[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Supervisors of the Township of West Manchester 3-28-2019 by Ord. No. 19-03. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Tax Collector — See Ch. 36.
This chapter shall be known as the "Attorneys' Fees and Lien Enforcement Collection Ordinance."
The purpose of this chapter is to specifically authorize the Township of West Manchester to collect, in addition to the amount of any delinquent account, claim, charge, tax, assessment, levy, fee, or obligation, reasonable attorneys' fees, charges, filing fees, and expenses incurred by the Township in the collection of unpaid claims assessments covered by the Pennsylvania Municipal Claims and Tax Liens Law, 52 P.S. § 7101 et seq. It is further the purpose of this chapter to set forth a schedule of attorneys' fees, charges, filing fees, and expenses to be collected from a delinquent property owner, which are deemed reasonable by the Supervisors of West Manchester Township.
As used in this chapter, the following fees shall have the meanings indicated:
- ATTORNEYS' FEES
- Any fee, including an hourly rate, for professional service related to the collection of delinquent claims, charges, taxes, assessments, levies, or obligations, charged to the Township by an attorney, a member of a law firm, or a paralegal, including, but not limited to, the Township Solicitor.
- DELINQUENT ACCOUNT
- Any sums due and owing to the Township which have not been paid within the time required by the Township's ordinances, rules, regulations, or policies, including, but not limited to, charges for municipal trash collection; removal of nuisances; repair or replacement of a sidewalk or curb; sewer fees; or any other amount or charge which may lawfully be imposed by the Township and for which a municipal claim may be filed.
- FILING FEE
- Any amount of money charged by a court of competent jurisdiction to file a document or pleading with such court.
- HOURLY RATE
- A per-hour fee charged by an attorney, to include the Township Solicitor, a law firm, or a paralegal, employed by the Township in pursuit of collection of unpaid or delinquent accounts.
- MUNICIPAL CLAIM
- Any claim arising out of, or resulting from, a tax assessed, service supplied, work done, or improvement authorized and undertaken by the Township which the Township may pursue in accordance with the Municipal Claims and Tax Liens Act, 52 P.S. § 7101 et seq.
The Township shall ensure the following requirements are met prior to assessing or imposing attorneys' fees upon a delinquent account:
At least 30 calendar days prior to assessing or imposing attorneys' fees in connection with the collection of a delinquent account, the Township shall mail, or cause to be mailed, by certified mail, return receipt requested, a notice of such intention to the property owner or taxpayer liable for the account.
If, within 30 calendar days after mailing the notice in accordance with Subsection A(1) above, the certified mail to the property owner or taxpayer is refused or unclaimed, or the return receipt is not received, then in such event, a second notice shall be mailed, via first class mail, at least 10 calendar days prior to the assessing or imposing such attorneys' fees.
All notices required by this chapter shall be mailed to the delinquent account owner's last known post office address, as recorded in the records of the Township, or such other address as it may be reasonably able to obtain from the County Office of Assessment and Revision of Taxes.
Each notice, as described above, shall include the following:
The type and amount of tax or other charge owed and the date it became due;
A statement of the Township's intent to impose or assess attorneys' fees;
The manner in which such attorneys' fees may be avoided by payment of the account, including the place of payment and the name and telephone number of the Township official designated as responsible for collection matters.
The Township hereby approves the fee schedule set forth as Exhibit A of this chapter and deems the fees set forth to be reasonable. The fee schedule attached as Exhibit A to this chapter may be amended from time to time by resolution of the Board of Supervisors, as deemed appropriate by the Board of Supervisors. The fees contained in Exhibit A shall serve to compensate the Township Solicitor or any other attorney employed by the Township for collection of unpaid claims, which fees shall be added to the unpaid claim.
All delinquent accounts which may be subject to lien pursuant to the Municipal Claims and Tax Liens Act, the Second Class Township Code, or any other statute, rule, regulation, or authority which shall permit the filing of liens or collection of municipal claims and obligations, shall be subject to interest at the rate of 10% per annum from the date of the filing of the municipal lien.
If any provisions of this chapter should conflict with provisions of Pennsylvania state law, the state law shall prevail.