Woman’s Home Threatened Over 1 Cent Water Bill

November 20, 2008

Home News, the economy

UNBELIEVABLE!!! First, the story:

A 74-year-old blind woman was shocked when her daughter found a letter from the city saying a lien would be placed on her home unless she paid an overdue water bill.

The amount? 1 cent.

…The letter warned of a lien and a $48 penalty if the overdue bill is not paid by December 10. The charge was from the previous fiscal year, which ran from July 2007 to July 2008.

I’ve read this story at several news sites: CNN, Fox, Yahoo, etc. NOT ONCE was the point made that this woman was threatened with her home being taken away from her because she didn’t pay the full amount on her UTILITY BILL.

SINCE WHEN can a person’s home be taken from them because of an unpaid utility bill??? I don’t care if the amount is 1 cent or $1million dollars. This is outrageous, and I can’t believe this isn’t being screamed from the rooftops. A defaulted utility payment is warrant for the government to put a lien on a woman’s home?!?!? The woman has lived in her home since 1959. They were just itching to take her property away. Unconscionable!

And then the Attleboro government has the nerve to say that this issue was “blown out of proportion.” What happened to your guts, Massachusetts? It wasn’t even 300 years ago that you stood up to show the rest of the world what you thought of tyrants who want to take your property and liberty away.

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7 Responses to “Woman’s Home Threatened Over 1 Cent Water Bill”

  1. akaGaGa Says:

    I just read some of the accounts on this, and I have to point out that you neglected to mention the reason all of this happened, Mrs. M.


    Obviously, this negates any responsibility on the part of a person, so we shouldn’t get mad at the bureaucratic idiot who runs the collection department.

  2. Mizé Says:

    Poor old lady.
    Here that´s against the law. No service can take away your home, only in court.
    A good Friday. xx

  3. Mrs. Mecomber Says:

    akaGaGa, I have to disagree with your conclusion. Whether the computer did this or not is really irrelevant to the point I am making– that it is unjust that the government (via computer or via a person directly) has the authority to put a lien on a parcel of property for failure to pay a UTILITY bill.

  4. akaGaGa Says:

    Ah, Mrs. M., I didn’t make myself clear. (You couldn’t hear me ranting or see me waving my arms around.) I was being so sarcastic that my complete agreement with you was lost in the translation. Please forgive me.

    You’re absolutely right that a lien is ridiculous. Where we live, if you don’t pay your water bill they eventually just turn off your water – they don’t seize your property.

    I just get fed up with bureaucrats, like the collection woman in this story, blaming their unconscionable actions on a computer – and then expecting us to swallow it.

  5. Mrs. Mecomber Says:

    akaGaGa: OOOHHH!! LOL!! Now that’s funny! Nope, I didn’t see you waving your arms or ranting. LOL. I understand now! Lol, I did wonder a little when I read your first comment– it seemed so out of character for you to seemingly defend this action. Whew! I am relieved to see that you are still your justice-seeking, sarcastically-raving, red-blooded Patriot.


    And about the computer– you are right that these bureaucrats have the nerve to blame the issue on computer problems and expect us to swallow it. What if the old woman had not paid the penny?! It’s scary to think about how few rights we really have, now. Private property rights have become laughable in this country… makes me so mad.

  6. Lux Says:

    You know what scares me, too? What if that woman didn’t *have a daughter to read her mail? What if no one was watching out for her?

    Scary …

  7. Lee James Says:

    1. The billing dept. should modify their computer to flag accounts with small amounts, and allow a human to check the account instead of blindly sending out a bill for 1-cent; or even 1 dollar.

    2. An amount that small should have been added to the following month’s bill.

    3. City Collector Debora Marcoccio sounds like a real piece of work. She has a future in Washington, maybe with the IRS.

    4. Mayor Kevin Dumas says the whole situation was blown out of proportion. He was referring to press coverage, but I submit that the city collector is the one who blew a 1-cent bill out of proportion. Mayor Dumas should follow Ms. Marcoccio to Washington.