The auto-waive fee feature was created to prevent some of the homeowner calls and emails that might come in from a payment on a charge. In this article we'll discuss how this works, how to set it up, and ways this can be communicated to owners.
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How Auto Waivers Work
The Auto Waive function allows Vantaca to remove late fees if a payment was made within a specified number of days per period per owner, avoiding any angry calls or emails from owners who made their payment at the last minute. The fee will only be waived if the homeowner's assessment balance is zeroed out and the full late fee balance is still open.
For example, a homeowner's mailed payment is postmarked before the late date, but postal delays get it to the lockbox the day after it's late. So, if their payment doesn't show up on the day that it's marked late, Vantaca will place a late fee on that owner's ledger. The owner will then call or email to complain about the late fee, requesting that it be removed because their payment was made on the day before it was late. This takes up valuable time for management companies and can be avoided by implementing the auto waive fee.
Overnight each night during the period set, Vantaca will review the account ledger. If the balance equals only the amount of the late fees charged (i.e. They paid the rest of their balance) then
Setting Up Auto Waivers
The Auto Waive fee can be found in Association>Settings in the Accounting (Auto-Waive Fees) section.
It has three settings:
- # Days after Fee to Auto Waive
- Limits - # of Times Per Period
- Limits - Period
# Days after Fee to Auto Waive
The first setting allows you to choose whether the Auto-Waive function is turned off or on, and if you choose to have it on, you'll select the number of days after the late fees generate for a late fee to be auto-waived.
Limits - # of Times Per Period
The second setting sets the limits for the auto waive function; specifying how many times in a certain period owners are allowed to have their late fees automatically waived from their account.
Limits - Period
The third setting tells the system what the period is, whether it's per month, per quarter, or per year. The "Per Year" period is a rolling 12 months, not fiscal/calendar year. For example, if the limit is set to 1 Time Per Year and the owner has a waiver processed in June, they will not be eligible for another waiver until the following June.
If the association's late fee is set to the 15th and the owner gets a late fee on the 15th. Their payment posts to their account on the 17th, leaving only the late fee charge on the account. When the auto-waiver runs overnight on the 17th, it will waive that owner's late fee because the payment was received within the auto-waive period.
Auto-Fee Waiver Action Item
In addition to simply waiving the Fee, this can trigger an Auto-Fee Waiver action item on the Homeowner's Account. Not only does this allow you to better track who is receiving these auto waivers, but it can also proactively send the Homeowner an automated message letting them know that a fee was waived. By default, this is what the email says:
This template can, and should, be customized to fit the dates and times as you've set them up in the Association Settings, but ultimately the customer is encouraged to make payments sooner or to sign up for automatic payments through the Web Portal, in order to avoid any future late fees.