D’Happart v. First Commonwealth Bank, 2022 PA Super 132, 2022 Pa. Super. LEXIS 328 (No. 580 WDA 2021 August 5, 2022) , Judge Bender affirmed the Court of Common Pleas finding against a consumer who challenged the application of the UCC’s safe harbor to the notice required after his vehicle was repossessed.
Appellants’ second issue, they claim that FCB’s “pre-sale notice did not meet the requirements of the UCC, and [FCB] is not entitled to a ‘safe harbor’ defense because it did not use the UCC’s ‘safe harbor’ form.” Appellants’ Brief at 18 (capitalization and emphasis omitted). No relief is due on this basis. . . Here, in determining whether FCB’s pre-sale notice complied with Section 9614, the trial court explained:
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In [FCB’s pre-sale notice], there is no information that appears to be missing in order to comply with [Section] 9614. In fact, [FCB] has almost copied the safe harbor language verbatim, just adding in words or other sentences where needed, which would not make the [n]otice invalid according to [Section] 9614. However, one issue that [Appellants] have cited is that the [pre-sale notice’s] stated [d]ate and [t]ime of public sale are from November 5th[,] 2018-November 9th[,] 2018 from 9:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. local time. [Appellants] argue that the date and time of the sale were not limited in scope, to one day for example. It is unclear if the date and time requirement in the statute is required to be more limited in scope, such as one calendar day. While [Appellants] argue this time period is invalid and needs to be more limited, [they] provide no legal basis for this assertion. A specific date and time could not be given based on how the sale process occurred as argued by defense counsel. Defense counsel explains that the bidding process is a sealed, blind bid auction where bidders submit bids throughout the entire bidding time frame. The creditor may look at all bids at the end of the time frame and decide whether to take one of the bids submitted or subject the collateral to another sale process. Defense counsel also explains that [Appellants] had every ability to participate in that auction since it is a public sale. [N.T. at 17-18].
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TCO at 11-12. On appeal, Appellants essentially argue that FCB’s pre-sale notice does not comply with Section 9614.5 We disagree. Initially, FCB’s pre-sale notice contains the information required by Section 9613(1), as mandated by Section 9614(1)(i). It describes the debtor (Appellants), the secured party (FCB), and the collateral which is the subject of the intended disposition (the 2013 Ford Taurus). See 13 Pa.C.S. § 9613(1)(i), (ii).6 In addition, the pre-sale notice sets forth the method of intended disposition (public sale), and the date (November 5 through November 8, 2018), time (9 A.M. to 5:00 P.M.), and location of the public sale (Altoona Auto Auction, 1710 Margaret Avenue, Altoona, Pennsylvania 16603). See 13 Pa.C.S. § 9613(1)(iii), (v). FCB’s pre-sale notice also complies with Section 9613(1)(iv)’s requirement to “state that the debtor is entitled to an accounting of the unpaid indebtedness and state the charge, if any, for an accounting….” See 13 Pa.C.S. § 9613(1)(iv). The pre-sale notice conveys that “[t]o learn the exact amount you must pay, call us at 800-221-8605. If you want us to explain to you in writing how we have figured the amount that you owe us, you may call us at 800-221-8605 or write us … and request a written explanation.” See Pre-Sale Notice at 1 (single, unnumbered page). We deem this sufficient to satisfy Section 9613(1)(iv). FCB’s pre-sale notice likewise satisfies the remaining requirements of Section 9614(1). The pre-sale notice includes “a description of any liability for a deficiency of the person to which the notification is sent[.]” See 13 Pa.C.S. § 9614(1)(ii). Specifically, it states that “[t]he money that we get from the sale (after paying our costs) will reduce the amount you owe. If we receive less money than you owe, you will still owe us the difference.” See Pre-Sale Notice at 1 (single, unnumbered page). In addition, it sets forth a telephone number where Appellants could inquire about the amount which must be paid to FCB to redeem the collateral, as well as a telephone number and mailing address from which they could seek additional information concerning the disposition and the obligation secured. See 13 Pa.C.S. § 9614(1)(iii), (iv); see Pre-Sale Notice at 1 (single, unnumbered page) (“To learn the exact amount you must pay, call us at 800-221-8605. … If you need more information about the sale, call us at 800-221-8605 or write us at the address above.”). Accordingly, we conclude that FCB’s pre-sale notice complied with Section 9614(1).