WAMCAT

Wyoming Association of Municipal Clerks and Treasurers

Utility - Liens

Has anyone filed a lien on real property for delinquent utility bills, i.e. non-payment of water bill?  If so, do you have a form that can be shared?  Please email Teresa directly at the townofrollinghills@netcommander.com

 

  • My question is does anyone file liens on unpaid water bills.  We have a customer with a $2,000 water bill.  His home is being sold at the end of the month due to foreclosure. My city attorney wanted me to ask if other cities were filing liens and under what statute.  Thank you for your help.  Stephanie Marty, City of Sundance, WY  (307) 283-3451
  • As per the City of Rock Springs Ordinance 4-1408(g)   All delinquent accounts including cost of collection shall, to the extent possible, be made a lien against the property receiving service.  We have not had to lien any properties due to the fact that the title companies are on the ball!!  Char Knezovich, Collections
  • At this time the Town of Star Valley Ranch does not file liens but we do work with the title companies to include our fees during the closings. 
  • The Town of Meeteetse does not file liens but attached is how we deal with late payments.  We send a letter if they are two month behind and if they become three months behind their water will be shut off.  We also turn the bills that we have not be able to collect into collections.  They remain in collections for  2 years.  After 2 years we pass a resolution  titled THE DISCHARGE OF UNCOLLECTIBLE DEBTS.
  • The town of Hulett has not done a lien, but when a house is sold and at closing we contact the title company and we have taken someone to small claims.  Melissa Bears, Hulett Town Clerk
  • The Town of Pine Haven has filed liens for unpaid water bills in the past. 
  • The Town of Encampment files liens for water and sewer for arrearages, and it is under Town Ordinance. I would suggest that if you know the closing firm, that you contact them to let them know that the new owners be aware of the bill and that they become the owner of the arrearages once the property is bought.  Our utilities belong to the property not the owner. I hope this helps. Susan Munson, CMC, Clerk/Treasurer, Town of Encampment
  • The Town of Midwest has an ordinance that does not allow the water bill to go past 45 days past due.  This has really helped in the past.  However, collecting the money after shut off has been a problem.  Collection is our only choice.  We have never used a lien as we have found other liens place on the deed  for street assessments, etc. have not worked.  It seems if the deed is not handled by a title company at closure, the lien is lost in the paper work.  Dolly
  • The Town of Moorcroft doesn't at this time but have looked into it.
  • At this time the Town of Star Valley Ranch does not file liens but we do work with the title companies to include our fees during the closings.
  • Chugwater does not file liens.  
  • The Town of Saratoga  has placed liens on property in the past and may be doing so very soon again. We do hold the water bills against the property and have contacted all realtors to let them know that the water bill is attached to the property and that it should be taken care of during closing. In a few cases we have gone back after closing and the new owners have made the realtors responsible for payment. Suzie
  • Torrington does file liens not on water but on other things like yard clean up since the legislative changes we are no longer first in line to get our money, so you might not ever see a dime, but we still file
  • The Town of Manderson turns the documents over to our Town Attorney, who files the liens on the properties with outstanding balances. His fees are included in the lien so the town isn't out any money. Once the outstanding balance has been paid, then the Court releases the liens. Hope this helps! Shannon Kemp, town of Manderson
  • The Town of Hanna used to do liens, but they did not seem o work.  If the person is living in the we use a orange door knocker that gives them so many days to pay or make arrangements.  This works very well.  We don’t always get the whole amount but they must pay the balance within 30 days .If a renter leaves a bill the owner is responsible for payment.  Our ordinance states that the water goes with the property and we don’t turn the water on unless the past due is paid.  Sometimes the new renter has had to pay it,  Hope this helps you.  Penny Parr, Town Clerk
  • As a last resort, Town of Greybull will file proceedings for small claims court.  However, our best weapon has been to refuse to turn the water back on, if terminated for non-payment.  Our ordinance states that the property owner is responsible for all water metered on his or her property.  We don’t care who pays the bill (current or previous owner), just as long as it is paid before the water is turned back on.  Good luck,, Kathy Smith,
  • The town of Superior does place liens on properties for past-due accounts and have foreclosed and take the property.  We have a resolution that water service is turned off due to non-payment the 2nd month it is not paid, usually people come in and pay once we send them a shut-off notice, but some don’t and we do shut off the water.  If they still don’t pay after aprx 1 month then I send them a letter stating they have 2-4 wks to pay the balance or will start lien proceedings and that usually motivates them to come in a pay.  We haven’t placed a lien on any property for probably at least 10 years but have and will.  We also have an ordinance that state the town will only look to the property owner for payment, this way we are not chasing renters.  If you’d like a copy of our ordinance or anything let me know and I will forward to you.   Mikki Ekker, Clerk/Treasurer, Town of Superior  
  • The only time a lien is filed is if the amount unpaid is from a water project.  You could file small claims against the customer and if granted, garnish bank account, or pay check.  Speak to your legal council.  I don't see how you can leverage against the sale of the property, but maybe their is someway.  Good luck.  Kris Jones
  • The City of Newcastle does not file liens for water bills.  We have a very aggressive collection procedure and only write off about $500-600 in bad debt water bills about every 2 or 3 years.  Sorry.  We do send those bills that are “written off” to a collection agency for further attempts to collect.  Good luck! Charita, City Clerk/Treasurer
  • We have it on our ordinance we can file a lien against a property if the bills remain unpaid in both our water and sewer.  We have not YET had to because of the legal expenses vs. what is due.  However we do have a couple we are thinking of moving forward with.  The other thing is our water/sewer bills are tied to our properties not owners so when the new owner takes over they have to bring the account current.  As for the state statute I am not sure which one as our Town Attorney researched it.  I would check into the rules of placing liens as I think that is where he started. If you have any more questions let me know and I will try and help you out?  Terra Miller
  • The City of Douglas does not file liens for water bills.  We turn our delinquent water bill accounts over to a collection agency if the owner no longer occupies the property.  If the owner is still residing at the property, we shut the water off and do not turn it back on until the account balance is paid in full, and we collect a deposit at that time.  Hope this helps!  Janice R. Lampert, Administrative Services Director, City of Douglas

 

Last updated 4/9/2015 10:50:03 AM