Association Tales – When one payment is not enough.

Once a month, I write a check to an organization that pretends to offer services and harasses us on a regular basis.  Association fees tend to be like taxes always going up and you never get a reprieve.  For a few months last year, the association decided that one payment a month was not enough and extracted an extra payment from my bank account two months in a row.

The ironic part of this tale is I believe it began with a well intentioned person.  My role in this mess was that when I wrote my monthly check for fees, I tore off two checks instead of one.  The bank that processes our payments received my blank check and bless them, they wrote VOID on it in red ink.  Then they passed my voided check on to the management company with the intention that the management company return it to me.

The management company received my voided check and decided to make an assumption.  They decided that the voided check meant we were giving them permission to take the fees directly out of our checking account.  Turns out their idea of automatic withdrawal means they will take the money out of your account any day of the month, not an actual set day which makes it harder to spot.

During a two month period, we made four fees payments.  I can guarantee I don’t like the association that much.  Impressively, it only took two months and four phone calls to straighten out the mess.  They stopped the withdrawal from our account quickly since well, that is fraud and all.  I could have made the situation messy by going through my bank but I was trying not to make an already contentious relationship worse.

The upside to this tale is the absolute quiet I’ve had from the association, no letters or phone calls since this tale began.  It won’t last long but I’m enjoying the cease fire while it lasts.