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Utility continues to send bills after filing with pre-filing Debt

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Established Member

Utility continues to send bills after filing with pre-filing Debt

Hello everyone,

I've been reading the forums for thelast few weeks, and am looking for some insight to an issue. I have contacted my attorney and will follow up with him on MOnday or Tuesday.

Our local water utility is run by the city and they continue to send me bills that include the amount owed before filing. We filed on 8/30/19 and the bill cut off date was 0n 9/3/19. I stopped in after the October bill was cut on 10/1/19 to find out what I owed since it again included the amount for August. They said that they were not notified of the bankruptcy so I gave them the case number and asked if they could tell me what I owed from 8/31 on so I could keep the bill current going forward. I was told that they can't do that since the cutoff date was on 9/3, and that they also cannot do anything until the discharge is received.

 

My attorney sent them a letter providing additional information concerning the bankruptcy, and informing them that they need to update the account to reflect only amounts owed since 8/31. He also suggested that I put the money for the bill each month in savings so that after the discharge is received and I get an updated bill with the correct amount I can pay it right away. My concern is that by the time my discharge comes through, scheduled for 12/23 I'll be 3-4 months behind, and in my city they typically add unpaid water bills to the property taxes if not paid by the middle of December.

 

What do you all think about this situation? Would this be a violation of the bankruptcy rules with this claiming that they have not been notified of the bankruptcy? Any help that could be provided would be greatly appreciated.

Message 1 of 6
5 REPLIES 5
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Super Contributor

Re: Utility continues to send bills after filing with pre-filing Debt

Chapter 7 bankruptcy can provide immediate relief if you are in danger of a utility shut-off, including your gas, electricity, water, or even telephone. But to keep the lights on, within 20 days of your filing you must provide proof that you will be able to pay future utility bills.

https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/using-chapter-7-bankruptcy-prevent-utility-shut-off.html 

Message 2 of 6
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Established Member

Re: Utility continues to send bills after filing with pre-filing Debt

FireMedic,

Thanks for the response, but let me try to clarify a couple of things. First, we were not to the point that we were in danger of disconnection, the issue remains around the billing. All of our other utilities closed the old accounts and started new accounts effective on the filing date. This allowed me to start making payments on only the amounts due since filing. The municpial water utility has not done this and states that they cannot make any changes until the discharge is issued. So at this time I am receiving bills that contain both the amount due before filing, as well as any amounts due after the filing date. So at this point if I make a payment for the September or October bill it will be applied to the oldest amount owed which would be the July bill according to the active records they are using. So there is no issue with showing the ability to pay, or in fact making the current payments, I have the money ready to pay them.

 

Thanks

Message 3 of 6
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Super Contributor

Re: Utility continues to send bills after filing with pre-filing Debt

This makes so sense at all what their doing. You use a utility. Then you pay what you used for the month. On to the next billing cycle. Its almost like double billing BS. I'd call your lawyer and see what they say. This doent pass the smell test.

Message 4 of 6
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Established Member

Re: Utility continues to send bills after filing with pre-filing Debt

Well issue solved, a second letter from the attorney and they provided him with the correct amounts, so post filing bill paid and they told him that future invoices will be correct.
Message 5 of 6
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Super Contributor

Re: Utility continues to send bills after filing with pre-filing Debt

Excellent. Cant fight the fed govt laws on BK no matter how hard they try. Congrats!

Message 6 of 6
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