P.O. Box 275 Arnold, MD 21012

Utilities FAQs

Cypress Utilities FAQs

WHAT IS THIS ASSESSMENT (SOMETIMES CALLED A FRONT-FOOT BENEFIT CHARGE)?

– It is an annual charge of a fixed amount & for a fixed number of years to pay off the cost of installing the water & the sewer infrastructures serving your neighborhood, and used by you every day.

WHAT IS CYPRESS UTILITIES, INC. (“CYPRESS”)?

– Cypress is the company that installed the water & sewer infrastructures in return for the right, granted by Anne Arundel County, to collect the assessment from all landownders in your subdivision.

HOW DO I CONTACT CYPRESS UTILITIES, INC.?

– Phone: 410-339-3959 or 1888-970-7991

Mail: CYPRESS UTILITIES, INC.

P.O. BOX 422

RIDERWOOD, MD 21138-0422

WHO CURRENTLY OWNS THE INFRASTRUCTURES & WHO SHOULD BE CALLED IN THE EVENT OF A PROBLEM?

-After the installation & one year of successful operation, Anne Arundel County thoroughly inspected the infrastructures. They were then transferred to Anne Arundel County. Any operational problems of the infrastructures are the responsibility of Anne Arundel County.

IS THERE ANY PUBLIC DOCUMENTATION SHOWING THAT THESE ASSESSMENTS ARE VALID & APPLY TO YOUR SUBDIVISION?

– The agreements are public records in the Land Records of Anne Arundel County and would appear in a normal title search. They clearly set forth the terms & apply to all of the homes in your subdivision.

WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR TELLING YOU, AS THE PURCHASER, ABOUT THE EXISTENCE & BASIC TERMS OF THE ASSESSMENTS?

– The law that authorizes the assessments states that two parties are responsible to make the purchaser of a home aware of the agreements: (a) The Realtor, if any, at the time of the preparation of the purchase contract, and (b) the title company or settlement attorney at the time of settlement for your purchase.

SHOULD MY LENDER BE ESCROWING TO PAY THESE CHARGES?

– Most standard deed of trust or mortgage agreements make escrow a lender’s option.

ARE THE ASSESSMENTS A LIEN AGAINST MY PROPERTY?

– Yes, according to the documents on record, the assessments are a lien against your property, similar to your mortgage or real estate taxes, with similar risk to your home for failure to pay.

IS IT TRUE THAT: (A) CYPRESS WAS OUT OF BUSINESS & THEREFORE COULDN’T COLLECT? (B) CYPRESS CAN’T COLLECT ANY SUMS DUE FROM MORE THAN 3 YEARS AGO? (C) THERE IS A LOCAL LAW THAT PROHIBITS CYPRESS FROM COLLECTING BECA– USE OF FAILURE TO BILL EACH YEAR? (D) THERE WAS A SUIT BY A GROUP OF HOMEOWNERS ON THESE AND OTHER ISSUES BUT WE DON’T KNOW THE RESULTS?

– These questions were raised in a lawsuit filed a few years ago by a group of homeowners. In two separate rulings, by two different judges of the Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County, the right of Cypress to collect current & past due assessments was upheld.

WHAT ARE SOME SPECIFIC TERMS OF THE AGREEMENTS THAT A HOMEOWNER SHOULD KNOW?

– (a) The assessments are due and payable by March 1st of each year whether or not a bill has been sent or received. Interest is applicable from March 1st on. (b) Any adjustments for assessment due prior to a buyer taking ownership should be made at settlement. If your account reflects charges for assessments due prior to you taking ownership, you should contact your title company, the prior owner, or your realtor. Assessments are due and payable to Cypress by the current owner, regardless of when, or under whose ownership, they accrued. (c) There is no obligation of Cypress to contact a prospective purchaser prior to or at settlement.

SOME OF YOUR NEIGHBORS CLAIM THAT THEY HAVEN’T BEEN PAYING AND DON’T INTEND TO DO SO. WHAT ARE THE CONSEQUENCES OF NON-PAYMENT?

– All homeowners were billed in 2002 and are currently being billed for 2003. Many have been paying regularly. We have commenced legal enforcement action against non-payers. In the meantime, all overdue ammounts continue to bear interest at the rate set forth in the aggrements of record. To date, all suits against homeowners have resulted in payment in full to Cypress prior to tril or a judgement in favor of Cypress for the full amount due plus costs.

WHERE IS THIS INFORMATION TAKEN FROM?

The following FAQ page is extracted from a Cypress Utilities, Inc. Notice.

HOW MUCH LONGER DO WE PAY A FRONT FOOT ASSESSMENT TO CYPRESS UTILITIES?

According to their latest yearly statement, we pay front foot assessments through 2012. Please contact Cypress directly for any additional information.