Home News Property developer sues S&WB, says utility tanked his credit score over disputed bills | Business News

Property developer sues S&WB, says utility tanked his credit score over disputed bills | Business News

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Anthony Marullo, developer of New Orleans and owner of a large portfolio of residential and commercial real estate, claims that utilities have lowered his credit score and damaged his reputation for disputed water rates. And is suing the Sewerage and Water Services Bureau.

The proceedings filed in the Orleans District Court earlier this week involved two apartments in Central City, which have a total of 23 rental units.

Marullo claims that after disputing an invoice totaling nearly $ 62,000 last year, S & WB sent the disputed invoice to the collection department without notifying him. He also claims that he has never been informed of the consequences of the conflict process.

A long history of conflict

Marullo’s proceedings highlighted growing dissatisfaction among S & WB payers over the billing system of local utilities, which has recently become a bigger spark. Political dispute between Mayor LaToya Cantrell and the city council..

The problem is A long history of disputed water tariffs and general questions about utility finances And how do you pay for the infrastructure upgrades that are very necessary?

S & WB refused to comment on Marlo’s proceedings, but said the final invoice was handed over to the collector 30 days after the deadline and made “every effort” to notify the customer.

Waterboard Executive Director Ghassan Korban Last week, utilities said they chose a vendor for a $ 65 million project. Replacing the manual reading meter with a new “smart meter” will ultimately help solve the billing problem. He said he hoped the project would start this year, but admitted that it would take three years to complete.

Marlo refused to comment beyond the proceedings.

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As a result of Marlo’s $ 62,000 debt in the water department’s collection department, the proceedings allege that Marlo’s credit rating agency score plummeted from about 750 to about 500.

Credit scores (also known as FICO scores) are compiled by three major credit rating agencies and affect a person’s ability to borrow money and the cost of borrowing.

Banks and other lenders are usually restricted by regulations regarding lending to people with low creditworthiness. FICO score Above 740 is considered “very good” and below 579 is considered “bad”. And it will limit the ability of the borrower.

Marullo’s proceedings allege that S & WB’s actions mean that he is currently unable to secure funding for his real estate development project. He also argues that it could cause “irreparable harm to his reputation” and affect his ability to stay on the board of directors of Covington’s American Bank and Trust.

Ask for an injunction

Marlo, the third generation of the family who owns the French Market Restaurant & Bar on Decatur Street since 1965, also owns an apartment complex with nearly 1,000 rental units in the New Orleans area.

He also owns a portfolio of commercial facilities, including the recently acquired 3131 Veterans Memorial Boulevard Forum and Lakeside Plaza, a strip mall on 17th Avenue in Metairie.

Marullo’s proceedings seek an immediate injunction ordering the pending bill to be removed from the Water Department’s collection process. The hearing is scheduled for Friday. He is also seeking unspecified damages and attorneys’ fees.

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