If you get behind in paying your utility bills, filing for bankruptcy protection might be a good option for you. When you submit your bankruptcy petition, an automatic stay goes into effect, and legally, the utility company must restore your service or stop the threats of termination.
If your utility company is threatening to turn off your services, you should know that they must follow a specific set of rules before they can do so.
In most states, the larger utility companies are regulated by the public utility commission or, public service commission. Your utility company must meet the requirements set out by these commissions.
Basic requirements for the utility companies to follow are:
- Notice of pending termination
- A right to a hearing
- The right to a deferred payment plan
- No termination if there is a severe illness in the home
- Information about services that will help to pay the utility bills
- Protection from termination in winter months
- Protection from landlords terminating tenants services
If you file for bankruptcy, you are entitled to a 20 day period in which you can use all of your utilities. If you fail to make the payments after your bankruptcy is filed, the utility company has the right to terminate your services.
If you have fallen behind in your bills and your worried you may lose your electricity or other utilities, contact a Columbus bankruptcy attorney to find out what options you may have to restore or keep your services from being shut off.