In Debt and In the Dark: If You’re In Bankruptcy, Can Your Utilities Be Shut Off? - John T Orcutt - Bankruptcies Can Help Get Your Power Turned Back On Skip to main content

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In Debt and In the Dark: If You’re In Bankruptcy, Can Your Utilities Be Shut Off?


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Being in debt can be stressful and can leave you feeling like there’s no light at the end of the tunnel. That may be particularly true if you’re sitting in the dark because you’re so broke you can’t pay your electric bill. Getting a month or two behind on your gas, electric or water bills is no reason by itself to run file for bankruptcy, but if you are constantly behind and living in fear of your lights shutting off or faucet running dry because you’ve got too much overall debt, it may be time to consult attorneys. Raleigh NC consumers plagued by debt can find relief in bankruptcy and get their lights back on for good!

With a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing, all unsecured debt is eliminated – with few exceptions. This means that your water, electric, internet, cable and gas bills will be zeroed out as of the date of your filing and you shouldn’t have any utility reps come knocking about your bill or shutting off your service. NC bankruptcy attorneys will tell you the only unsecured debts that will survive your bankruptcy filing are child support and alimony payments, court fees, DUI debts, recent taxes and student loans (unless your bankruptcy attorney files a successful request for education debt relief).

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If you’ve filed for bankruptcy and included your utility providers in the Chapter 7 filing, you should absolutely not be left in the dark or cold. If your utilities are cut off, contact your bankruptcy attorney right away and also contact customer service at your utility. Not only should they come right back out to get you turned back on, but you shouldn’t have to pay a reconnect fee. In the cold winter months, it’s critically important that you’re not left out in the cold with a heating service shut off. This is particularly important if you have small children or an elderly parent with Alzheimer’s or other illnesses that extreme cold can make seriously ill.

The best case is if you see a technician at your home preparing to cut off your services, tell them you’ve filed bankruptcy and the utility should not be cut off. Ask them to wait for a moment while you contact customer service. Call in immediately and provide your bankruptcy case number. If they are not compliant, ask for their specific name and office number. By cutting off a utility that’s part of your bankruptcy filing, they are actually breaking federal law. If they are uncooperative, ask for their supervisor. Offer your attorney’s name and number and ask them to contact them before cutting anything off.

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Be sure to check your bills that come in after your bankruptcy filing to make sure your past due balance has been wiped out. If it hasn’t, contact customer service right away to provide your bankruptcy case number and ask them to update your account to show that you have no past due balance. This can be done proactively if you know you’re behind to prevent a cutoff technician from coming to your house. If you need assistance with a utility provider that is not acting in compliance with the law, contact your bankruptcy attorney straight away.

Once you have a clean slate, it’s important that you not let your utility bills get behind again – be sure to pay them on time. Your bankruptcy filing only takes care of the old balances. If you are in deep debt and desperately need relief due to unemployment or any other financial hiccup, get your finances back on track. Contact a reputable North Carolina attorney about filing bankruptcy.

Dedicated to helping residents of North Carolina find the best solutions to their debt problems. Don’t waste another day worrying about your debt. Call 1-888-234-4181 today to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your bankruptcy options.

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