BY-LAW NO. 29
MEMBER ARREARS BY-LAW
By-law No.29 was passed by The Board of Directors on December 20, 2003.
By-law No.29 was passed by the General Membership on February 24, 2004.
By-law No.29 was amended by the General Membership on January 18, 2006.
Article 1: General
The Co-operative provides housing for its members at cost. As the Co-operative has the responsibility to pay its mortgage, taxes, and other expenses when they become due, it is the responsibility of the members to pay their charges promptly, as they become due. The Co-op encourages members to pay housing charges by pre-authorized debit or post-dated cheques.
A Member Arrears Committee (M.A.C.) administers this By-law and, where necessary, shall deal with arrears cases or refer arrears cases to The Board.
Article 2: Definition of Arrears
Arrears are any amounts owed to the Co-op that have not been received when due. Amounts included in arrears are referred to as Housing Charges and include: the monthly housing charge, bank charges, late charges, parking charges, cable charges, or any other payment required by the Occupancy By-law. (See Section 3.4 of the Occupancy By-law, By-law 15)
Article 3: Member Arrears Committee (M.A.C.)
(a) The M.A.C. shall consist of five members appointed by The Board for two-year terms:
i. One Liaison from The Board, usually the Treasurer
ii. One representative of the Finance Committee who is not a Board Member
iii. Three other members appointed by The Board
iv. A Staff representative shall provide administrative support but shall not be a voting member of the committee.
(b) The committee shall choose a Chair who will:
i. Notify The Board of any vacant positions on the M.A.C.
ii. Bring forward to The Board recommendations for appointments as needed.
(c) Quorum for the M.A.C. shall be three voting members.
3.2 Confidentiality and Conflicts
(a) Member accounts shall be presented to the M.A.C. as numbered files. Member identities will not be known until a member appears before a M.A.C. Interview Team. (see Section 8 below)
(b) Members in arrears may not be a member of the M.A.C. Should any M.A.C. member be aware of a conflict, the conflict shall be declared, and the member will withdraw from the meeting while the matter is being considered.
(c) All information acquired by members of the M.A.C. is confidential. M.A.C. members must sign confidentiality agreements with the Co-op. Any breach of confidentiality by a member of the M.A.C. will result in the immediate dismissal of that member. The dismissed member may reapply for M.A.C. membership after two years.
Article 4: M.A.C. Duties
(a) Regularly review the monthly Arrears Report from administrative staff.
(b) Review problems with members in arrears to find a solution acceptable to both parties. The solution must be in the form of a written Agreement to repay Arrears between the M.A.C., on behalf of the Co-operative, and the member.
(c) Where necessary, refer arrears cases to The Board of Directors. The referral should normally include a recommendation.
(d) Make quarterly reports to The Board of Directors, the Finance Committee, and General Members Meetings regarding member arrears.
(e) Periodically review the Co-op’s Arrears By-law and Arrears Procedure, and recommend changes to The Board of Directors and the members.
Article 5: Payment of Housing Charges
Members may pay housing charges by cheque, money order, or pre-authorized debit. The Co-op does not accept cash payments.
(a) Members should deliver housing charges to the office by the 25th day of the month for the following month. Except for twice-monthly payments set out in (c), all cheques shall be dated for the 1st day of the month to which they apply.
(b) Payment shall be considered late if it is not received by 5:00 p.m. on the 1st day of the month or found in the office mailbox at 9:00 a.m. on the first business day after the 1st if the 1st falls on a weekend or holiday.
(c) Twice-monthly payments will be permitted if the 2nd payment falls on or before the first of the month to which the payments apply.
(d) The Co-op may take steps to recover legal costs and may also, if appropriate refer credit information to a credit agency.
Article 6: Member Deposits
New members may pay their Member deposit in six equal payments to be included with their housing charges during their first six months of occupancy. Default on one of these payments shall be considered a late payment as above. (See Sec 3.2(a) of the Occupancy By-law, By-law 15)
Article 7: Late Payments
(a) A member will be considered late in payment if:
i. The member fails to pay the housing charges by the due date, or
ii. The member’s cheque is returned as there may be a stop-payment, or other reason for the return by a financial institution, unless the member can provide proof that the financial institution is at fault, and can provide a replacement cheque, or
iii. The member asks the office to hold a cheque payable on the first of the month for some later date.
(b) If a member is late in paying but has had no late payments in the last twelve months, and makes the required payment within two business days of the reminder letter delivery, the late payment charge will be waived. If the late payment is not made within two business days the late payment charge of $25.00 will be applied. If a member is late in payment for a second time in the last twelve months, a charge of $25.00 will be levied, and a reminder letter sent to the member by internal mail.
(c) If a member is late a third or more times within a twelve month period, the member will be charged $50.00 on each occasion.
Article 8: Right of Appeal
A member may appeal a late charge to The Board of Directors in writing to the Co-op office within seven days of receiving a Notice of Late Charge. The Board of Directors will decide whether or not to grant the appeal.
Article 9: Appearances before the M.A.C.
The M.A.C. will try to resolve arrears cases by having an Interview Team meet with members to discuss their arrears case. A member who fails to attend a scheduled meeting with the Interview Team, or who fails to send a representative to such a meeting, or give notice with an acceptable reason of his/her inability to attend, at least one business day in advance, will be assessed a $25.00 charge. Staff will re-schedule the meeting. Members will be given at least ten days notice of their required appearance date.
A member who does not have an agreement with the M.A.C. or The Board shall be required to meet with a M.A.C Interview Team if:
(a) The member has been late more than twice in the last 12 months, or
(b) The member owes more than $200.00, but less than one month’s housing charges, or
(c) Staff refers the member to the M.A.C. as in 11(a) below.
At the first M.A.C. meeting each month, two committee members will be appointed to meet with members at a second monthly meeting to come to an agreement. The members will have the authority to make agreements on behalf of the Co-operative.
Article 10: Appearances before The Board
Staff shall refer arrears cases directly to The Board of Directors if the member has broken an Agreement to Repay Arrears entered into by decision of The Board. The Board of Directors has powers under Paragraph 9 of the Occupancy By-law, (By-law 15), to proceed with an eviction process as necessary in order to recover arrears. The Co-op may enter into a more formal Performance Agreement (Form G) with the member if The Board decides it is appropriate to do so.
The Member Arrears Committee or the Interview Team on its behalf shall refer cases to The Board if:
(a) The member has broken an Agreement to Repay Arrears entered into by decision of the M.A.C., or
(b) The member has been late more than three times in the previous 12 months, or
(c) The member owes more than one month’s housing charge and does not have an Agreement to Repay Arrears, or
(d) The member fails to appear before the M.A.C. Interview Team as required and remains in arrears.
Article 11: Agreements
(a) Staff may enter into an Agreement to Repay Arrears on behalf of the Co- op with a member if the arrears are less than $200.00 and the payments are at least $50.00 per month. Such agreements, if broken, shall be referred to the M.A.C.
(b) The M.A.C. may enter into an Agreement to Repay Arrears with a member. These agreements cannot be longer than 12 months. Such agreements, if broken, shall be referred to The Board.
(c) All agreements shall be in written form and copies shall be placed in member’s files at the time of execution.