A. The Auditor shall establish a collection process for delinquent liens and shall be authorized to:
1. Establish written rules and procedures to carry out the provisions of this Chapter;
2. Establish fees, including a billing fee and rebilling fee, to recover billing costs and the costs of collecting delinquent lien amounts; and
3. In addition to the penalties and interest otherwise provided in this Section, establish increases in penalty amounts and the interest rate to encourage early payment of delinquent liens.
B. The Auditor shall impose a penalty each month until the delinquent lien is brought current, paid in full or the property owner signs a payment plan. The penalty will be calculated as follows:
1. Open delinquent liens shall be charged a penalty equal to one-quarter of one percent (.0025) of the total outstanding principal balance.
2. Bonded delinquent liens shall be charged a penalty equal to five percent (5.00%) calculated on the total amount of the installment that is delinquent.
C. The Auditor shall add interest to delinquent liens based on the following methods:
1. For a delinquent open lien, interest shall be assessed at the adjusted prime rate, calculated on the unpaid balance from the assessment date. The annual interest rate shall not be less than 12% for an open lien, except in the Hardship Payment Program. Lien payments made during the 30-day period following the assessment date shall not be charged this interest.
2. For a delinquent bonded lien, interest shall be calculated daily based on the amount of the unpaid principal balance and the interest rate set by the installment payment contract.
D. As liens become delinquent, the Auditor shall provide notice of the delinquency to the property owner. Notice(s) shall be sent by registered or certified mail. Notice(s) shall identify the property, the amount owing (principal, interest, penalties and collection costs) and estimate the sales costs that will be charged to the account. In addition, the notices shall identify the type of the delinquent lien account and the fact that the property will be placed on the foreclosure list unless the property owner elects to pay under the Catch-up Payment Program or brings the account current.
E. The Auditor may waive interest, penalties and collection costs on delinquent liens under the following conditions:
1. A delay in receiving payment or installment payment contract which is caused by a documented oversight, omission or error by City staff;
2. A one-time failure in making a payment by the property owner which is caused by a documented financial emergency; or
3. The sale or transfer of a property that is subject to a delinquent lien to a non-profit organization or government program satisfying the goals of an expressed public purpose.