1.Litigation Management #

Use litigation features in PACS to track the progress of litigation involving unpaid taxes, bankruptcies, and related fees.

You can track various types of litigation. For example:

  • Bankruptcy

    Note:  Bankruptcy litigation tracking can be set up for Chapter 11 or Chapter 13 tracking.


  • Judgments
  • Seizures
  • Sheriff sales
  • Suits filed

The types of litigation that you track and the codes used for tracking are customizable. Your office can determine what data needs to be monitored, and can then set up the litigation module accordingly.


Note:  Currently reports are not available for litigation data in PACS. However, True Automation Client Services can assist you with developing queries to retrieve litigation data.


 

2.Setting Up Litigation Codes #

Purpose

Use this procedure to set up the following litigation codes:

  • Bankruptcy Status – Specifies the type of litigation. You can also use this code to indicate that litigation has been initiated (for example SF for suit filed). Examples include:
    • BNK for bankruptcy
    • JDC for judgment
    • SF for suit filed
    • SS for sheriff sale
    • SZ for seizure
  • Jury Type – Identifies the type of jury when litigation goes to court. You can also set up a code such as NJ to indicate that there was no jury.
  • Litigation Status – Identifies the progress of litigation. Examples include:
    • AJ for abstract of judgment
    • BANK for bankruptcy
    • BK for bank closed
    • INJ for intervention judgment
    • NTS for next tax sale
    • ROJ for release of judgment
    • SF for suit filed
    • SFD for suit dismissed
    • TS for tax sale
  • Event Type -Tracks events, such as an owner calling to make an inquiry on a particular date. Other examples of events that can be tracked include:
    • O – Opening of a record
    • C – Closing of litigation
    • D – Discharging litigation
    • DIS – Dismissing litigation

Note:  The codes described above are examples only. You can create your own codes as required.


Prerequisites

The user right Lawsuit – Manage Codes is assigned to your user ID.

Procedure

  1. In PACS Collections, choose Tools > Code File Maintenance > Litigation. Then select one of the litigation codes described above:

    Litigation Codes

    The dialog box for the code is displayed.

  2. Click New.

    Litigation_new_button

    The Code Properties dialog box is displayed.

    litigation_code_props

  3. Enter a code and description. Then click OK.
  4. If required, use the following options:
    • To review an existing code, select the code and click Details.
    • To remove an existing code, select the code and click Remove.
  5. Repeat this procedure as required to set up the various litigation codes.

3.Setting Up Bill Adjustment Codes #

Purpose

Use this procedure to set up bill adjustment codes, which are commonly used for the following reasons:

  • Excluding properties from collections data exports
  • Overriding penalty, interest, and attorney fees
  • Deferring taxes with effective dates

You can code bills within the litigation module by using the Adjustment Code feature on the Properties tab of a litigation record. For more information, see Creating a Litigation Record and Entering Properties.

Further, you can set up a code so that when a user opens a property or bill for which a bill adjustment code has been applied, the system alerts the user with a warning.

Examples of bill adjustment codes include:

  • BANK for bankruptcy
  • J for judgments
  • SF for suits
  • SS for sheriff sales
  • SZ for seizures

Procedure

  1. In PACS Collections, choose Tools > Code File Maintenance > General > Bill Adjustment Codes.

    The Bill Adjustment Codes dialog box is displayed.

  2. Click New.

    The Bill Adjustment Code Maintenance dialog box is displayed.

    litigation_bill_adj_code

  3. Complete the fields as required, including:
    • Deferral Status Code – When selected,sets the penalty & interest calculation for the senior citizen deferral. This check box should not be selected for most bill adjustment codes; it should only be selected for the deferral code.
    • Alert User – When selected, displays a warning when a user opens a property or bill for which a bill adjustment code has been applied.
    • Rates check boxes – Select these check boxes as required to enter the penalty, interest, or attorney fee rates. The percentages entered in these fields override the normal P&I schedule when the adjustment code is on a bill with different amounts.
    • Range (within the Years Effective section) – These features are currently not available.
    • Mailing Types – These features are currently not available.
  4. Click Apply or OK.

4.Creating a Litigation Record & Entering Properties #

Purpose

Use this procedure to create a litigation record.

A litigation record cannot be created from a property record, but once it is created, it can be modified from a property record.

Prerequisites

The Litigation user rights is assigned to your ID.

Procedure

  1. In PACS Collections, choose File > New > Litigation.

    The Litigation window is displayed.

    litigation window

  2. In the Cause # field, enter the unique ID for the litigation, which is usually assigned by the court. You can enter numbers and/or text.

    Note:  Each litigation record should have a unique cause number, which you can use when searching for the litigation record in PACS.


  3. Complete the following fields as required:
    • Bankruptcy # – This is not a required field; it can be left blank,or if you do enter a number, it can be changed after the litigation record is saved. This number can be the same number as the Cause #.
    • Bankruptcy Status – Specifies the type of litigation, such as SF for suit filed or SS for sheriff sale.
  4. Click Apply.

    A litigation ID is assigned and displayed in the top bar along with the cause number and bankruptcy number.

  5. Before selecting bills in the next step, review the following information for adding bills:

    Notes for Adding Bills

    • You cannot add bills from installment agreements.
    • You can add bills to the litigation record later if required.
    • Bills cannot be associated with multiple litigation records.
    • Ownership defaults to the first owner of the first property added to the litigation.
  6. In the Properties section, click Add to start the wizard with which you add the properties involved in the litigation and select the bills to be included in the litigation.

    litigation_prop_add1

    Then do the following:

    litigation_props_add2

    1. In the Properties dialog box, click Add.
    2. Enter search criteria and click Search to display results. Then, from the Property List, select the property to be included on the litigation and click Select Property.

      The selected property is displayed in the Properties dialog box.

    3. Click Next to display the bill list.

      litigation_bill_list

    4. Select the bills to be included in the litigation. Then click Finish.
    5. To add additional properties to the litigation record, repeat steps a through d as required.

      The bills you selected are displayed in the Bills Views section. For example:

      litigation bills view

  7. In the Bills Views section, you can use the Adjustment Code drop-down list to apply an adjustment code to the bills.

    Note:  If the bills already have an adjustment code, the code will be overwritten with the new code that you specify.


  8. Click OK or Apply.

Result

The litigation record is created. In addition, the P&I and attorney fees will be calculated for the bills as specified in the bill adjustment code, and the properties involved in the litigation and the associated bills are coded to display an alert when opened. For example:

litigation code at prop

Troubleshooting: Adding Bills

  • Generally, bills for installment agreements cannot be placed on litigation records. The bills for an installment agreement could only be associated with a litigation record if the installment agreement is defaulted.
  • Bills with a zero balance cannot be added to the litigation records.
  • A bill can be associated only with one litigation record at a time; you cannot place a bill on a litigation other than the one to which it is initially assigned.

5.Entering Litigation Court & Status Information #

Prerequisites

The Litigation user rights is assigned to your ID.

Procedure

  1. In PACS Collections, open a litigation record. Then click the General tab.
  2. Complete the following fields as required:

    litigation court

    • Court – The name of the court associated with the litigation. If the name is not available, you can enter text such as “Not Assigned” or “Unknown.”

      Note:  You must complete the Court field before you can complete the remaining fields on the other tabs.


    • Judge – The name of the judge. (If the judge is unknown, you can leave this field blank.)
    • Reason for Suit – A description of the reason for the litigation.
  3. Complete the following fields as required:

    Note:  If the following information is unknown, you can leave these fields blank.


    • Date filed
    • Date certified
    • Trial Date
    • Jury type
  4. In the Comments field, we recommend entering the property IDs and the years associated with the litigation because once the litigation is dismissed, the system does not retain a history of the associated property IDs that were associated with the litigation.
  5. Click OK or Apply.

6.Entering Litigation Fees/Events Information #

Purpose

Use this procedure to specify fees or events associated with the litigation.

After a fee is assigned to a litigation record, you can pay the fee either when posting the associated bill, which will result in a prompt asking you whether fees should be included in the payment, or you can pay the fee from this Fees/Events tab with the Move to Cart button.

litigation fee move cart

Prerequisites

The Litigation user rights is assigned to your ID.

  • If you will enter litigation fees, fee type codes (Tools > Code File Maintenance > General > Fee Types) have been set up.
  • If you will enter events, event types (Tools > Code File Maintenance > Litigation > Event Types) have been set up.
  • The Litigation user rights is assigned to your ID.

Procedure

  1. In PACS Collections, open a litigation record. Then click the Fees/Events tab.
  2. To add a fee to the litigation, do the following:
    1. In the Fees section, click New.

      The New Fee dialog box is displayed.

    2. Select the fee type, amount, and date.

    litigation fee

    1. In the Assigned To section, select Litigation to enable the fee to be viewed from the litigation record.

      Note:  The Assigned To section specifies the type of record from which the fee can be viewed.


  3. To add an event to the litigation record, do the following:
    1. In the Events section, click New.

      The Add Event dialog box is displayed.

      litigation event add

    2. Select the event type and date. If necessary, enter a description of the event.
    3. Click Apply.
    4. To attach documentation related to the litigation (such as a statement of account showing the amount due at the beginning of the litigation), in the Attached Objects section, click Add. Then, in the Add/Edit Event Object dialog box, specify the path of the object, complete the other fields as required, and click OK.
  4. Click OK or Apply.

7.Adding Documents or Images #

Purpose

If required, use this procedure to add images or documents, such as a bankruptcy document or abstract of judgment, to the litigation record.

Prerequisites

  • The Image TypeRecord Type, and Subtype codes that you need to use have been set up. For more information, see Setting Up Image and Document Codes.
  • If you need to scan images or documents, the path under which scanned images or documents are saved has been specified. For more information, see Specifying the Path for Scanning.
  • The Litigation user rights is assigned to your ID.

Procedure

  1. In PACS Collections, open a litigation record. Then click the Images tab and click New.

    The Add an image dialog box is displayed.

    image add

  2. Complete the following fields as required:
    • Image Type – The type of document or image, such as a letter or a picture of the property.
    • Record Type – Further classifies the Image Type, such as Exemption for an Image Type of Letter.
    • Sub Type – Further classifies the Record Type, such as Homestead for a Record Type of Exemption.
    • Scan Date – The date that the image was scanned.
    • Image Date – The date associated with the image. If applicable, this is the date that determines when an image becomes inactive.
    • Effective Year – The effective tax year.
  3. Either scan an image or select an existing image. If you scan the image, you can use the Preview button to review the image after it is scanned.
  4. Click OK.

8.Reviewing Ownership History for Litigation #

Purpose

Use this procedure to determine the current owner and, if necessary, change ownership.

Ownership defaults to the first owner of the first property added to the litigation.


Important   Changes made to ownership elsewhere in PACS will not be reflected on this Owner History tab. To maintain an up-to-date owner history on this tab, you need to add new owners on this tab as required.


Prerequisites

The Litigation user rights is assigned to your ID.

Procedure

  1. In PACS Collections, open a litigation record. Then click the Owner History tab.
  2. Use the following options as required:
    • To review the current owner record, click Open.
    • To assign a different owner to the litigation, click Change and search for the new owner.
  3. Click OK or Apply.

9.Displaying Litigation Records #

Purpose

Use this procedure to search for and display litigation records in the system.

This feature is useful, for example, if you would like to review all litigation with an open status code.

Prerequisites

The Litigation user rights is assigned to your ID.

Procedure

  1. In PACS Collections, choose File > Open > Litigation.

    The Litigation Search dialog box is displayed.

  2. Enter search criteria as required. Then click Search.
  3. Review the litigation records that the system retrieved based on your search criteria.

    The Litigation Search Results window is displayed.

  4. To display a litigation record, select it. Then right-click and choose Details.

    litigation search results

10.Displaying Litigation Records from a Property Record #

Purpose

Use this procedure to access and review a litigation record from a property record.

Prerequisites

The Litigation user rights is assigned to your ID.

Procedure

  1. In PACS Collections, open a property record.
  2. You are prompted to confirm the litigation codes associated with the property. (An example is shown below). Click OK.

    litigation code at prop

  3. Click the Prop Codes tab.
  4. In the Litigation section, review the litigation records associated with a property. To display a litigation record, select it and click Details.

    litigation on prop code

11.Displaying Litigation Status from a Property Record #

Purpose

Use this procedure to review the status of litigation from a property record.

Prerequisites

The Litigation user rights is assigned to your ID.

Procedure

  1. In PACS Collections, open a property record.
  2. Click the Summary tab.
  3. Review the litigation to determine the status of litigation associated with the property.

12.Removing Properties from a Litigation Record #

Purpose

Use this procedure to remove properties and bills from a litigation record.

Prerequisites

The Litigation user rights is assigned to your ID.

Procedure

  1. In PACS Collections, open a litigation record.
  2. If the bills associated with the litigation have adjustment codes, use the following steps to remove the adjustment codes:
    1. Click the Properties tab.
    2. Select the bills for which you need to remove the adjustment codes.
    3. In the Adjustment Code drop-down list, select N (None). Then click Set All.
  3. Use the following steps to remove the bills and properties from the litigation record:
    1. Click the Properties tab.
    2. Select either the bills or the properties and click Remove.
    3. You are prompted to confirm that you want to remove the bills. Click Yes.
  4. Use the following steps to apply a code indicating that the litigation has been removed or dismissed:
    1. Click the General tab.
    2. In the Litigation status field, select a code indicating that the litigation has been dismissed.

      litigation status

    3. In the Court field, enter either Removed or Dismissed.

Result

The bills and associated properties that you selected are no longer displayed in the Properties tab.

Troubleshooting: Duplicate Cause Number Error Message

If there is a duplicate cause number on another litigation record, you will receive an error message stating that the information cannot be updated because the cause number has already been entered.

If you receive this message, and if the litigation record you are working in no longer has any property IDs attached to it on the Properties tab, you can add the suffix -2 at the end of the cause number to assist you in identifying duplicate cause numbers.

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