If the charges on a sewer bill are not paid when due, a one-time late payment penalty of 10% of the latest billed amount is added to the charges. Additionally, interest is attached and accrued on unpaid charges computed at a rate of 8% per annum starting on the next day after the billing due date until paid. The interest shall be applied monthly on the entire unpaid balance, excluding any accrued interest, foreclosure costs, and all lien recording and release fees.
A lien may be placed on a property for accounts that are in excess of 60 days delinquent. A collection letter will be mailed to the property owner and the mortgage company regarding the delinquent lien amount. The collection letter will list the amount of charges in arrears and will explain that the customer must pay the charges in full. The collection letter will also provide notice that under the Revised Code of Washington, Pierce County may bring a foreclosure action against the property 60 days after the attachment of the lien.
The lien will be filed for all delinquent rates, fees and/or charges due in accordance with Pierce County Code Title 13.13.040. The lien amount will include late payment penalties together with accrued interest at 8% per annum from the date due until paid. The lien will attach and foreclose pursuant to RCW 36.94.150.
Typically, payments are applied to the oldest charges first. However, once a lien has been established, only payments satisfying the lien in its entirety will be accepted in release of the lien.