By Amanda Krenson, former Eads Murray & Pugh attorney
Effective March 1st, a series of new Marion County Small Claims Court rules went into effect.
Many of these will impact the Association’s rights and abilities when it comes to collecting past due assessments. Rules worthy of note are as follows. Please note these rules impact our MARION COUNTY associations only:
- Amount Due in Complaint. The new rule requires that the judgment amount match the amount that the Association sued for on its initial filed complaint. If your Association’s covenant for assessments permits acceleration, you should speak with counsel to determine if that is something your community should do in order to avoid the need to hail an owner back to court for unpaid dues for 2013 (and moving forward).
- Judge’s Discretion on Garnishment Amounts. Judges will be allowed to consider hardship factors in determining the percentage of income the Association will be entitled to garnish from a defendant’s wages. Currently, the rate of garnishment is 25% of the defendant’s take home pay minus certain exemptions the owner may be entitled to pursuant to state and federal law.
If you have any questions about how to better handle your community’s collections in light of these rules, please contact your association’s attorney for more information.