City of Monessen, PA
Westmoreland County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Monessen 5-12-2020 by Ord. No. 1-2020.[1] Amendments noted where applicable.]
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also superseded former Ch. 137, Attorney fees and collection procedures, adopted 10-28-2003 by Ord. No. 8-2003.
The City hereby approves the following fee schedule for the collection of the unpaid claims, which fees shall be added to the unpaid claims:
A. 
Legal fees.
(1) 
Initial review and sending first legal demand letter: $175.
(2) 
File lien and prepare satisfaction: $250.
(3) 
Prepare writ of scire facias: $250.
(4) 
Prepare and mail letter under Pa.R.C.P. 237.1: $50.
(5) 
Prepare default judgment: $175.
(6) 
Research, prepare and obtain reissued writ: $175.
(7) 
Prepare praecipe to amend: $100.
(8) 
Prepare and present motion to amend: $200.
(9) 
Obtain vehicle identification number (VIN) for mobile home: $100.
(10) 
Prepare motion for alternate service: $250.
(11) 
Prepare motion to consolidate claims: $250.
(12) 
Prepare motion to add united states as defendant: $175.
(13) 
Prepare pre-trial memorandum: $200.
(14) 
Prepare petition for judgment for want of sufficient affidavit of defense pursuant to 53 P.S. § 7271: $175.
(15) 
Prepare writ of execution: $800.
(16) 
Attendance at sale; review schedule of distribution and resolve distribution issues: $400.
(17) 
Continue sheriff sale: $50.
(18) 
Prepare and present petition for free and clear sale: $400.
(19) 
Services not covered above: At an hourly rate between $75 to $275 per hour.
B. 
Collection fees.
(1) 
Notice of delinquent claim and fee shifting: $40 per notice, plus applicable postage.
(2) 
Bookkeeping fee for payment plan of three months or less: $25.
(3) 
Bookkeeping fee for payment plan of more than three months: $50.
(4) 
Handling fee for returned check: $25.
In addition to the fees set forth in § 137-1 above, the reasonable and necessary out-of-pocket charges, costs, expenses, commissions and fees incurred in the collection of the unpaid claims, including, but not limited to, postage, title searches, VIN searches, prothonotary fees and charges, and sheriff fees and charges, shall be added to the unpaid claims.
The City authorizes any attorney or private collector collecting the unpaid claims on behalf of the City to accept payment of the unpaid claims by credit card or debit card. Where payment is made by credit card or debit card, any fees charged by the credit card or debit card company and/or the credit card or debit card servicing agent shall be charged immediately to the credit card or debit card used to make payment. This applies to credit card or debit card payments made by mail, telephone, over the internet, or in person.
Interest will be assessed upon the unpaid claims at a rate of 10% per annum and added to the unpaid claims.
The following collection procedures are hereby established in accordance with the Act.
A. 
At least 30 days prior to assessing or imposing attorney fees in connection with the collection of an unpaid claim account, the City or its designee shall mail or cause to be mailed, by certified mail, return receipt requested, a notice of such intention to the property owner or other entity liable for the account (collectively, the "property owner").
B. 
If the certified mail notice is undelivered, then, at least 10 days prior to assessing or imposing such attorney fees, the City or its designee shall mail or cause to be mailed, by first class mail, a second notice to the property owner.
C. 
All notices required by this chapter shall be mailed to the property owner's last known post office address as recorded in the records or other information of the City or such other address obtained by the City from the County Tax Assessment Office.
D. 
Each notice as described above shall include the following:
(1) 
The type of municipal claim or other charge, the year that it became due, and the amount owed, including penalty and interest;
(2) 
A statement of the City's intent to impose or assess attorney fees no earlier than 30 days after receipt of the first notice, or no earlier than 10 days after receipt of the second notice;
(3) 
The manner in which the assessment or imposition of attorney fees may be avoided by payment of the account; and
(4) 
The place of payment for accounts and the name and telephone number of the City's representative designated as responsible for collection matters.
The proper officials of the City are hereby authorized and empowered to take such additional action as they may deem necessary or appropriate to implement this chapter.
The City appoints Michelle R. Portnoff, Esquire, as Solicitor for the limited purpose of collecting the unpaid claims and hereby authorizes her, and all attorneys employed by Portnoff Law Associates, Ltd., to sign any and all documents, including municipal claims and liens, on behalf of the City.