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LETTER: Republic Services hammering customers with liens

As reported by the Review-Journal, Republic Services files some 100,000 liens annually in Nevada for unpaid trash collection bills. At a minimum penalty of $200 each, these liens yield Republic a staggering $20 million in fees annually.

What has not been well reported (something I discovered first hand) is that Republic files these liens with virtually no notice to the homeowner. While company officials claim to send out two letters (a paltry notice for starting a process that leads to eviction), they send no emails, no certified mail, make no phone calls and don’t even tape a notice to your trash can.

This results in thousands of citizens, including me, having liens filed against their home with no prior knowledge. Certainly some portion of these 100,000 liens and $20 million in penalties are the result of people intentionally not paying their bills. But there are countless situations, including my own, where citizens had no idea their bill was past due. It wasn’t until I realized that Republic was making some $20 million on late fees that it made sense why the company did next to nothing to prevent this from happening.

Greedy corporations aside, the Las Vegas mayor and City Council are equally at blame for signing exclusive contracts with a company willing to fleece customers so shamelessly.

A contract revision requiring a notice via certified mail and a notice attached to the garbage can prior to placing a lien would save citizens tens of millions annually and protect them from collection practices that make loan sharks look like saints.

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