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Creditors and Bankruptcy/Bankruptcy & Utility Company


This is a clarification of a previous question, I was being conservative when I said I 'was not worried" about the other account; however, during the conversation, I was told that I HAD TO PAY A DEPOSIT IN ORDER TO CONTINUE THE SERVICE.  I paid the deposit on mhy account, but also told the representative that I was no longer responsible for the renters account, and therefore not worried about it.  
 Does the bankruptcy law stipulate how long a utility can continue service without the required deposit?  Having 20 days to pay a deposit is nice, except in my situation where the utility continued the service beyond what I wanted.  Isn't my conversation with the rep the same as a request to terminate since I was not paying the REQUIRED DEPOSIT - I do not remember my exact words, but said I would not be paying the deposit on the renters account, only mine - The bill I wanted to keep.  it.

Hello Connie:    Your question is difficult to answer because it appears that there was a prior question and your question almost assumes that the reader has read that prior question also.   As a result, I can't talk for anyone else that answers this but it what you have written in this question is confusing.   

The rule is this.   IF you have filed for bankruptcy, utilities are prohibited by the automatic stay from terminating your service for 20 days.   After 20 days they can (and often do NOT) require an additional deposit to keep the service on but that deposit can't be used to punish you for filing for bankruptcy.    The deposit they charge has to be as if you had just moved in and they were treating you like a new customer.   

Also, and it looks like this fact also applies to your question, the amount of the utility bill will be discharged, so what they charge you after you file for bankruptcy will be the same thing as if you had just started the utility service on the day that you filed for bankruptcy.    The prior bill will be discharged.   What actually happens in most cases is the utility company, once they find out about the bankruptcy, will withdraw the cut off notice and will open you a new account effective the day of the bankruptcy filing.    As stated, sometimes they will charge a deposit sometimes not.    

The confusion in your question is the identity of the person that actually signed up for the utility account.    What happens in your case depends on whether the person that has the account is the one that filed for bankruptcy.

If you would like to talk about this further, you are welcome to call me anytime at this number.    I will not charge you just to talk on the phone.     

Jack Hall,  J.D.
915  261-3893

Creditors and Bankruptcy

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Can answer questions about bankruptcy, lawsuits or judgments that have been filed against you. Also can answer questions about tax issues, property that is facing foreclosure, repossession of vehicles, and wage garnishments. 915 261-3893


Over 30 years experience assisting consumers with lawsuits and bankruptcy matters since graduating from law school.

Numerous published appellate court opinions; Law review publications; Article on consumer bankruptcy in Black Enterprise magazine; was requested to author a book on consumer bankruptcy by Doubleday Publishers

Over twenty years of education including law degree (J.D.); masters and bachelors degrees in political science; author of magazine articles related to consumer bankruptcy; hundreds of hours of continuing education legal education and seminars

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Have had well over a thousand bankruptcy clients during the past 30 years and have had many clients in civil lawsuits during the same time period

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