Is the water company allowed to back-bill?

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Is the water company allowed to back-bill?

All my bills have been estimates, the water meter was changed and now I received a back-bill with charges since 2004. What is the statute of limitations for this? How would I dispute this matter?

Asked on March 10, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, New Jersey

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Your utility bills cannot legally be estimates and if the water company realized it goofed and thus replaced your meter, you need to absolutely indicate that not only have you already paid your bills up to date but the statute of limitations precludes the company from requiring back payment on bills the company has already accepted and cashed. If you paid those previous bills, the deposit of cash or check or credit card payments is sufficient to show that even if the statute of limitations has not run, the deposit without limitations is considered an accord and satisfaction. It is up to the company to prove you owe it, not the other way around and further, you would simply dispute in writing and verbally to the manager, and keep going up the chain to the head of the water company. If that doesn't work, contact your city prosecutor's office and your city or county representatives, then move up to the state and federal representatives (congressman and senators) to show what this water company is trying to do illegally. Most contract statutes of limitations are no more than 4 years.


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