Is it legal for the owner of the building to publically post notice of past due fees?
Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), a creditor may not publish a list of consumers who refuse to pay their debts (except to a credit bureau). The FDCPA broadly defines a debt collector as "any person who uses any instrumentality of interstate commerce or the mails in any business the principal purpose of which is the collection of any debts, or who regularly collects or attempts to collect, directly or indirectly, debts owed or due or asserted to be owed or due another." While the FDCPA generally only applies to third party debt collectors--not internal collectors for an "original creditor" -- some states have similar state consumer protection laws which mirror the FDCPA, and regulate original creditors.
The following is a Maryland statute:
§ 14-202 COM. LAW.
Prohibited collection practices.
In collecting or attempting to collect an alleged debt a collector may not:
(1) Use or threaten force or violence;
(2) Threaten criminal prosecution, unless the transaction involved the violation of a criminal statute;
(3) Disclose or threaten to disclose information which affects the debtor's reputation for credit worthiness with knowledge that the information is false;
(4) Except as permitted by statute, contact a person's employer with respect to a delinquent indebtedness before obtaining final judgment against the debtor;
(5) Except as permitted by statute, disclose or threaten to disclose to a person other than the debtor or his spouse or, if the debtor is a minor, his parent, information which affects the debtor's reputation, whether or not for credit worthiness, with knowledge that the other person does not have a legitimate business need for the information;
(6) Communicate with the debtor or a person related to him with the frequency, at the unusual hours, or in any other manner as reasonably can be expected to abuse or harass the debtor;
(7) Use obscene or grossly abusive language in communicating with the debtor or a person related to him;
(8) Claim, attempt, or threaten to enforce a right with knowledge that the right does not exist; or
(9) Use a communication which simulates legal or judicial process or gives the appearance of being authorized, issued, or approved by a government, governmental agency, or lawyer when it is not.
(An. Code 1957, art. 83, § 167; 1975, ch. 49, § 3.) To file a complaint or to get free information on consumer issues, contact your attorney general or visit ftc.gov or call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357).