Leaders get tough on late payments

RANCHO SANTA FE — This is the time of year “the teeth come out,” when it comes to getting Rancho Santa Fe residents to pay their delinquent assessment fees.
The Association voted at their July 21 meeting to allow staff to record liens against the property and suspend the membership privileges of those who have let their first and second installments go unpaid.
“Despite several letters requesting that payment of the outstanding Association assessments and warnings of the consequences of nonpayment, these property owners have failed to bring their assessments current,” said Steve Comstock, chief financial officer.
He passed out a list of those whose payments are in arrears to the board.
“We do this action in a very civil tone,” Comstock said. “We ask the homeowner to contact the Association about the problem. As we get to the stage of calling, this is where the teeth come out. Some will not pay until the teeth come out.”
Comstock said there are 12 individuals, owing about $120,000 and that two of them owe about $40,000.
“None of these are in foreclosure or bankruptcy,” he said.
Director Anne Feighner noted that those who do not pay on time are paying for it.
“People who come out at the last minute are paying penalties,” she said.
Comstock confirmed that after the liens have been placed, in addition to the money owed, fees and penalties are ongoing.
“We send out monthly statements,” he said.
Comstock said there has been a reduction of outstanding fees from 32 individuals to the current 12 when his office began notifying residents several months ago that their fees had not been paid.
He said there is still about $105,000 from last year that was still outstanding.
In other Association news: Steve Comstock asked the board to approve the newly elected vice president and treasurer as signers with Association financial accounts authorizing them to sign checks when necessary.
Also, the Rancho Santa Fe Patrol is in its new home in the downstairs of the fire department behind the school.
“We have our name on the door and we’ve already had customers,” said Matt Wellhouser, chief of the patrol.

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