Township of Cheltenham, PA
Montgomery County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Commissioners of the Township of Cheltenham as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Fire Insurance Claim — See Ch. 147.
Taxation — See Ch. 270.
[Adopted 11-21-1995 by Ord. No. 1846-95]

§ 120-1 Penalty and interest.

A. 
Municipal claims filed upon the assessment for amounts remaining unpaid for improvements to real estate shall, upon filing, have added thereto a penalty of five percent (5%) of the amount of the claim.
B. 
Municipal claims filed upon the failure to pay for services rendered or provided shall, upon filing, have added thereto a penalty of 10% of the amount of the claim.
C. 
In addition, upon collection of any municipal claim, there shall be added thereto interest on the claim and penalty at the rate of 10% per annum from the date of the filing of the lien or the completion of the work, whichever shall last occur; except that, where a municipal claim is filed arising out of a project financed by the issuance of township bonds, interest shall be collectible at the rate of interest paid on the bonds, or at the rate of 12% per annum, whichever is less.
[Adopted 11-16-2011 by Ord. No. 2229-11]

§ 120-2 Fees to be added to unpaid claims.

[Amended 2-16-2016 by Ord. No. 2325-16]
The Township hereby approves the following fee schedule for the collection of the unpaid claims, which fees shall be added to the unpaid claims.
A. 
Notice expense. A charge of $40 plus applicable postage shall be added to the unpaid claims for providing notice of fee shifting pursuant to § 7106 of the Act.[1] The Township may hire a private company to perform this service and add the amount of this charge to the unpaid claims.
[1]
Editor's Note: As set forth in the preamble to Ord. No. 2325-16, the "Act" is the Municipal Claims and Tax Liens Act, 53 P.S. § 7101 et seq. A complete copy of the ordinance is on file in the Township offices.
B. 
Legal fees.
(1) 
Initial review and sending first demand letter: $160.
(2) 
File lien and prepare satisfaction: $250.
(3) 
Prepare writ of scire facias: $250.
(4) 
Obtain reissued writ: $30.
(5) 
Prepare and mail letter under Pa. R.C.P. 237.1: $30.
(6) 
Prepare motion for alternate service: $250.
(7) 
Obtain vehicle identification number (VIN) for mobile home: $35.
(8) 
Prepare discovery in preparation for trial: $100.
(9) 
Prepare pre-trial memorandum: $150.
(10) 
Prepare motion for judgment for want of sufficient affidavit of defense pursuant to 53 P.S. § 7271: $150.
(11) 
Prepare default judgment: $175.
(12) 
Prepare writ of execution: $800.
(13) 
Attendance at sale; review schedule of distribution and resolve distribution issues: $400.
(14) 
Continue sheriff sale: $50.
(15) 
Prepare petition to assess damages: $50.
(16) 
Prepare petition for free and clear sale: $400.
(17) 
Services not covered above: at an hourly rate between $60 and $275 per hour.
C. 
Collection fees.
(1) 
Bookkeeping fee for payment plan of three months or less: $25.
(2) 
Bookkeeping fee for payment plan of more than three months: $50.
(3) 
Guaranteed payoff fee: $25.
(4) 
Handling fee for returned check: bank charge, if any.

§ 120-3 Costs to be added to unpaid claims.

In addition to the fees set forth in § 120-2 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, VIN searches, prothonotary fees and charges, and sheriff fees, shall be added to the unpaid claims.

§ 120-4 Credit card and debit card charges.

The Township authorizes any attorney or private collector collecting the unpaid claims on behalf of the Township 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.

§ 120-5 Interest.

Interest will be assessed upon the unpaid claims at a rate of 10% per annum and added to the unpaid claims.

§ 120-6 Collection procedures.

The following collection procedures are hereby established in accordance with the Act:[1]
A. 
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").
B. 
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.
C. 
All notices required by this article 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.
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 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;
(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 Township's representative designated as responsible for collection matters.
[1]
Editor's Note: As set forth in the preamble to Ord. No. 2325-16, the "Act" is the Municipal Claims and Tax Liens Act, 53 P.S. § 7101 et seq. A complete copy of the ordinance is on file in the Township offices.

§ 120-7 Related action.

The proper officials of the Township are hereby authorized and empowered to take such additional action as they may deem necessary or appropriate to implement this article.

§ 120-8 Appointment of solicitor.

The Township appoints a Solicitor[1] for the limited purpose of collecting the unpaid claims and hereby authorizes her, and attorneys under her supervision, to sign any and all documents, including municipal claims and liens, on behalf of the Township.
[1]
Editor's Note: The Solicitor's name is included in the text of Ord. No. 2325-16, a complete copy of which is on file in the Township offices.