In many bankruptcy cases, the debtors are not just behind on their mortgages, credit cards and other debt, but also behind on their utilities, including gas and electric, cable and telephone bills. If the debtor is filing a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, the remedy is simple – any outstanding bills incurred prior to the filing, will be paid over the term of the plan. Things are less simple in Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
The utility company cannot shut off bankruptcy debtors’ utilities services if there are outstanding debts owed prior to the bankruptcy filing since that would violate automatic stay. In most circumstances, the services will continue, but the utility may request a security deposit. If the utility company turned off service prior to the bankruptcy filing, the debtor should provide proof of filing to the utility and request that the services be turned back on. The utility company must turn the debtor’s utilities back on since it is obligated to do so under the state law. Here is Rochester, before doing so, companies may require bankruptcy debtors to submit an initial deposit.
If the debtor fails to pay utility bills that come due after the filing, the utility provider generally can terminate service for nonpayment of post-petition utility bills. This applies to both Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcies.
If you are dealing with debt problems in Western New York, including Rochester, Canandaigua, Brighton, Pittsford, Penfield, Perinton, Fairport, Webster, Victor, Farmington, Greece, Gates, Hilton, Parma, Brockport, Spencerport, LeRoy, Chili, Churchville, Monroe County, Ontario County, Wayne County, Orleans County, Livingston County, and being harassed by bill collectors, and would like to know more about how bankruptcy may be able to help you, contact me today by phone or email to schedule a FREE initial consultation with a bankruptcy lawyer.