Wow! That is a steep fine for leaving your trash can out for one day.
Step one is to review you HOA documents regarding violations and fines. First, are they allowed to levy fines? In Florida it has to be specifically stated that the HOA is allowed to fine for a violation. What is the process? Do they need to send a warning letter first or can they fine on first offense.
The next step is to go to an HOA board meeting. As a board member of my HOA I can tell you that we have discretion when it comes to violations. Maybe if you plead your case to the board they may release you from the fine.
What happens if you don't pay? Well, again it depends on what is stated in the HOA documents. Most HOAs can actually foreclose on a home for unpaid fines or dues. It is a long process for the HOA and in most cases not financially advisable for the HOA to become the owner of a property.
Good luck Lin. I hope it works out for you.
Prudential Tropical Realty