About 3 years ago the HOA of my townhouse neighborhood opted-in to the GA POA Act. Separate from that they established a $250 late fee for a quarterly dues payment of $825! I'm still trying to determine how and when this late fee was established but it may have been before opting-in to the GA-POA. In either case it seems quite excessive. Given that the Georgia POA states "... a late or delinquency charge not in excess of the greater of $10.00 or 10 percent of the amount of each assessment or installment..." (section 44-3-232), I wonder if this large fee is legal.
Lawsuit / Dispute Attorney
If your HOA has opted into the GA POA Act, then the maximum it can charge for a late fee is $10 or 10%, whichever is more. I applaud your astute research. If they are charging a $250 late fee for a $825 assessment, then that would be in violation of the statue you cite.
However, please be aware that a HOA is entitled to charge interest and costs of collection. O.C.G.A. § 44-3-232(b)(2) & (3). Unless they have turned this matter over to an attorney, it is unlikely that the interest and costs of collection have accrued to the amount that they are attempting to charge.
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Residential Real Estate Lawyer
I agree with Mr. Huffman and suggest you ask for a breakdown of what they are calling this late fee. If indeed it is strictly a late fee, then they are in violation of the POA. You should inform the board of this in a very polite manner in writing, sent certified mail return receipt, and ask that they reduce the fee to the statutorily allowed maximum (and go ahead and pay it, if possible). If they refuse to budge, you have two options, wait to be sued and take the risk of paying the additional attorneys fees and court costs for the collecting of the valid amounts, or speaking to an attorney who might be able to resolve this by a letter on your behalf.
This is not intended to be legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. If more information is needed, you should consult with an attorney in your state regarding the specifics of your situation and the options available to you.