ARREARS RECOVERY PROCESS
The following is the process implemented by Progressive Strata Services Pty Ltd in relation to recovery of levy arrears (special and quarterly).
i) Levy notices are produced and posted 45 days beforethe due date of the levy, eg levy due 1 July would be generated and sent around 15 May.
ii) By law nothing can be done to recover levies for the first month from the due date. If funds are urgently required, the Owners Corporation (via ourselves) can only write and request/urge owners to pay earlier and inform them of the need for the funds. Legally nothing can be done to get the money in before the end of the 30 days from the date the levy is due.
iii) On or around the 44thday after the due date, a statement is issued - similar to what you may receive if you hadn’t paid an electricity or water bill. A charge for this service is made automatically to the lot of that owner, to recover from them.
iv) Two weeks after the above statement is sent, (and some 2 months after the due date) if the levy remains outstanding a letter is sent stating the rate at which interest is recovered, that they are being charged for additional services in recovering the debt, and should suitable arrangements not be madeto pay the money, then the matter will be referred to a legal/debt recovery firm. Again, a charge for this correspondence is added to that person’s lot statement.
v) If, after a further 14 days from (iv) above being issued, the funds have still not been received we write to the collection company we use and instruct them to recover the money for the Owners Corporation.
Under the Strata Schemes Management Act all fees in relation to recovering the arrears, including ours, are payable by the owner, even if Judgment is not issued by the court.
Usually the process commences with a letter of demand from the lawyers - which lets the owner know it is now in legal hands. If no contact is made with the lawyers, then a Statement of Claim is issued. If a defence is not lodged with the court by the end of the 28 day period judgement can be entered. We have never had an unsuccessful case.
vi) Should the owner place the property on the market, a S184 prepared by us details the outstanding sums and legal fees. This is seen by both lawyers (vendor and purchaser's) so they can prepare the settlement cheques. It is the purchaser’s lawyer's job to ensure his client is not left paying for the previous owner’s arrears. The scheme is paid even before the bank/mortgagee.