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Question about a bill

gpister 2,231 134 April 1, 2016 at 11:59 PM
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Last Edited by gpister April 2, 2016 at 08:51 AM
So my parents got a letter stating that there has been a mistake, and were being charged the wrong amount for the past three years (they were being charged less than what was owed). Now they want them to pay the difference for the three years owed (this is a city in Southern CA). Can they actually do that? It's their own mistake, and now they want to get money out of no where. Going to go, and talk it out as soon as possible. I just want to come prepared. Any advice or information where I can find a defense like a law that prohibits them from doing this would be very helpful. Any advice will help.

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#2
what is this for? Taxes? If so, then they owe that money because it is based on income or property value depending on what it is for. You can probably work out a payment plan if that is the case, but you would need to speak with them.
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#3
Quote from discostu58 View Post :
what is this for? Taxes? If so, then they owe that money because it is based on income or property value depending on what it is for. You can probably work out a payment plan if that is the case, but you would need to speak with them.
Its not taxes its actually the water bill (via the city) they were charging the wrong amount on sewage (they were charging less than what was owed) now they want to go back 3 years and charge back the difference. I am going to go speak with them with father I just want to come prepared see if their any type of defense for an error and if they have the right to go back and charge from their mistake. Thanks for the response.
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#4
Yes, they can expect you to pay the balance due - even though it's their mistake. You/your father might be able to work something out with them. How much money are we talking about here?
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Quote from KPS View Post :
Yes, they can expect you to pay the balance due - even though it's their mistake. You/your father might be able to work something out with them. How much money are we talking about here?
Its not a hefty amount $600 dollars but the past due amount (going back 3 years) I feel its unfair if it were the other way around I am sure they wouldn't want to fix the bill issue. I plan to go over and talk it out I know they will work probably a payment plan, but just find it unfair charging that much for their own mistake.
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#6
Quote from gpister View Post :
Its not a hefty amount $600 dollars but the past due amount (going back 3 years) I feel its unfair if it were the other way around I am sure they wouldn't want to fix the bill issue. I plan to go over and talk it out I know they will work probably a payment plan, but just find it unfair charging that much for their own mistake.
I know, it does seem "unfair"...it's good you're helping your parents out with this. Smilie
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#7
Quote from KPS View Post :
I know, it does seem "unfair"...it's good you're helping your parents out with this. Smilie
I feel bad I try to help them in all I can they took care of me when I was a child now its my turn to repay them. So it seems like a loss cause at this case? I was hoping their was some type of law or something that would help out to help this case.
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#8
Quote from gpister View Post :
I feel bad I try to help them in all I can they took care of me when I was a child now its my turn to repay them. So it seems like a loss cause at this case? I was hoping their was some type of law or something that would help out to help this case.
That's a good question, I really don't know but hopefully someone else can chime in.

You might be able to find some info online about utilities back billing specific for your state/county/city. I do know some states have a restriction on how far back they can back bill, and possibly other rules. Maybe you'll find some info that will be useful for your situation.
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Last edited by KPS April 2, 2016 at 10:58 AM

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#9
Quote from KPS View Post :
That's a good question, I really don't know but hopefully someone else can chime in. You might be able to find some info online about utilities back billing. I do know some states have a restriction on how far back they can back bill, and possibly other rules. Maybe you'll find some info that will be useful for your situation.



That's a good question, I really don't know but hopefully someone else can chime in.

You might be able to find some info online about utilities back billing specific for your state/county/city. I do know some states have a restriction on how far back they can back bill, and possibly other rules. Maybe you'll find some info that will be useful for your situation.
That would help a lot will look into utilities back billing (I couldn't find anything but didnt think of terming it that way). I will look according to the letter it says they can only go back 3 years I am wondering how truth that is. Thanks again the more info the better Big Grin
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Quote from gpister View Post :
That would help a lot will look into utilities back billing (I couldn't find anything but didnt think of terming it that way). I will look according to the letter it says they can only go back 3 years I am wondering how truth that is. Thanks again the more info the better Big Grin

I could be wrong, but I believe they are limited by the statute of limitations for your state on such matters.

The below might help though I am not sure the right statute is listed. Three years is a pretty short limit, so you might be out of luck anyway.

http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclo...29941.html

If you know a lawyer that will give you a free consultation (basically to just pose the question of whether there is a case) it might be worth pursuing as it might save you the trouble of digging yourself.
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Last edited by YanksIn2009 April 2, 2016 at 12:32 PM
#11
Quote from gpister View Post :
That would help a lot will look into utilities back billing (I couldn't find anything but didnt think of terming it that way). I will look according to the letter it says they can only go back 3 years I am wondering how truth that is. Thanks again the more info the better Big Grin
Pm me I work for the water department in a city, might be able to help you out.
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#12
Quote from YanksIn2009 View Post :
I could be wrong, but I believe they are limited by the statute of limitations for your state on such matters.

The below might help though I am not sure the right statute is listed. Three years is a pretty short limit, so you might be out of luck anyway.

http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclo...29941.html

If you know a lawyer that will give you a free consultation (basically to just pose the question of whether there is a case) it might be worth pursuing as it might save you the trouble of digging yourself.
I will check it out feels like way to much time I maybe understand 3 months or 6 months, but 36 months its just pretty big will check it out. I was thinking of a Lawyer, but being not a big amount just doesn't seem like it will be worth the shot I was thinking better if something can get reduced since the Lawyer would take a part of it.
Quote from liftedpsd2010 View Post :
Pm me I work for the water department in a city, might be able to help you out.
Just sent PM.

Thanks for everyone that is trying to help really appreciate it!
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Last edited by gpister April 2, 2016 at 01:14 PM
#13
Quote from gpister View Post :
I will check it out feels like way to much time I maybe understand 3 months or 6 months, but 36 months its just pretty big will check it out. I was thinking of a Lawyer, but being not a big amount just doesn't seem like it will be worth the shot I was thinking better if something can get reduced since the Lawyer would take a part of it.

Thanks for everyone that is trying to help really appreciate it!

No way it is limited to just a few months imo. It may not seem OK, but stuff happens as they say and the law should allow for corrective measure for honest mistakes in a timely manner imo. I would think the best you could hope for is a 1 year limit. Just look at the IRS as they can go back many years if they feel like it.

You might be able to get a lawyer to just tell you whether their is a case and on what grounds\whether the limit in your state has been exceeded or not. Then just write letters yourself informing them of such if there is a case. If they are outside the statute of limitations then I would think as soon as you challenge them on it they will back off, but of course I am no lawyer so I could be wrong. I do know that a lot of times local govs try stuff like this knowing most people will just pay the bill and not spend the time and effort to challenge them. You see it a lot with property assessments after renovations for instance. Added a new room\re-did the kitchen, town comes in and re-appraises and jacks it up some ridiculous amount and hopes you do not file an appeal and go to court on it. Could be the utility made a mistake and is trying to collect what it can. Could be they are within their rights to do so too depending on the limit.
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#14
Quote from YanksIn2009 View Post :
No way it is limited to just a few months imo. It may not seem OK, but stuff happens as they say and the law should allow for corrective measure for honest mistakes in a timely manner imo. I would think the best you could hope for is a 1 year limit. Just look at the IRS as they can go back many years if they feel like it.

You might be able to get a lawyer to just tell you whether their is a case and on what grounds\whether the limit in your state has been exceeded or not. Then just write letters yourself informing them of such if there is a case. If they are outside the statute of limitations then I would think as soon as you challenge them on it they will back off, but of course I am no lawyer so I could be wrong. I do know that a lot of times local govs try stuff like this knowing most people will just pay the bill and not spend the time and effort to challenge them. You see it a lot with property assessments after renovations for instance. Added a new room\re-did the kitchen, town comes in and re-appraises and jacks it up some ridiculous amount and hopes you do not file an appeal and go to court on it. Could be the utility made a mistake and is trying to collect what it can. Could be they are within their rights to do so too depending on the limit.
Thanks ya I know IRS usually goes 3 years (if theirs something they go farther) its a small county I feel like you said they are playing a role trying to state their own rules, but I don't feel they can go so far I would say an year tops would be fair from their mistake. I will mention a lawyer to parents see what they say, but I think is best go over and talk it out mention the "statute of limitation" was looking into it in CA, but can't find nothing. Thanks all this advice is helping me just be more prepared to sound sharp.
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#15
So long as they are not charging a penalty or interest I don't see how they can't go after you for the $$ even though it's their fault.
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