Homeowner says HOA management company swtich led to mixup

By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities

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I’m posting this report because I have heard similar stories from homeowners all over the country, many of them involving the same management company, First Service Residential (FSR).

According to homeowner Kristi Bray, Breckenridge Town Homes HOA (located in Gilbert, AZ) apparently changed management companies without notifying her. The new management company is FSR.

But, unaware of the change, Bray continued to send her assessment checks to the old management company. The former management company even cashed one of the checks in error, and forwarded additional checks to FSR.

After investigating what happened to those checks, Bray says she discovered that by the time FSR received the money and posted the payments, they were considered late. So FSR added  hundreds of dollars in late fees and attorney fees.

If you watch the video closely, you’ll notice that Bray apparently has proof of each on-time $139 monthly payment she made from her bank, but FSR charged $13.90 per month late fees, plus additional fees for sending two late notices and a notice of lien.

The homeowner claims she did not learn there was a problem with her account until she received a letter from an attorney at Maxwell & Morgan P.C. on March 31, 2016.

Investigative reporter Gary Harper was able to help convince FSR to write off $500 in attorney fees, but not all of the management and late fees.

I get the impression this may not be the end of the HOA story for Kristi Bray.

 

HOA mishap fines Gilbert woman nearly 2K (Video)

Gary Harper investigation  (Arizona, 3 ON YOUR SIDE) –

Kristi Bray says she still can’t get over the death of her son.

“I lost my son 2 years ago. He was my only child. He was 29,” she said.

But through all that grief and emotion Kristi says she’s always stayed on top of her bills. So, she was puzzled when she received a letter from a law firm accusing Kristi of being late paying her HOA monthly dues. As a result, she says she’s being penalized financially.

“They said I owe $1,500 worth of late payments, lawyers’ fees and late payments since October 2015.”

Kick in nearly $400 in additional attorney fees and Kristi says she’s now being forced to pay $1,900.

“I’m totally innocent in this matter.”

Read more:

http://www.azfamily.com/story/33114878/hoa-mishap-fines-gilbert-woman-nearly-2k

 

If you do a little research on FSR, there are a surprising number of complaints, many of them with regard to billing and collections, as well as service. So Kristi Bray’s story is made even more credible, when you see it repeated over and over again.

The most reliable business reviews tend to come from BBB:

http://www.bbb.org/south-east-florida/business-reviews/property-management/firstservice-residential-florida-in-hollywood-fl-23006761/complaints

But here are some others, and you’ll see the same complaints repeated.

http://www.complaintsboard.com/firstservice-residential-b119985

http://m.ripoffreport.com/r/first-service-residential/las-vegas-nevada-89139/first-service-residential-steven-parker-first-service-residential-las-vegas-fraudulent-c-1198923

 

And on Glassdoor.com, employee and former employee reviews indicate FSR offers low pay and has high turnover of staff.

https://www.glassdoor.com/Reviews/FirstService-Residential-Reviews-E307071_P2.htm

Is it possible that staff dissatisfaction and turnover is creating problems such as sloppy or delayed bookkeeping, or failure to notify all of its clients of a change in management companies, payment procedures, or a notice of a missed payment?

Obviously, if a homeowners were notified in a timely manner, many of these alleged late payments – and the resulting management and attorney fees – could have been avoided.

 

 

 

 


3 thoughts on “Homeowner says HOA management company swtich led to mixup

  1. Hate to say this but anytime there is a change in property management companies, records get lost or destroyed. It is up to the owner to always make sure that their monthly cheques or direct deposits have been made on time.

    If you get wind of a change coming in property manageemnt companies, it is wise to cancel direct billing and go with cheques until the turnover has been completed. Otherwise, double payments could be a problem.

    On Sun, Sep 18, 2016 at 2:22 PM, Independent American Communities wrote:

    > deborahgoonan posted: “By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities > I’m posting this report because I have heard similar stories from > homeowners all over the country, many of them involving the same management > company, First Service Residential (FSR). According” >

    Like

  2. I warn my clients about the HOA Industry (see my HOA Industry Advisory at HOASavers.com). I sold a unit in that neighborhood recently. My client knows to be careful…everyone needs to be careful. Owners are powerless unless they pay an attorney. Phoenix had 3 HOA stories in the news this week. Exposure on these issues is important and will help us get changes in the law here.

    Like

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