses. When the estate group (LLE) was formed in 1999, the indenture included a provision whereby the group could foreclose on the delinquent fee payer and sell his/her share to recover the outstanding monies along with appropriate interests, etc.
This process was started last year and notices served to outstanding lot owners to pay up or legal proceedings would be undertaken to recover the owed amounts. Many of the delinquents have made arrangements to settle the outstanding fees and taxes. The directors hope that the remainder of the lot owners will make arrangements to settle their debts. If not, then on behalf of all lot owners, court proceedings will be initiated.
We have an obligation to pay our share of water, maintenance, and property taxes. When you signed the share certificate you agreed to this arrangement. Your fellow lot owners expect you to honour your obligations and carry your share of the burden. If there are difficulties in paying all at once, a system of post-dated cheques may be negotiated. If there are previous beefs with the developer, then settle them with the developer, but you are still obligated to honour your commitments to LLE. If there is no suitable solution, then perhaps Lillooet Lake Estates is not the place for you and you should consider selling your shares.
Our lakeside village is faced with many development and improvement costs. These have been delayed because of lack of funds, which have gone to cover delinquent lot owners. If everyone paid his or her fees on time, then perhaps there could be a reduction in the amount collected from every lot owner. A reduction in water rates and maintenance fees? Wouldn’t that be good news?