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This entry was published on 2014-09-22
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Deferred payment agreements
Public Service (PBS) CHAPTER 48, ARTICLE 2
§ 37. Deferred payment agreements. 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.