Old Water Bill - WSVN-TV - 7NEWS Miami Ft. Lauderdale News, Weather, Deco

Old Water Bill

Posted: Updated:
North Lauderdale resident Kori Goldstein North Lauderdale resident Kori Goldstein

Several people in one South Florida city didn't get a water bill for years. Some weren't concerned because they thought it was being paid by their association or their landlord, but now they are all being told they have to pay thousands ... or do they? It's why one woman called Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser.

WSVN -- Kori Goldstein was inspired to be a schoolteacher by a few of her teachers, but not in the way you might imagine.

Kori Goldstein: "I enjoyed going to school, but every now and then I would get a teacher that made me not want to attend school, and so I wanted to change that and make kids enjoy school, to help them realize how important education is."

Seven years ago she became a Broward teacher, and five and a half years ago, bought her first home.

Kori Goldstein: "I liked the location and the neighborhood is calm and quiet. I was told water was included in the association fees. I was happy with the property."

For five and a half years, everything flowed along. Then...

Kori Goldstein: "A few Tuesdays ago I got home and there was no water on. I called the management company right away to see what was going on, and there was a little confusion, cause they thought, you know, 'Well, did you pay your bill?' But I told them, 'I don't pay a bill; it's included.'"

Kori had never gotten a water bill, and wasn't surprised because she was told by the former management company it was included in her association fees. So she called the North Lauderdale water association, who told her, 'Oh yeah, your water bill has never been paid.'"

Kori Goldstein: "They told me I owe them about $4,600 in back pay, and that is quite a lot."

Needless to say, Kori was stunned.

Kori Goldstein: "By now, the water company should have realized and contacted me. I figured, within two three months I should have known, but I was never notified. Even before I got home, I never got a letter in the mail, a sticker on my door, nothing."

Kori is not alone. In the past week, we were contacted by two other North Lauderdale residents who say they got their first water bill in years from the city. This one for $9,202, and another one for $5,600.

They are like Kori, who now faces a $4,600 water bill.

Kori Goldstein: "They did say that they can offer me a payment plan, but it wasn't too reasonable. It was half upfront, and the rest was monthly payments. That's $2,300 dollars, and it's about to be summer without a paycheck. I don't know how I'm going to pay it."

But does she have to pay the full $4,600 water bill that no one noticed for five and a half years?

Kori Goldstein: "I'm hoping they will somehow, they will rethink the amount they are charging me and reduce the amount due to their negligence, notice they should have billed me sooner and charge me less."

Kori was told her water bill was included in her association fees. North Lauderdale never noticed it wasn't being paid. So, Howard, wanna pour out some of your legal knowledge on this?

Howard Finkelstein: "You do have to pay back water bills, even if the utility made the mistake and forgot to bill you, but they cannot go back five and a half years. If it is a city or county-owned water department, the law only lets them go back four years, and if it is a privately owned water company, they can only go back one year."

We then contacted the North Lauderdale Water Department to find out why they missed billing Kori for five and a half years, as well as other North Lauderdale residents. A spokesman told us they just did an audit and found 60 water accounts that were not being billed. They are now correcting that.

North Lauderdale then helped Kori out. They lowered bill from $4,566 to $3,468, since they can only bill back for the last four years instead of five and a half. She also does not have to pay half immediately. Instead, the city is going to allow her to pay it off $60 a month for the next five years. There will be no late fees, penalties or interest on the old bill.

Kori Goldstein: "I feel like you guys helped me out."

Kori can now do what schoolteachers need to do in the summer: relax and rest, now that she knows what she's facing with in her water woes.

Kori Goldstein: "And it's a fair deal, although I would rather not have to pay such a large amount. But it's reasonable, the payment plan."

Now, we do get a lot of complaints about water bills, but most are about high water bills caused by a leaky toilet or pipe. Check right away when you get that bill. If you don't have a leak, contact the water department and get them to check the meter. Meters go bad just like toilets go bad, and if it's a bad meter, they have to fix the meter and your bill.

Flooded with problems that have left you soaked? Wanna make a splash? Contact us. Hopefully we can sprinkle in a little legal help, and douse you with a solution.

With this Help Me Howard, I'm Patrick Fraser, 7News.

CONTACT HELP ME HOWARD:

E-mail: helpmehoward@wsvn.com (please include your contact phone number when e-mailing)
Reporter: Patrick Fraser at pfraser@wsvn.com
Miami-Dade: 305-953-WSVN
Broward: 954-761-WSVN

  • Out for JusticeMore>>

  • Alfred McCormick

    Alfred McCormick

    Saturday, July 26 2014 1:00 AM EDT2014-07-26 05:00:26 GMT
    Minister Alfred McCormickMinister Alfred McCormick
    He was a man of God, but early one morning Minister Alfred McCormick was gunned down in the street like a criminal. Maybe because a crook thought he was a crook he was looking for. As Patrick Fraser tells us on tonight's Out For Justice, detectives are determined to find his killer, but they need your help.
    He was a man of God, but early one morning Minister Alfred McCormick was gunned down in the street like a criminal. Maybe because a crook thought he was a crook he was looking for. As Patrick Fraser tells us on tonight's Out For Justice, detectives are determined to find his killer, but they need your help.
  • Qualecia James

    Qualecia James

    Friday, July 11 2014 11:30 PM EDT2014-07-12 03:30:24 GMT
    Qualecia James (right) and her daughterQualecia James (right) and her daughter
    Last March, an afternoon out with friends ended in a barrage of bullets for a pregnant Miami Gardens mother. As Patrick Fraser tells us on tonight's Out for Justice, detectives made an arrest in the case last week, but their work is far from over, and they need your help to bring in the rest of the killers.
    Last March, an afternoon out with friends ended in a barrage of bullets for a pregnant Miami Gardens mother. As Patrick Fraser tells us on tonight's Out for Justice, detectives made an arrest in the case last week, but their work is far from over, and they need your help to bring in the rest of the killers.
  • Benoit Lessard

    Benoit Lessard

    Monday, June 16 2014 11:13 AM EDT2014-06-16 15:13:54 GMT
    He bought his little spot in the sun. Retired Canadian Benoit Lessard loved to spend winters in South Florida, but as Patrick Fraser tells us on tonight's Out for Justice, a man with a gun turned his retirement heaven into hell. Fifteen years later, police are still trying to solve this cold case.
    He bought his little spot in the sun. Retired Canadian Benoit Lessard loved to spend winters in South Florida, but as Patrick Fraser tells us on tonight's Out for Justice, a man with a gun turned his retirement heaven into hell. Fifteen years later, police are still trying to solve this cold case.
  • Carmel on the CaseMore>>

  • South Florida Doctor Sued

    South Florida Doctor Sued

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 10:51 PM EDT2014-07-30 02:51:49 GMT
    7News has learned a South Florida doctor who is already being sued for inappropriately touching a patient, is now being investigated by police for the same allegation. Investigative reporter Carmel Cafiero is on the case with a 7News exclusive.
    7News has learned a South Florida doctor who is already being sued for inappropriately touching a patient, is now being investigated by police for the same allegation. Investigative reporter Carmel Cafiero is on the case with a 7News exclusive.
  • BADge Behavior: Miami-Dade Police officer cuts a deal after being accused of stealing gas from the county

    BADge Behavior: Miami-Dade Police officer cuts a deal after being accused of stealing gas from the county

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 12:15 AM EDT2014-07-23 04:15:18 GMT
    Former Miami-Dade Police Officer Rose StabioFormer Miami-Dade Police Officer Rose Stabio
    WSVN -- There is one less police officer in South Florida tonight. She has resigned in disgrace after being caught stealing gas. Investigative reporter Carmel Cafiero is On the Case.
    WSVN -- There is one less police officer in South Florida tonight. She has resigned in disgrace after being caught stealing gas. Investigative reporter Carmel Cafiero is On the Case.
  • Former State Corrections Officer Cleared in Shooting Death Outside Bar

    Former State Corrections Officer Cleared in Shooting Death Outside Bar

    Tuesday, July 8 2014 10:34 PM EDT2014-07-09 02:34:21 GMT
    Tonight there's a decision on whether to charge a former state corrections officer who shot and killed a man outside of a bar. Was it murder, manslaughter, or self defense? Investigative reporter Carmel Cafiero broke the story and is back On the Case.
    Tonight there's a decision on whether to charge a former state corrections officer who shot and killed a man outside of a bar. Was it murder, manslaughter, or self defense? Investigative reporter Carmel Cafiero broke the story and is back On the Case.
  • 7News InvestigationMore>>

  • Captain of Controversy

    Captain of Controversy

    Capt. Francesco SchettinoCapt. Francesco Schettino
    In Italy this week, the captain of the Costa Concordia began pre-trial hearings he hopes will convince a judge that the deadly shipwreck was an accident and not a crime. Earlier this year, investigative reporter Carmel Cafiero traveled to Italy for an exclusive interview with Captain Schettino and now has a special assignment report on what he will be telling the court.
    In Italy this week, the captain of the Costa Concordia began pre-trial hearings he hopes will convince a judge that the deadly shipwreck was an accident and not a crime. Earlier this year, investigative reporter Carmel Cafiero traveled to Italy for an exclusive interview with Captain Schettino and now has a special assignment report on what he will be telling the court.
  • Till Death Do Us Part

    Till Death Do Us Part

    Thursday, November 7 2013 11:54 PM EST2013-11-08 04:54:26 GMT
    Alejandra Apraez said her wedding was ruined when the florist she hired did not show up. Alejandra Apraez said her wedding was ruined when the florist she hired did not show up.
    There is very little that will match a bride's wedding day -- a day, months, even years in the planning -- and one South Florida woman's wedding was ruined when the florist didn't show up. Why? A death ... but was there a death? Tonight, investigative reporter Patrick Fraser has the amazing story in a report we call "Till Death Do Us Part."
    There is very little that will match a bride's wedding day -- a day, months, even years in the planning -- and one South Florida woman's wedding was ruined when the florist didn't show up. Why? A death ... but was there a death? Tonight, investigative reporter Patrick Fraser has the amazing story in a report we call "Till Death Do Us Part."
  • Blackwater Fever

    Blackwater Fever

    It was a terrible form of malaria that killed two men. Turning their internal organs black. In south Florida we have almost wiped malaria out but now the concern -- it's spreading around us and could hit us. As...
    It was a terrible form of malaria that killed two men. Turning their internal organs black. In south Florida we have almost wiped malaria out but now the concern -- it's spreading around us and could hit us. As Patrick...
  • Help Me HowardMore>>

  • Can't Help Kids Learn to Swim

    Can't Help Kids Learn to Swim

    Monday, July 28 2014 11:37 PM EDT2014-07-29 03:37:03 GMT
    It's part of being a parent: teaching your kids to ride a bike, to play sports, to swim. But how would you feel if you were told, "Stop teaching your child to swim?" When it happened to one South Florida father, he was stunned, and turned to Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser for some answers.
    It's part of being a parent: teaching your kids to ride a bike, to play sports, to swim. But how would you feel if you were told, "Stop teaching your child to swim?" When it happened to one South Florida father, he was stunned, and turned to Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser for some answers.
  • Found Savings Bonds, Can't Find Owner

    Found Savings Bonds, Can't Find Owner

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 10:57 PM EDT2014-07-24 02:57:35 GMT
    It's what some people dream about: finding an envelope filled with money. One South Florida woman did find it in a parking lot, but she wasn't dreaming of riches. She was determined to find the owner. She couldn't, so she called Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser.
    It's what some people dream about: finding an envelope filled with money. One South Florida woman did find it in a parking lot, but she wasn't dreaming of riches. She was determined to find the owner. She couldn't, so she called Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser.
  • Finding a Burglar

    Finding a Burglar

    Monday, July 21 2014 11:39 PM EDT2014-07-22 03:39:48 GMT
    Loretta Clark's diamond necklace.Loretta Clark's diamond necklace.
    When his wife passed away, he was devastated. Today he feels even worse, because a necklace she loved, that was left for him, was stolen by a crook who broke into his home. So many people in South Florida are crime victims, but what can you do? It's why he called Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser.
    When his wife passed away, he was devastated. Today he feels even worse, because a necklace she loved, that was left for him, was stolen by a crook who broke into his home. So many people in South Florida are crime victims, but what can you do? It's why he called Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser.
Powered by WorldNow

WSVN-TV
Sunbeam Television Corp
1401 79th Street Causeway
Miami, FL 33141

Switchboard: (305) 751-6692
Newsroom: (305) 795-2777

Can't find something?
Connect with us here:
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WSVN. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.