Saturday, June 28, 2008

PayDay Lenders and City of Toledo Department of Public Unitilities

Richard Cordray was interviewed on Conklin and Company June 22, 2008. The first topic was PayDay Lending and unfair credit card practices. As time passes, the credit card companies are shortening the time to pay the bill which causes late payments and the consumer is then charged late payment fees and interest making it more and more difficult to get out of credit card debt. There are new federal rules being discussed which are "pro-consumer" for example, you will "have to be given at lease 21 days to pay your bill".

So what does that have to do with the City of Toledo Public Utilities? One bill I have the most trouble paying on time is the water bill and I didn't understand why for years as I don't bring in the mail, my husband does. He drops it into a mail basket and about every 10 days I go through, open the bills and pay them. But I never knew what day the water bill arrived until last quarter.

Last quarter the bill was dated March 19, 2008, it arrived March 22, and payment was due April 3 -- that's only 15 days.

This quarter the bill is dated June 18, 2008, it arrived June 24, and payment is due July 7 -- that's only 18 days.

I watch more closely now that I realize how short the payment cycle is for the water bill; however, if Mr. Cordray is so concerned about unfair billing practices, he needs to look in our own back door. The utility company should be required to extend the billing cycle. I wonder if the cycle is purposely short so the late fees will enhance revenue? With a quarterly billing cycle, most would expect more time, not less, to pay a bill.

I want to know:
What per cent of the water department revenue is generated through late fees
What amount is collected in late fees
What amount is collected in regular billing
Are the late fees billed against the refuse fee
Total amount collectd in refuse fees
Total amount collected in late fees against the refuse.

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