Woman on fixed income charged $15K by Steve's

Gretna, Neb. (KMTV) -- - A Gretna woman says Steve's Yard Care charged her so much she might never be able to get out of debt.

Janet Carlsen, 76, hired Steve's in March of 2017.  She says she told the owner that she gets $1,3000 a month for Social Security so she is limited in how much she can pay.

Over the course of a year Steve's charged her $15,000 for weed control, calsul, and overseeding of her property which is much larger than a normal lawn.  At times she paid $500 a month or almost 40% of what she gets from Social Security.

"I was scared because I didn't know what he would do to me if I didn't pay something and when I talked to him last I said, 'I can't afford what you're doing to me,' and he said, 'We'll take care of you.'"

Carlsen says other companies have charged her between $200 and $365 for the same work.  She had to tell steve's to stop.  In total she has paid $4,400 but still supposedly owes $10,900 to Steve's.

Catherine Swiniarski is an attorney for people in need over the age of 55 and for the disabled.  She says Social Security is pretty much protected from creditors so they can't take it through the courts for non-essential services.

"People should not be making choices between paying their lawn care bills or their prescriptions :49 they should not be making choices paying for the concrete that was put in and food," Swiniarski explained.

Attorneys say don't ignore mail that comes from the courts or a bill, and respond to a lawsuit against you so you don't end up having to pay because you didn't send an answer or show up to court.

If you feel you've been taken advantage of by a company contact the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division at: https://ago.nebraska.gov/consumer-protection

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