Priority of Payments
Adams Stirling PLC
Menu

PRIORITY OF ASSESSMENT PAYMENTS

Any payments made by an owner must first be applied to the assessments owed. Only after the assessments owed are paid in full may payments be applied to the fees and costs of collection, attorney's fees, late charges, or interest. (Civ. Code §5655(a).)

CHRONIC DELINQUENCY

QUESTION: If I miss payment number one I get a late charge. If payment number two is assessed and I make a single payment, my association applies it toward my first assessment. That leaves the second assessment in arrears and another late charge is levied. So until I get 100% caught up I get a late charge every month.

RESPONSE: The practice appears to be lawful but not necessarily equitable. The Davis-Stirling Act addresses the priority of payments by delinquent members (Civ. Code §5655(a)) but does not prohibit associations from adopting collection policies that apply payments to the oldest outstanding assessments.

ASSISTANCE: Associations needing legal assistance can contact us. To stay current with issues affecting community associations, subscribe to the Davis-Stirling Newsletter.

Adams Stirling PLC