Judge: Collection firm's fees illegal

Judge: Collection firm's fees illegal

There are 44 comments on the The Morning Call story from Mar 21, 2008, titled Judge: Collection firm's fees illegal. In it, The Morning Call reports that:

A Montgomery County law firm illegally charged millions in attorney and administrative fees to taxpayers in Allentown and elsewhere in the state as it sought to collect back property taxes, a civil court judge ...

Join the discussion below, or Read more at The Morning Call.

no answers berkheimer

Philadelphia, PA

#21 Apr 8, 2008
Allentonian wrote:
Let's stick to the topic, people.
"No taxpayer left behind" has shaken even the coins out of the pockets of the impoverished.
In short, Portnoff $uck$. They make poor people's lives miserable daily with even more debt.
Glad to see there's at least some entity out there that has authority over them. Now, the next step is to eliminate them entirely so we can all heave a huge sigh of relief!
the subject is that these cities/boroughs farm out their collection services, but the companies abuse the situation. I wrote to berkheimers over two months ago and didn't receive an answer or the "taxpayers rights" booklet. I sent another letter, Certified with Return Receipt, and it came back with the berkheimer name stamped on it, but no signature. I am still waiting for a response and it's going on another month.
no answers berkheimer

Philadelphia, PA

#22 Apr 17, 2008
finally got a letter from berkheimer. no, not a letter, just a printed brochure that did claim that they would address any concerns. but they didn't address my questions. bureaucracy as usual from a subcontractor. I hope the government agencies employing them cancel their contract!
CRAZY

Brooklyn, NY

#23 Apr 29, 2008
SO I suppose the fact that a homeowner who KNOWS they have a real estate tax obligation that chooses to allow it to go delinquent should suffer no consequences? GOOD IDEA! Lets all pay higher taxes so that the rest of the world who chooses NOT to pay their taxes ontime can still live in their houses and take no responsibility for it! I know FOR FACT that these companies do much more than just SELL PEOPLES HOUSES out from under them. It's the idiots who choose to ignore the legal notifications of a delinquent debt being in collection that end up losing their properties. READ YOUR MAIL, call the number, they offer payment plans and everything. I honestly feel no remorse for anyone who is crying over the fees assessed. I dont really think a whole $25 or $40 dollars is a lot to pay a company to collect a delinquent tax someone chose to ignore paying...I'd rather see that happen then my taxes go up in order for the Districts and Townships to collect the taxes themselves...call me crazy!
LV reader

Norristown, PA

#24 Apr 29, 2008
jebocean wrote:
Now go after Berkheimer and Associates in Bangor. City of Bethlehem hires them to get the stupid 10.00 tax they charge from the time you are 18 till you die. No one knows what it is for and if you call they say it is for living in Bethlehem.
Berkheimer charges the 10. plus about25.00 in their fees. One of the charges is 7.00 to mail it comes reg mail.
If you paid the extra $25 to Berkheimer you are entitled to it back. I am an attorney specializing in local PA taxes. Also anyone else out there who has paid a "penalty" to the $10 Per Capita tax, who wants their money back, please contact me. No charge to any of you. If there are enough we would do a class action
You are a member of the bar and these sleazy lawyers are also. How can you ignore theft and not take action? You swore to uphold the law. When other lawyers steal aren't you bound to take action?
Too many lawyers look the other way, because they don't want a peer to be disbarred.
no answers berkheimer

Philadelphia, PA

#25 May 7, 2008
CRAZY wrote:
SO I suppose the fact that a homeowner who KNOWS they have a real estate tax obligation that chooses to allow it to go delinquent should suffer no consequences? GOOD IDEA! Lets all pay higher taxes so that the rest of the world who chooses NOT to pay their taxes ontime can still live in their houses and take no responsibility for it! I know FOR FACT that these companies do much more than just SELL PEOPLES HOUSES out from under them. It's the idiots who choose to ignore the legal notifications of a delinquent debt being in collection that end up losing their properties. READ YOUR MAIL, call the number, they offer payment plans and everything. I honestly feel no remorse for anyone who is crying over the fees assessed. I dont really think a whole $25 or $40 dollars is a lot to pay a company to collect a delinquent tax someone chose to ignore paying...I'd rather see that happen then my taxes go up in order for the Districts and Townships to collect the taxes themselves...call me crazy!
My property and school taxes are PAID! I am talking about the "earned income tax". If you work in Philly and pay their income tax and it's more than the jurisdiction charges where you live, then you don't owe taxes to that town. But, the form that berkheimer contradicts itself and berkheimer staff are not responsive at all. Why should I have to waste time writing a letter and paying for a stamp, then sending the letter again and paying for a return receipt post office charge to try to get information from them, only to get pre-printed nonsense that says they will answer my concerns, when they don't? They should be fired and I hope the legal system fines all these subcontractors who don't do what they are supposed to do, i.e., serve the public who is paying their salaries!

Since: Mar 08

AOL

#26 May 9, 2008
west end wrote:
<quoted text>
how do people get in touch with you
email me at FundsUSA@aol.com

Since: Mar 08

AOL

#27 May 9, 2008
LV reader wrote:
<quoted text>
You are a member of the bar and these sleazy lawyers are also. How can you ignore theft and not take action? You swore to uphold the law. When other lawyers steal aren't you bound to take action?
Too many lawyers look the other way, because they don't want a peer to be disbarred.
I will go after them. Need someone to come forward. Email me at FundsUSA@aol.com
Media -PA KL

Media, PA

#28 Jun 16, 2011
I would like to know what can be done about these scam artists(berheimer)- it seems I get a statement from them every 6 months saying I owe them taxes- I am now getting statements from 2003 in which Im told I owe $65.00 on a $10.00 tax-- $25.00 for two certified letters- I want them shut down they are a bunch of crooks. They are going to attache my wages if I dont pay-
Allenclown legal team

Media, PA

#29 Jun 17, 2011
Ain't this smearnoff some sort of beerjoint laywer's that have been molded by the Karoly Law Firm. These people have bilked millions if not billions out of the lehighvalley. Smearnoff and assosists also have realestate scames going on if you don't sell there will be hide nor hair of you?
Tax Payer

Norristown, PA

#30 Jul 25, 2011
I sent the below email to William Caldwell wcaldwell@norristown.org in norristown In the hope that someone will look into and do something about Berkheimer and Associates in Bangor.

I recently received 3 Delinquent Per Capita Tax notices. the sum tax was
$33.00 . Now its $120.00 . I did not receive the first notice and after explaining this to
Donna at Berkheimer I was told that because it never came back they assume i did.

This is not about the money. What it is about is that Im now paying 3 times the original bill.

A quote from Donna was that "Berkheimer is in business to make money" What ? Please
this is crazy. I own a condo and I am paying property tax this is just another tax bill of all the other tax bills.

Don't get wrong Im not opposed to paying taxes but seriously something about this doesn't seem right or fair.

At the end of the day they sent 3 notices to the same residence @ a cost of $12.50 per notice 2 of
these notices were for the same person "My Wife" and they have done this twice so thats 75.00 in fees for a $33.00 bill.

Is this really acceptable ? or is it really what it feels like "A Scam" .

Again its not about the money but im not feeling warm and fuzzy about this situation.

At the end of the day you need someone to collect taxes and if im late I need to pay extra, I get it. But that should not give a business the authority
to scam tax payers because " They are in Business to Make Money" . This is not just about a late fee.
Irony

Perkiomenville, PA

#31 Jul 25, 2011
So when should the true tax base in Allentown PA be expecting there checks from this parasite and assoshits, ooh plus intrest from 1969! Strange how carma has a strange way of creeping back to these fine American citizens.
angry

West Chester, PA

#32 Apr 1, 2012
To whomever sees this; they are still going strong in 2012. They've switched to bullying non-residents into paying false bills.
Howdothey sleepatnight

Whitehall, PA

#34 Apr 22, 2012
Is there anywhere in Pa that berkheimer is not collecting taxes. I plan on buying a house in two years and also plan to open business, but want absolutely nothing to do with them. If they are controlling all of Pa. I will be moving to another state.
fire berkheimer

Norristown, PA

#36 May 31, 2012
there is better ways to collect taxes but your taxes dont go for no improvements only pensions for those guys who dont do anything
Berk are theives

Norwood, PA

#37 Apr 20, 2014
Glenolden used them too unfortunately and apparently discontinued them in 2012 with no explanation... we could never geet info from boro only told to call Berk. We have had a few dup accounts for same ( variation of names ) persons in household , accounts for those here who no longer live here ( adult kids) etc etc...you cannot talk to anyone and get resolution, cannot return letters from them have bills for $100++ for $11 per year ( 3 years) worth of tax we do not even owe each and those we did owe were fined to 4x the amount ++ before we even knew we owed and I refuse to pay illegal overinflated fees while the boro was also no help ....... One former resident ( adult child) here had it taken from pay and they no longer lived here but tried to call and resolve and gave name etc...big mistake to even call them, they are awful, rude and really don't care to listen and once you call they really put the screws to you by getting your info and taking from work wages which I cannot understand how they have that authority....... Totally illegal, do not understand how they can charge $$$ for letter each time sent out to the tune of $12.50 etc and no previous letters were received at times........
silly rabbit

Emmaus, PA

#38 Apr 22, 2014
Howdothey sleepatnight wrote:
Is there anywhere in Pa that berkheimer is not collecting taxes. I plan on buying a house in two years and also plan to open business, but want absolutely nothing to do with them. If they are controlling all of Pa. I will be moving to another state.
These two said entities also colode with realators and the innercity hounds from hell for said grandfathered rooming homes of real property for said soul sale sectors of this administrational tool? Blight is there main hostel takeover taktic employed in towns and boroughs near you, than there is the said Bank of America the lenders that are employed to begin such henous act against AMERICAN humanity on said soil?!)$

Nowthinkonthatonebackroomgirls withyourtinfoilthinkingcapsonr icoactofcriminalorganizationco losionofsaidrealatorsthatkingp alumpashookhisfingeratlocallyt hatmakehimaplayertoo?!)$
berkh-NO CUSTOMER SERVICE

Norristown, PA

#39 Aug 3, 2014
Got a notice of delinquent bill for a $10 tax and the fines were about $22, called and the person with no customer service training insisted that I got the original notice and the 2nd notice because the bill would have been returned to them. Well what about not having the correct address on the bill, I said. She insisted that I got it and when I told her that I didn't get it and what if someone else got it and just threw it out, she just stopped talking for a couple of minutes. Just dead air, until she came back on the phone. This is your taxpayer's dollars at work for a lousy $10. But when I said I wanted to speak to the supervisor, all of the sudden she is sending the bill to the correct address and getting rid of the illegal fees. We need to get a class action suit together to stop this lack of customer service, and illegal fees.
most trusted - NOT

Norristown, PA

#40 Aug 3, 2014
This is on the website
Welcome to Berkheimer.
We are Pennsylvania's most trusted tax administrator.
But after having one insist that the mail always gets delivered and if not, it always gets returned - which is a crock of sh!t, because I have received mail for someone else, wrote return to sender and it was still mailed back to my place. I also took the time to make labels in large letters spelling out Not at this address, No Such Person, etc., and had the mail returned to my place. Only when I used a magic marker was the mail not returned to me, but where it went is anybody's guess.
Basically, the people who answer the phones are not trained and are liars!
berkheimer sucks

Paoli, PA

#41 Aug 6, 2014
Complaint:****** County, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, has hired Berkheimer Tax Administrators to process local income tax returns. My local income tax return was filed on 27 January 2013 for a refund of $267 for 2012 local income taxes paid, to which I am rightly entitled, as money was errantly withheld by my employer (as shown on my W-2). Although my company is headquartered in Pennsylvania, I work, and did work all of 2012, out of Louisiana. For that reason, I am not required to pay state or local income tax to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for calendar year 2012. When I processed the return, I received a confirmation e-mail stating that it could take up to 75 days to process the return due to heavy volumes. Today is 4 May 2013. Over 90 days have passed, and I still have not received a refund. I contacted Berkheimer about this matter via e-mail, and was told that they needed proof that I did not work in Pennsylvania. My initial contact was made on 15 April 2013. More than 75 days had passed and I had not heard a thing. This is misrepresentation. Now, after my initial contact, I am asked for paperwork to prove that I did not work in Pennsylvania. Berkheimer is responsible for administering the funds based on my signed and sworn tax return and has yet failed to do this. After my last communication, dated 24 April 2013, they have said that they process returns as they are received. This is a lie. My return was sent on 27 January 2013. If they are still processing January returns after 100 days, then they cannot fulfill their 75 day statement.
Desired Settlement: I want to receive the $267 to which I am legally entitled that was withheld, in error, by my employer.
berkheimer sucks

Paoli, PA

#42 Aug 6, 2014
Business Response:
See Attachment:
Consumer Response:
[To assist us in bringing this matter to a close, you must give us a reason why you are rejecting the response. If no reason is received your complaint will be closed Administratively Resolved]

Complaint:*******

I am rejecting this response because:
The business stated they would review all tax filings within 75 days. They still have not refunded me my money. If the situation were reversed and I did not pay my taxes, I would be incarcerated, yet I have no legal protection from them doing this to me. The documents they sent do not contain information that is helpful and they've made no effort to resolve this matter directly with me. Rather they turn it over to a lawyer right a letter to blow it off, and expect me to be satisfied, feeling as though they are protected by the state. I will consult my attorney directly.

Regards,

**********

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