Laws of New York State
Reference: New York State Legislature
Last Update: Feb 22, 2015

§37 - Deferred payment agreements

Cite: N.Y. P.B.S. Law § 37 (Consol.).


1. No utility corporation or municipality shall terminate or refuse to take all actions within such corporation or municipality's control and, where applicable, consistent with the provisions of the agreement for commodity service, if any, between the corporation and the customer, provided such provisions are consistent with this article, to restore service to a residential customer, because of arrears owed the utility corporation or municipality, unless the utility or municipality offers such customer a deferred payment agreement for such arrears; provided, however, that a deferred payment agreement under this article shall not be available to any customer who the commission determines has the resources available to pay his bill, and provided further, however, that any such agreement may provide for the customer to make a downpayment of the arrears, provided that no such downpayment shall exceed one-half of the amount of arrears or three months average billing, whichever is less. In addition, the commission shall provide by regulation that (a) all deferred payment agreements authorized by this article be fair and equitable, considering the customer's financial circumstances; (b) that such agreements obligate customers to make timely payment of current charges for service together with payment of arrears during the pendency of the agreements; that such agreements may be renegotiated and amended where the customer can demonstrate that there have been significant changes in his or her financial circumstances which have arisen due to conditions beyond the customer's control, and that, if the customer receives a utility service by the receipt of portions of such service from each of two or more utility corporations and is billed for such service through a single bill, the payments pursuant to the deferred payment agreement for current charges shall be allocated to each such utility corporation based on the current charges owing to each and the payments for arrears shall be allocated equitably on a pro-rata basis between such utility corporations based on the amount of arrears owing to each.

2. Upon offering any deferred payment agreement, and prior to the signing thereof, a utility corporation or municipality shall give a customer a copy of the agreement, in a form established or affirmatively approved by the commission, which shall contain a conspicuous, bold type notice that the customer may request the assistance of the commission in reaching an agreement. Any such agreement shall be signed in duplicate by the utility or municipality and the customer and each shall receive a signed copy thereof.

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