[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Commissioners of the Township of Haverford as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 9-8-2015 by Ord. No. 2760]
The purpose of this chapter is to establish collection procedures for the Township to promptly recover unpaid, delinquent sewer and trash fees (the "unpaid claims"), if necessary, by legal proceedings.
The Municipal Claims and Tax Liens Act, 53 P.S. § 7101, et seq. (the "Act"), authorizes the addition of attorney fees, charges, costs, expenses, commissions and other fees to the total payable with respect to the unpaid claims, but only if the municipality involved has approved by ordinance a schedule of such fees.
The Township has determined that in fairness and it is in the best interest of all property owners and other residents to have vigorous enforcement of all delinquent and other unpaid charges, utilizing the procedures set forth in the Act, except in cases of serious hardship, which the Township will address on a case-by-case basis pursuant to uniform policies.
The Township has reviewed the subject of interest and attorney fees for collection matters, and has determined that the fees set forth in the schedule hereby adopted are reasonable in amount for the services herein described.
The Township hereby approves the following fee schedule for the collection of the unpaid claims, which fees shall be added to the unpaid claims.
Notice expense. A charge, not to exceed $50 plus postage, shall be added to the unpaid claims for providing notice of delinquency pursuant to § 7106 of the Act. The Township may hire a private company to perform this service and add the amount of this charge to the unpaid claims.
Initial review and sending first demand letter: $160.
Prepare writ of scire facias: $250.
Obtain reissued writ: $30.
Prepare and mail letter under Pa.R.C.P. 237.1: $30.
Prepare motion for alternate service: $250.
Prepare request for production of documents in preparation for trial: $50.
Prepare pre-trial memorandum: $150.
Prepare motion for judgment for want of sufficient affidavit of defense pursuant to 53 P.S. § 7271: $150.
Prepare default judgment: $175.
Prepare writ of execution: $800.
Attendance at sale; review schedule of distribution and resolve distribution issues: $400.
Continue sheriff sale: $50.
Prepare petition to assess damages: $50.
Prepare petition for free and clear sale: $400.
Prepare bankruptcy proof of claim: $100.
Services not covered above: At an hourly rate between $60 and $275 per hour.
In addition to the fees set forth in § 63-2 above, the reasonable and necessary out-of-pocket charges, costs, expenses, commissions and fees incurred in collection, including, but not limited to, postage, title searches, prothonotary fees and charges, and sheriff fees, shall be added to the unpaid claims.
The Township and any attorney or private collector collecting the unpaid claims on behalf of the Township are hereby authorized 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:
At least 30 days prior to assessing or imposing attorney fees in connection with the collection of an unpaid claim account, the Township 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 (the "property owner").
If the certified mail notice is undelivered, then, at least 10 days prior to assessing or imposing such attorney fees, the Township or its designee shall mail or cause to be mailed, by first class mail, a second notice to the property owner.
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 Township or such other address obtained by the Township from the County Tax Assessment Office.
Each notice as described above shall include the following:
The type of municipal claim or other charge, the year that it became due and the amount owed, including penalty and interest;
A statement of the Township'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;
The manner in which the assessment or imposition of attorney fees may be avoided by payment of the account; and
The place of payment for accounts and the name and telephone number of the Township's representative designated as responsible for collection matters.
The Township Manager is hereby authorized and empowered to take such additional action as he/she may deem necessary or appropriate to implement this chapter.
The Township shall appoint a solicitor for the limited purpose of collecting the unpaid sewer and trash claims and hereby authorizes him/her, and attorneys under his/her supervision, to sign any and all documents, including municipal claims and liens, on behalf of the Township.