A debt collection agency is being sued over allegations it inflated attorney fees owed by residents in New York who were behind on water and sewer bills.

Joan Grant Boyd, Sybil Taylor and Tonya Warters filed the lawsuit April 22 in U.S. District Court Eastern District of New York against J.E. Robert Co. Inc. and JER Revenue Services, alleging the company collected money after it illegally inflated the amounts owned.

According to the complaint, J.E. Robert also charged so-called debt cancellation fees and other process fees for services that were never performed. J.E. Robert also misrepresented specific amounts owed for designated items due in “payoff quotes” even though that wasn't the case, and also, upon collecting the excessive amounts from New York residents, did not pay interest on the overpaid funds, the suit says.

The plaintiffs seek class status in the suit, believing there could be thousands of people in the state of New York who were wrongfully charged the fees by J.E. Robert. They seek damages of at least $5 million, plus court costs. They are represented by attorneys Paul Grobman and Curtis V. Trinko in New York City.

U.S. District Court Eastern District of New York case number 1:15-cv-02302.

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