Managing Utility Billing and Collections: What Residents Need to Know
Dear Northampton County Residents,
Northampton County Government understands the many financial complexities of families during the COVID-19 pandemic. As a government we have ensured that billing and collections remained compliant with the minimum billing/notification standards set for by state guidelines. Now that restrictions have been lifted, billing and collection requirements will now resume according to normal procedure.
This ‘Question and Answer’ or ‘Q&A’ is created to guide you with questions you may have.
1. When did the Governor’s order for suspension of utility companies to cease disconnections for non-payment occur?
Answer: Executive Order 124 went into effect on March 19, 2020
2. Was the order extended?
Answer: Executive Order 142 extended the previous order for 60 days. The order expired on July 29, 2020.
3. Does that mean I do not have to pay any past due amounts accrued from March 2020 through July 20, 2020?
Answer: No. The governor stated that there is no provision in the Executive orders that shall be construed as relieving a customer of their obligation to pay bills for receipt of any utility covered by this order.
4. What if I got behind in my payment(s)?
Answer: Executive Order 142 states that Executive Order 124, Section 1(C) is amended as follows: Customers shall be provided the opportunity to make reasonable payment arrangements to pay off over at least a six (6) month period any arrearages accumulated during the effective period of this executive order.
5. What did the county do to adhere to the Commissions orders for repayment?
Answer: Letters were mailed to those customers who were past due during the period of March 2020 through July 2020 to offer them an “installment agreement” for a 6-month period.
6. Were late fees and penalties added to my outstanding bill?
Answer: No late fees or service fees were added to ANY outstanding balances of any customers.
7. What happens now?
Answer: Payments are still due and payable by the due dates listed on your bill. If you signed the installment plan agreement you are still obligated to pay your regular monthly bill in addition to your installment payment by the due date listed on your bill in order to not have your services interrupted.
8. Has Northampton County Public Works resumed late fees and disconnections?
Answer: Late fees were resumed in February 2021 and service fees and disconnections will resume in March 2021.
9. How can I pay my utility Bill - The Public Works lobby is now open to citizens with limited capacity. Utility bills may also be paid online, over the phone, mailed or paid by drop-box at the drive through window.
Managing Utility Billing and Collections- What Residents Need to Know