Crain’s New York Business has an article today about sewer service in New York. The article points out “The spread of sewer service mirrors the growth of the debt collection business, which over the past 25 years has grown alongside the explosion in credit-card and other kinds of consumer debt.”
According to the article, there is a new report from the New Economy Project that shows a significant increase in debt collector’s using sewer service techniques. This group has filed suit against one firm alleging sewer service practices.
So what do you do to protect yourself? First, if you are receiving letters from debt collectors, periodically check the court where you live to see if a lawsuit has been filed. Some counties, like Sacramento, Santa Clara, and others, let you check online to see if you have been sued. Others are not online, but a phone call to the clerk will get the trick done.
Second, if you believe someone thinks they served you, either because you found papers on your front step, a neighbor says something to you, or you get a judgment or garnishment notice, immediately call an attorney. A sewer serve can be set aside, but it has to be done quickly. Don’t delay in protecting your rights.
A sewer serve is a violation of the Rosenthal Act as well as the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. But that does not seem to be working to stop this heinous practice. In the meantime, we need to wait for our legislative leaders to increase the penalties for sewer service situations.