Monday, Aug. 17, 2009 | 2 a.m.
Beyond the Sun
David Stone is president of Nevada Association Services, the state’s largest debt collection service for homeowners associations. In practical terms, that means if you fall a few months behind on your dues, your HOA hires Stone’s agency and it sends you a certified letter, asking you to send a check, call or come into Stone’s office. From there, Stone’s company tries to arrange immediate payment, payment on an installment plan, payment out of the sale of your house or, worst case, foreclose on your house.
Do people ever give you grief for being in collections?
When people ask me, “Don’t you feel bad about what you do?” I say, “No, because the people that I’m trying to help are the people that are following the rules.” When someone doesn’t pay, it means that the people who do pay are on the hook for more money when the pool needs to be repainted or the tennis court needs a new net.
It’s never uncomfortable?
Well, the other day we had two parents and a kid come in. He was translating for his parents. That tore me apart, a little kid here. I felt bad. A little kid shouldn’t have to hear words like “foreclosure.”But it worked out. They’re on a payment plan.
How do you approach a collection?
Everything we’re about is resolution. We want the HOA happy, we want the homeowner happy. It happens to a lot of people. We’ve seen millionaires, local entertainers, entertainers from California. Today’s successful person could be in financial trouble tomorrow. And vice versa.
Have you been busier than usual lately?
We’ve grown each of our 10 years in business, but it just exploded in the last couple of years. Not the revenue — I wish — but the delinquencies. They’re up 40 percent — another couple of hundred a month. We had to add a night shift to handle the paperwork.
I used to be out by five. Now I don’t get home until maybe 8:30. I’m going to HOA board meetings; often I’ll go from meeting to meeting. I feel like a rock star on tour.
Do you live in an HOA?
I lived in half a dozen HOAs in the last 18 years. I love living in an HOA. It’s clean, it’s safe, if my kids go play in the park, I don’t have to worry. I wouldn’t live outside of a homeowners association.