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URL:  http://boards.fool.com/i-must-tell-you-about-the-nyc-city-councillor-and-30913196.aspx

Subject:  Re: A new breed of debt collector. Date:  10/8/2013  11:18 PM
Author:  Windowseat Number:  307304 of 309665

I must tell you about the NYC City Councillor and the crazy suggestion she made about people who don't pay their electric bills.

Well, with that tease, now you have to!

This was far enough back that the local utility was Con Ed (short for Consolidated Edison). And one winter there was a very tragic case about a home where the electricity had been cut off, and some children died of the cold.

After a long investigation it was proved that Con Ed had tried, really, seriously tried, to get help for the family. They had offered a payment plan, they had sent information about groups that would help with the heating bill, and so on. This was not a case where a ruthless corporation had shut down the heat without a word. This was a case where the parents were sucking up every penny for drugs or drink, and they didn't care enough to make sure their kids were safe and warm.

However, before the full information had come out, that made it clear it was the parent's fault, one of the city councilors proposed a law making it illegal to cut the electricity in a house or apartment with children. If there was a kid under eighteen, it didn't matter how high the bill was, Con Ed couldn't cut power.

So Con Ed had to point out, very carefully, that given that kind of law, there would be a