Utility companies are different–they must continue to provide service even after bankruptcy is filed. However, under the law, companies have the right to demand “adequate protection” within 20 days of the date of filing to continue service on an ongoing basis.
What is Bankruptcy?
is a legal process whereby individual consumers and businesses can eliminate or
repay some or all of their debts. If creditors are hounding you or you face
repossession or foreclosure, filing for debt relief may be the right path to
take. It is a complex process, however, and there are many issues to consider.
Here, we will look at one of the most common areas people have questions about:
how utilities and utility bills are affected by bankruptcy.
Anyone who is considering filing for debt relief
should consult with an experienced attorney who can guide you through the
process and answer all your questions. The Coleman Law Group,
with offices (http://colemanlawgroup.com/) in Tampa, St. Petersburg and
Land O’ Lakes, has experienced professionals who are dedicated
to providing you with sympathetic, effective, affordable representation
throughout the bankruptcy process.
Chapter 7 bankruptcy
In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chapter_7_bankruptcy), a court-appointed trustee
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bankruptcy_trustee) cancels most or all of
your debts. However, the trustee may take over and liquidate some of your
property to pay back your creditors. Nevertheless, under Florida law, you may
be permitted to keep certain “exempt” property, such as your car and home.
Utility bills after filing bankruptcy
Two questions many people who face bankruptcy
have are: (1) whether utility companies are allowed to shut off their utilities
after they file and (2) if bankruptcy protects them from having to pay ongoing
Like it or not, utility bills are a fact of
modern life. Whether you live in Clearwater, Tampa, St. Petersburg or Land
O’Lakes, everyone needs water to drink and for washing every single day. And we
all use energy to some degree throughout the year, to turn on the lights or
keep us warm.
Federal law prohibits utility companies from
discriminating against people based solely on a bankruptcy filing. If you are
current with your bills, utilities generally will not become an issue. However,
very often this is not the case.
Usually, a creditor
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creditor) has the right to stop giving credit to
someone who has filed bankruptcy. Utility companies are different–they must
continue to provide service even after bankruptcy is filed. However, under the
law, companies have the right to demand “adequate protection” within 20 days of
the date of filing to continue service on an ongoing basis. While the statute
does not precisely define “adequate protection,” in practice it means that the
company can require a deposit equivalent to or based upon the amount that is
overdue at the time bankruptcy is filed. Then the debtor must keep current with
ongoing monthly utility bills.
List all utilities bill amounts
When filing bankruptcy, you are required to list all money then owed for utility bills. Bills that can be included in a filing include electricity, water, gas, sewage, and trash. Even less essential services such as telephone, television and internet can be included.
Consult an experienced bankruptcy
More than one million people in the U.S. file for
debt relief each year. Almost anyone can find themselves in the position of
seeking bankruptcy protection, whether because of a failed business venture, a
mortgage foreclosure, or medical bills. But the bankruptcy process is
complicated, so it is important to seek out qualified professionals who have
the expertise to help you navigate the legal maze.
The attorneys at the Coleman Law Group
are not only dedicated to helping clients resolve their financial difficulties
and obtain debt relief, they are committed to providing all their clients with
the personal attention and compassionate
representation they deserve.
Whether you live in Clearwater, Land O’ Lakes,
St. Petersburg, Tampa, or anywhere in Pinellas County or along the Gulf Coast,
please call one of the Coleman Law Group’s Florida offices to
make an appointment.
St. Petersburg and Tampa: 727-214-0400
For more information about bankruptcy, click below:
Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Can Be A Fresh Start(Opens in a new browser tab)
You also can visit our website at colemanlawgroup.com/