FAQs

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Accounting FAQs

STATEMENT FAQs BACK TO TOP

Why does my payment not appear on my billing statement?
Some account payments are due on the 1st of each month and some payments are due on the 15th of the month. Payments should be received by those dates. If a customer's payment due date is the 1st of the month, the payment is considered current if it is received by the 10th of the month. If a customer's payment due date is the 15th of the month, the payment is considered current if the payment is received by the 26th of the month. If a payment is not received by these dates, it will not appear on the following month's billing statement and will be considered past due.

To what address should I mail my payment?
Each customer receives a number of address labels with his/her first billing statement. These labels should be used when remitting monthly account payments. If a customer does not have address labels, payments should be sent to The Catholic Cemeteries Association, P.O. Box 641561, Pittsburgh, PA 15264-1561. Only monthly payments should be sent to this address. Any other correspondence should be sent to The Catholic Cemeteries Association, 718 Hazelwood Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15217. Customers may call the accounting department and request additional mailing labels.

Why I am I being charged a finance charge?
Some customers may receive a billing statement that shows a finance charge paid with the last payment. This finance charge is the interest due on the account at the time the payment is received. The interest is paid every time a payment is received after the interest free period has ended. There are a number of different financing terms that include interest. All contract terms include an interest free period. This interest free period begins with the first payment due date and may last 24 or 36 months, depending on which financing term a customer chooses at the time of purchase. After the interest free period ends, interest will begin to accrue with each payment made on the account until the account is paid in full. The interest is calculated based on the account balance at the time of the payment and the number of days between payments. The amount of interest paid each month, after the interest free period, will appear on the monthly statement.

What is my payoff balance?
On the remittance portion of each billing statement there is a line that states, "If you wish to pay off your account, please call 412-521-9133." We ask that customers call and speak with someone in the accounting department, so that he/she may obtain the exact amount due in order to pay his/her account in full. If a customer has not yet reached their interest bearing period or has a contract term of 24 or 36 months interest free, he/she may pay the the balance due shown on their most recent billing statement. Customers in the midst of their interest bearing period will need to speak with someone in the accounting department to obtain his/her payoff balance. Because the interest due is calculated based upon the the balance due at the time of payment and the number of days between the receipt of the payments, we will need to ascertain the approximate date the payment will be received in order to give the customer the correct payoff balance, which will include the total interest due on the day the payment is received.

May I pay more or less than my monthly payment amount?
Customers may always make additional payments on account. By making additional payments a customer may reduce the amount of interest paid over the term of the contract. His/Her monthly billing statement will also state the the account is paid ahead. Otherwise, customers must remit the minimum payment amount or the account will be considered past due.

Why did I receive a statement if my payments are automatically withdrawn from my bank account?
All customers receive a monthly statement regardless of the method of payment. The statement will show the amount of principal and interest paid, as well as the account balance.

How do I arrange to have my payments automatically withdrawn from my bank account?
If a customer wishes to have monthly payments automatically withdrawn, he/she may call the accounting department and request an "Authorization Agreement for Preauthorized Payments (Debits)" form. You will receive a form with instructions to complete and sign the form and return it to the accounting department along with a voided check. By signing and returning the form, you will authorize The Catholic Cemeteries Association to withdraw your monthly payment amount from your bank account each date your payment is due.

CANCELLATION FAQs BACK TO TOP

I would like to cancel my account. May I receive a refund of my payments?
Contracts may be cancelled under certain circumstances. If you wish to know if you are eligible to cancel your account and receive a refund, you must call and speak with someone in the accounting department.

I received a letter stating that my account was cancelled and I have a default credit. May I receive a refund for that credit?
If a customer's account is cancelled because of default, he/she may not receive a refund but may use the credit toward a new purchase from CCA. A customer has one year from the date of the cancellation to use a "default credit."

My account was cancelled for default. How may I reinstate my contract?
Once a contract is cancelled because of default, it cannot be reinstated. In this case, a customer will need to get in touch with a counselor at the cemetery in which he/she originally made a purchase. The cancelled items may be repurchased at the current prices and the customer's default credit may be used toward that purchase.

FINANCING FAQs BACK TO TOP

What is the effective interest rate used to calculate the interest on my account?
Please call and speak with someone in the accounting department to request information regarding the annual interest rate.

Is there a penalty for paying an account off early?
There is no penalty for paying an account off early. A customer may pay his /her account in full at any time. By fully paying the account early, a customer may pay less interest than estimated on the original contract.

How do I know I am being charged interest?
The interest paid on an account will appear on the monthly billing statement after the interest free period has ended. The statement will show the amount of principal and interest paid on the account each time a payment is made.

May I change my financing terms?
The financing terms are chosen at the time of the original purchase. Once the contract is signed and processed, in most instances the financing terms cannot be changed. If a customer signs a 90 day contract and is unable to pay the contract in full within the 90 day period, he/she may sign a new contract with longer financing terms. This is the only circumstance in which financing terms may be changed.

MISCELLANEOUS FAQs BACK TO TOP

Will I get a paid in full receipt when my account is paid off?
If a customer purchases property in a cemetery, such as a lot, a crypt space or niche space, he/she will receive a "Right of Burial Certificate" for that property within 6 to 8 weeks after the final payment on the account is received. For purchases that do not include burial spaces, a "Right of Burial Certificate" will not be received. If a customer wishes to receive some type of notification that his/her account is paid in full, he/she may call and speak with someone in the accounting department and request a "Payment History Report." A "Payment History Report" will show the total amount of the payments made on the account, as well as the amount of principal and interest paid. Once a report is requested, the customer should receive the report in the mail within 10 business days.

May I change my payment due date?
Each customer may choose his/her payment due date when the original sale occurs. Payments are due either on the 1st of the month or the 15th of the month. A customer may elect to change his/her payment due date at anytime during the term of the contract.

I am moving, how may I change my address and phone number?
A customer may call and speak with someone in the accounting department to change his/her address and/or phone number.

What should I do if I receive a letter stating that my account is past due?
A customer will receive a "past due" letter when payments are 30, 60 or 90 days past due. If a customer receives a past due letter, he/she should call and speak with someone in the accounting department about his/her payment situation. Arrangements may be made with the customer to make some type of payment to keep the account from being cancelled. If a customer receives a 30, a 60 and a 90 day letter and does not contact someone in the accounting department, the account may be cancelled because of default. Once an account has been cancelled it cannot be reinstated.

Operations & Cemetery FAQs

CEMETERY RULES, REGULATIONS & DECORATIONS FAQs BACK TO TOP

Where can I plant flowers?
Flowers can be placed in the approved planting bed, up to one foot in front of the memorial.

Are artificial flowers permitted?
Yes, in an approved permanent vase, in the planting bed, or on an upright memorial.

When are Christmas decorations permitted?
Decorations for Christmas are permitted beginning the First Sunday of Advent.

Are other decorations permitted?
Yes, typically for other special days such as Mother's Day, Memorial Day, Father's Day and All Souls Day. Easter decorations can be placed March 16 to Ascension Thursday.

What about candles?
Approved vigil lights are permitted.

Are decorations ever removed by the cemetery?
Yes. Decorations are removed during the general cleanup period of March 1-15. If decorations become unsightly they will be removed.

May shrubs, trees or bushes be planted on the grave?
Such plants are permitted only on estate lots.

May I place artificial material about the gravesite?
Anything that presents a safety hazard is not permitted, such as: borders, marble chips, fencing, wire, toys, glass.

Can I place any special type decoration, theme or design on the gravesite?
Anything that is unsightly or that detracts from the spiritual setting of a Catholic cemetery is not permitted.

Can I take my dog to the cemetery?
Pets are not permitted.

What about off road vehicles?
Trail vehicles such as ATVs are not permitted.

Can I walk or bicycle in the cemetery?
Visitors are welcome to walk in our cemeteries. Bicycling is permitted only on the roads. Off-road mountain biking is not allowed.

What is my recourse if personal items I place on the gravesite are missing?
Regrettably, we cannot be responsible for anything placed at the gravesite.

How do I file a work order request when I am at the cemetery?
The cemetery office can complete a work order request for you. The cemetery representative will take the information relating to your concern and forward it to the appropriate department for resolution.

How much notice does the cemetery require to schedule a cremation burial?
The cemetery office requires at least a 24-hour notice for all burials and entombments.

When does the cemetery seed graves after a recent burial?
Due to the settlement of the grave it is standard to wait six months from the burial date before topsoil and seeding the gravesite.

When will my marker be installed after a recent burial?
The foundation and marker installation can occur anywhere between three to six months after the burial date, depending on the condition of the grave site.

How do I get a Veteran flag for my loved one's grave?
The cemetery office will have flags available the weeks up to Memorial Day. Flag holders can be picked up at the Soldiers and Sailors Hall in Pittsburgh.

MAUSOLEUM DECORATIONS FAQs BACK TO TOP

How are decorations placed on mausoleum crypt fronts?
Decorations are permitted only in an approved vase that is installed on the crypt front. All arrangements must not exceed 8 inches in height from the top of the vase, and 8 inches in total width. The arrangement must be presented at the cemetery office for approval and tagging. The cemetery may remove any arrangement that has not been approved or tagged by the cemetery office.

Can I place my arrangement in the crypt front vase?
Insurance and safety regulations prohibit anyone except trained cemetery personnel from placing arrangements in vases above the third tier.

May I decorate with live, cut flowers?
No. We are sorry, but due to potential insect issues, live flowers and plants are not permitted.

May I tape or glue any personal items or cards on the crypt front?
No. A proliferation of various items on crypt fronts detracts from the ambience and dignity of the mausoleum; moreover, adhesive material defaces the crypt front and may mark it permanently.

Can I purchase an emblem and install it on my crypt front?
All crypt front emblems and vases are to be installed by an approved agent.

Can I leave any decorations on the floor near the crypt front?
No. Such items will be removed.

What if I leave any personal items near the crypt front?
Regrettably, we cannot be responsible for any personal items.

Sales & Parish Cemetery Services FAQs

PARISH CEMETERY SERVICES FAQs BACK TO TOP

How can I find the parish cemetery where my grandfather is buried?
You should have some of the following information on hand before calling the PCS office at 724-942-3477: (a) All possible spellings of the deceased, (b) name of church, (c) name of the town where the deceased lived, (d) date of death. The PCS office will provide the names and telephone numbers of the parishes with cemeteries that are in the vicinity of the church or town that you give.

Is there a central listing of all burials in parish cemeteries in the diocese?
No. You must contact the individual parish that is responsible for the parish cemetery.

I'm not sure of the name of the church or town. Where do I go from here?
Ask relatives if they can recall the name of the church or town. Another idea that may refresh your memory is to review the entire alphabetic list of towns with parish cemeteries in this web site. The telephone numbers of the parishes are in this list. Another resource is the Division of Vital Records in New Castle where copies of all burial permits are sent for their records. The address and telephone numbers are:

Division of Vital Records
724-656-3100 or 1-800-942-8073
101 South Mercer Street
PO Box 1528
New Castle, PA 16103

SALES DEPARTMENT FAQs BACK TO TOP

Why a Catholic cemetery?
All cemeteries are not created equal. For a Catholic, burial in a Catholic cemetery is a final act of faith, to one's belief in the resurrection of the body and everlasting life. The Catholic cemetery is a sacred place set aside vy the Church for the burial of the faithful. The bodies of those buried there rest under the watchful eye of the local Bishop until the last day. The Catholic cemetery is an extension of the parish community where those who have worshipped together in life now rest together in peace, awaiting Christ's return in glory.

What's the difference between a Catholic cemetery and a public cemetery?
The Catholic cemetery is a sacred place set aside by the Church for burial of the Faithful. Those buried there share a common belief in the sacredness of the body and the resurrection of the dead. The Catholic cemetery reflects the Church's teachings and traditions.

Are Catholic cemeteries run for a profit?
No. Unlike most public cemeteries that are often part of large, for-profit corporations, The Catholic Cemeteries Association is a not-for-profit organization. All of the money we receive is invested back into the organization for perpetual care, maintenance, and development of new Catholic cemeteries for the future.

Do Catholic cemeteries have mausoleums?
Yes. Many of the diocesan Catholic cemeteries have mausoleums for those who prefer above-ground entombment. Other options include garden crypts, lawn crypts and traditional in-ground burial.

Are Catholics permitted to be cremated?
Yes. Catholics may be cremated. The Church continues to view burial of the body as perferable.

I've already made arrangements at a public cemetery. What can I do?
Usually, burial space in other cemeteries can be re-sold, either directly by the purchaser or by having the cemetery re-sell the plot or crypt.

What is the right time to consider making final arrangements?
Now, while you are able to make such decisions in a calm manner and when the cost of burial arrangements is more affordable.

Can I get a space for the rest of my family?
Yes. You can purchase as much burial space as needed for your family, and you may designate in writing those for whom the burial space has been reserved.

Is financing available?
Absolutely! The Catholic Cemeteries Association provides a range of financing options, including a three-year, interest-free program.

Aren't the Catholic Cemeteries full?
No! All of the diocesan Catholic cemeteries have space available. And, we continue to develop new cemeteries for the future.

What about maintenance and perpetual care?
The Catholic Cemeteries Association is dedicated to the perpetual care and maintenance of its properties.