[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Clifton Heights as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 12-17-2002 by Ord. No. 786]
This article shall apply to all municipal claims allowed and authorized by the law of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to be assessed by the Borough of Clifton Heights, including but not limited to liens for taxes, for municipal improvements, for the removal of nuisances, and for sewage rents or rates, to the fullest extent authorized by law (hereinafter "delinquent accounts"), whether heretofore or hereafter imposed, levied, assessed or filed.
The following schedule of attorney fees is to be utilized and followed in the assessment of attorney fees in the collection of any delinquent accounts, and the corresponding fees shall be added and included in the collection of the same at the time of the filing of the municipal claim by or for the Borough of Clifton Heights or as soon thereafter as may be convenient or proper:
Prior to assessing or imposing attorney fees in connection with a delinquent account, the Borough of Clifton Heights shall provide notice of the Borough's intention to assess or impose attorney fees in connection with this article as may be required by the Act of May 16, 1923, P.L. 207, No. 153, as amended or supplemented, 53 P.S. § 7106.
In all proceedings where a municipal claim is filed as a lien against real property for delinquent accounts which are the subject of this article, interest equal to 10% per annum shall be assessed and accrue on the claim from the date of the completion of the work after it is filed as a lien, and on claims for taxes, for municipal improvements, for the removal of nuisances and for sewage rents or rates, from the date of the filing of the lien therefor; provided, however, that if a municipal claim is filed arising out of a municipal project which required the Borough to issue bonds to finance the project, interest shall accrue and be collectible on such claim at the rate of interest of the bond issue or at the rate of 12% per annum, whichever is less. No notice prior to the assessment or imposition of interest as set forth herein shall be required. Such interest shall be added to the municipal claim and collected therewith.
In all proceedings where a municipal claim is filed as a lien against real property for delinquent accounts which are the subject of this article, a penalty equal to 5% of the delinquent accounts shall be added to the municipal claim and collected therewith when the delinquent accounts remain unpaid for 90 days after the assessment shall have been levied, or as soon thereafter as may be convenient or proper. No notice prior to the assessment or the imposition of a penalty as set forth herein shall be required.
All ordinances or parts of ordinances in conflict herewith are hereby repealed to the extent of such conflict, except in the event that a prior ordinance or a part of a prior ordinance imposes an interest charge or penalty which is greater than the interest charge or penalty set forth in this article; in that event, the higher interest charge or penalty set forth in such prior ordinance or part of prior ordinance shall govern.
This article shall take effect immediately upon adoption hereof and apply to any current or future delinquent accounts.
[Adopted 6-18-2019 by Ord. No. 871]
The Borough hereby approves the following fee schedule for the collection of the unpaid claims, which fees shall be added to the Unpaid Claims:
In addition to the fees set forth in § 200-8 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 and charges, 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:
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 (collectively, the "property owner").
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.
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.
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 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;
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 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 and subject to the Borough entering into a fee agreement in form and substance satisfactory to the Borough Solicitor.