§ 47–1377. Purchaser reimbursed by redeeming party for expenses.
(a)(1) Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, upon redemption, a purchaser is entitled to be reimbursed by the redeeming person for the following expenses incurred in an action, or in preparation for an action, to foreclose the right of redemption:
(A) If an action to foreclose the right of redemption has not been filed and the property is redeemed more than 4 months after the applicable tax sale’s tax sale date, the purchaser may be reimbursed for the following pre-complaint legal expenses:
(i) The cost of $50 for any posting required by § 47-1353.01;
(ii) Costs for recording the certificate of sale; and
(iii) The cost of a title search, not to exceed $300.
(B) If an action to foreclose the right of redemption has been filed, the purchaser may also be reimbursed for:
(i) Reasonable attorneys’ fees as follows:
(I) In a case in which the property is redeemed before the 5th status hearing, reasonable attorneys’ fees not to exceed $1,500;
(II) In a case requiring 5 or more status hearings, reasonable attorneys’ fees not to exceed $1,500, plus $75 for the 5th status hearing and each additional status hearing thereafter; and
(III) In a case in which a motion for judgment is filed with the court, additional attorneys’ fees in the amount of $300;
(ii) Notwithstanding sub-subparagraph (i) of this subparagraph, in cases requiring prolonged or complex representation not typically necessary to resolve an action filed under this chapter, including cases in which the purchaser incurs attorneys’ fees and expenses under § 47- 1382.01(a), other reasonable attorneys’ fees incurred and specifically requested by the purchaser and approved by the court, on a case-by-case basis; provided, that additional attorneys’ fees shall not be awarded if a tax sale is cancelled by the Mayor under § 47-1366, or where a purchaser is required to show good cause under subsection (c) of this section; and
(iii) Expenses actually incurred as follows:
(I) Filing fee charged by the Superior Court of the District of Columbia;
(II) Service of process fee, including fees incurred attempting to serve process;
(III) If a 2nd title search is conducted more than 6 months after the initial title search, a title search update fee, not to exceed $75;
(IV) Publication fee charged by a newspaper of general circulation in the District;
(V) Posting fees;
(VI) Postage and certified mail costs;
(VII) Substantial repair order fee, not to exceed the fee charged by the government agency issuing the certificate of substantial repair; and
(VIII) Any court approved expense for stabilization or conversion of, or to make safe and compliant with Chapter 31A of Title 42, the property under § 47-1363 or to comply with an action taken against the property by the Mayor in accordance with the applicable building, fire, health, or safety code.
(2)(A) In calculating the number of hearings in a case for the purposes of paragraph (1)(B)(i) of this subsection, any status hearing held before the redeeming party was served shall be excluded from the calculation.
(B) For purposes of paragraph (1)(B)(i) of this subsection, an initial scheduling conference shall be deemed a status hearing.
(C) Nothing in paragraph (1) of his subsection shall be construed as prohibiting the purchaser from settling attorneys’ fees in a lesser amount than the purchaser may be eligible for under this section.
(b) No purchaser of a certificate of sale shall be reimbursed for expenses incurred within 4 months after the date of the tax sale. A purchaser other than the District shall not be reimbursed for any expenses if the certificate becomes void under this chapter.
(c) The purchaser shall not be entitled to be reimbursed for any expenses or attorney’s fees not included in this section. Expenses or attorneys’ fees incurred by a purchaser who appeals the assessment or the vacant status of the property are not reimbursable.
(d) If the purchaser fails to satisfy the requirements for posting under § 47-1353.01 or fails to provide proof of posting required under § 47-1370(c)(4), the purchaser shall not be entitled to collect the legal expenses set forth in subsection (a) of this section; provided, that upon a showing to the Superior Court of the District of Columbia of good cause for the failure to meet the posting requirements of § 47-1353.01 or § 47-1370(c) (4), the purchaser shall be entitled to collect those expenses, not to exceed the amounts set forth in subsection (a) of this section, that the Superior Court of the District of Columbia considers reasonable.
(e) Notwithstanding subsection (d) of this section, if the tax sale is cancelled by the Mayor under § 47-1366, the purchaser shall not be entitled to reimbursement of the expenses permitted under subsection (a)(1)(B) of this section if the purchaser fails to specifically disclose to the Mayor, at least 45 days before the filing of a complaint to foreclose the right of redemption, information that is obtained or should have been obtained from the pre-complaint investigation, including the title examination and review of bankruptcy records under § 47-1371(b)(2) and § 47-1371(b)(2A), that evidences a violation of § 47-1332(c), a violation of a bankruptcy stay, or errors, as prescribed by the Mayor through regulation.