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WW-INQUIRY: Sewer Liens

Explains source of authority for sewer liens and how/where to pay them.

What allows the Utility to place a sewer lien on my property?

  • According to Indiana Code 36-9-23-32, sewer charges constitute a lien against the property.  The Utility may place a lien on the property when sewer charges become delinquent.
  • In the City of South Bend, unpaid sewer charges become delinquent if not paid within five (5) days of the due date.  The lien may be placed anytime thereafter.

Why is the amount of the lien greater than the sewer charges owed?

  • The total lien amount includes recording fees, release fees, and penalties in addition to the sewer charges owed to the Utility.  
  • This is why the Utility cannot take payment of delinquent sewer charges once a sewer lien has been placed.  All payments must be made to the St. Joseph County Treasurer.
  • If you have any questions about the amount of the lien, please contact the St. Joseph County Auditor.

When will my account reflect payment of my sewer lien?

  • The Utility will release the lien and update your account once it has received funds back from St. Joseph County through their normal schedule of property tax distributions.

How do I pay my sewer lien?

  • Once a sewer lien has been placed on your property, it attaches to your property tax bill and must be paid through the St. Joseph County Treasurer's Office.
  • The total amount of the sewer lien will include recording, release and penalty fees assessed by St. Joseph County, which is why the Utility cannot accept payment of delinquent sewer charges once a sewer lien has been placed.

For 311:

The most important thing to communicate is that customers need to pay the lien through the County Treasurer, not through the Utility.

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