Can the city charge me for back payment that they never told me about or made an effort to collect?

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Can the city charge me for back payment that they never told me about or made an effort to collect?

I called my city to get a replacement garbage can. Then they told me they haven’t been charging me correctly for over 2 years. They wouldn’t have found it unless I called and then they looked at it. Now they’re telling me I owe the whole back payment. They acknowledge they’ve made zero effort in contacting me for payment, made any original agreement for amount of payment expected, and they’re blaming my realtor and the private water company but still requiring me to pay. Can they do this?

Asked on December 22, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Arizona

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

No they cannot now require you to pay back payment on something that a) you knew nothing about and b) had no responsibility to handle. Inform whomever told you that you are required to make back payments to sue the realtor and water company instead. Contact your city politicians and mayor and indicate that in writing and verbally you will not pay for supposed back owed monies when you were never informed of this charge and the city made no attempt to inform you of it until you took upon yourself to call to purchase a replacemenmt garbage can. The city can take this is as a hit and fix their accounting or inventory or tracking system.


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