While it is policy to pay HOA fees, there is an act in place that protects homeowners called the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, or FDCPA. The FDCPA limits what the homeowners association is allowed as it prohibits any harassment of a member. Unpaid HOA fees are considered a debt according to the act but it controls how collectors conduct themselves.
First, collectors must maintain a level of respect and not use any means of coercion to obtain the overdue fee from a homeowner. Other actions prohibited under the act are threats of violence, harassing, repeated phone calls, and publishing their name on the neighborhood website. All of which have little effect on the homeowner actually settling their balance when patience and understanding have a positive impact. Additionally, the amount should never be exaggerated as the association could be sued.
Most homeowners know the right path for the association to collect HOA fees as they entered into that agreement when they purchased their home. If that agreement is violated, then homeowners have a right for their fees to be settled legally and professionally. Periodically, the HOA Board should allocate time to communicate what HOA fees are used for and emphasize how they improve the quality of life for all homeowners.