Man Ultimately Killed by City Utility Company for Taking Payment to Wrong Bank

Marvin Schur of Bay City Michigan was found stiff as a board in his bedroom after the city turned off his power. When he was found the internal house temperature was cooler than many refrigerators. “When neighbors went inside Marvin Schur’s house, the windows were frosted over, icicles hung from a faucet, and the 93-year-old World War II veteran lay dead on the bedroom floor in a winter jacket over four layers of clothing.”

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In February 2007, Schur tried to pay about $350 at his bank, according to a city accounts supervisor. Ten days later, the supervisor says, a city worker made a notation that Schur’s bank was not an authorized payment center.

The following month, the same city official says records show Schur tried to pay $876 at a different bank that could accept utility payments. However, the city says its records inexplicably don’t reflect that the payment was made.

After receiving a fine for unpaid bills, Schur wiped the slate clean with a $1,000 payment, according to Bay City Accounts Supervisor Tina Cooper.

When Schur’s body was discovered, money attached to utility bills reportedly was found in his kitchen. A city official said Schur’s phone had been disconnected.

A limiter had been recently placed on his utility meter, by the city, that cut off his service. Either Mr. Schur did not understand or remember that he could turn the heat back on my going outside to the meter and flipping a switch.

In 2008, Schur continued to ride a seesaw of fines and payments and more warnings that his power would be shutoff.

That led to the installation of a limiter switch January 13 as a warning that he had fallen behind again. This time, records show Schur owed slightly more than $1,000.

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Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.
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