Utilities are a major monthly expense and one that can be hard to plan for because we are often at the mercy of Mother Nature when it comes to heating, cooling or water usage. As you know, utility providers have a powerful way of forcing you to pay utility bills-they can shut off your service.
Can these bills be wiped out along with credit cards? Yes, they can. As with any other general unsecured debt, the electric or phone bill can be wiped out in bankruptcy. Therefore, if you are already struggling with debt and you are at risk of your utility company disconnecting your service, you need to consult with a bankruptcy attorney to explore your debt relief options.
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Can Prevent or Restore a Utility Termination
Although often not a good idea to file bankruptcy solely because of your utility bills, you may have other financial problems which lead you to consider bankruptcy. The mere filing of your bankruptcy will automatically stop any shut off and require the utility to restore service for at least 20 days.
You must continue to pay bills arising after the bankruptcy is filed. The utility company can also require that you provide adequate assurance that future bills will be paid such as providing a new security deposit within 20 days after filing the bankruptcy case. These deposits can be anywhere from $250.00 to $400.00 on average and depend upon your utility usage.
If you successfully complete your bankruptcy case, you never have to pay any of the amount due at the time you filed for bankruptcy.
You Need an Attorney to Defend Your Legal Rights
If you are one of the many New Jersey residents who are struggling to pay your utility bills, you should contact a bankruptcy attorney for help. For decades, the attorneys at Levitt & Slafkes, P.C., have successfully helped clients get relief from their debt. For both individuals and businesses, we have utilized the law to hold off creditors and to give clients the ability to move forward into a brighter financial future. Let us help you as well. Contact Levitt & Slafkes, P.C. by telephone at (973) 323-2953 to schedule an initial consultation, or contact us online.
We are proudly designated as a debt relief agency by an Act of Congress. We have proudly assisted consumers in filing for Bankruptcy Relief for over 30 years.