Central Hudson: Late Fee Charges Resuming Following Pandemic Suspension
When the pandemic hit more than two years ago, so many of us were immediately asking a million 'what if' questions. Two of the most popular, at least among my family and friend group; What if this impacts my employment? What if I can't pay my bills on time? Some may remember a number of credit card companies began notifying customers that they were able to skip payments or avoid late costs, student loan payments were able to be deferred, I know my car loan lender offered a skip a payment initiative, and then there was the whole moratorium on utility billing collections. Well, one massive Hudson Valley utility company has announced that late payment charges will resume.
Central Hudson Announces Late Payment Charges Resuming
Central Hudson, during the COVID-19 pandemic initiated a suspension of late payment charges for both personal dwellings and businesses. In fact, their website has information on the COVID-19 Policies, Safety and Resources page indicating that they had extended the 'suspension of service disconnections' to lessen any hardship the pandemic may have caused. This initiative required customers/businesses to contact Central Hudson and inform them that the pandemic had impacted their financial circumstances, and then Central Hudson would suspend service disconnections for any missed payments.
In an important notice to all customers email message on Thursday, July 28, Central Hudson informed customers that late payment charges will resume.
This notice is to inform all customers, regardless of present account status, that Central Hudson will soon return to the normal practice of applying late payment surcharges when accounts are overdue. We will be conducting outreach to customers who have an arrears balance, offering solutions to help get back on track.
New York State Moratorium & Utility Debts
During the early months of the pandemic you may remember that New York State issued a moratorium on utility service shutoffs. According to the New York State government website, that moratorium ended effective December 21, 2021, however, the state would be 'offering financial assistance and consumer protections to assist customers maintain their utility service and pay down their arrears.' This includes payment plans and assistance programs.
An article published in U.S. News & World Report back in March broke down utility based debt for New Yorkers, stating that electricity and has customers in the state owned nearly $1.8 billion as of January of this year, this according to data from the State Public Service Commission.
How about a few months back when many of us were receiving astronomical bills and wondering why happened? While I'm hoping you won't see anything that wild (like this Poughkeepsie resident that received an $18K bill recently), Central Hudson customers be aware, and pay close attention to your bill, as they will soon be returning to their practice of applying late payment surcharges if your account is overdue.
Poughkeepsie Man Stuck with $18k Electric Bill For His Apartment