Borough of West Chester, PA
Chester County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Council of the Borough of West Chester as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 5-12-1982 by Ord. No. 10-1982; amended in its entirety 4-15-2015 by Ord. No. 5-2015; 11-21-2018 by Ord. No. 15-2018]
The Borough hereby approves the following fee schedule for the collection of the unpaid claims, which fees shall be added to the unpaid claims.
A. 
Notice of fee shifting 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. The Borough may hire a private company to perform this service and add the amount of this charge to the unpaid claims.
B. 
Legal fees.
Type
Fee
Initial review and sending first demand letter
$175
File lien and prepare satisfaction
$250
Prepare writ of scire facias
$250
Research, prepare and obtain reissued writ
$75
Prepare and mail letter under Pa. R.C.P. 237.1
$50
Prepare motion for alternate service
$250
Prepare praecipe to amend
$50
Prepare and present motion to amend
$200
Obtain vehicle identification number (VIN) for mobile home
$100
Prepare motion to consolidate claims
$250
Prepare motion to add United States as defendant
$175
Prepare pre-trial memorandum
$150
Prepare petition 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 and present petition for free and clear sale
$400
Services not covered above
At an hourly rate between $60 and $275 per hour
C. 
Collection fees.
Type
Fee
Bookkeeping fee for payment plan of 3 months or less
$25
Bookkeeping fee for payment plan of more than 3 months
$50
Handling fee for returned check
Bank charge, if any
D. 
Payoff fee.
Type
Fee
Providing guaranteed payoff to third parties
$25
In addition to the fees set forth in § 15-1 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, county tax claim bureau commissions, fees and charges, and sheriff fees, shall be added to the unpaid claims.
The Borough authorizes any attorney or private collector collecting the unpaid claims on behalf of the Borough 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 Borough 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 Borough 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 Borough or such other address obtained by the Borough from the county tax assessment office.
D. 
Each notice as described above shall include the following:
(1) 
The type of tax, municipal claim or other charge, the year that it became due and the amount owed, including penalty and interest;
(2) 
A statement of the Borough'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 Borough's representative designated as responsible for collection matters.
The proper officials of the Borough are hereby authorized and empowered to take such additional action as they may deem necessary or appropriate to implement this article.
The Borough 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 Borough.