Getting Utilities Reinstated as Part of Bankruptcy

Keeping the Lights and the Heat On

It is no surprise that as people fall behind on their bills, utilities tend to be among the ones affected. It has been reported that electric and natural gas shutoffs are up by 15 percent in many states. While utilities do have the right to shut off your services if you fail to pay them, they are required by law to reinstate those services or to stop pending shutoff orders if you file for bankruptcy.

Can Bankruptcy Stop a Utility Shutoff?

Yes, it can. Utilities cannot shut off your services if you file for bankruptcy. However, they can require that you provide "adequate assurance" that you will pay them in the future. Typically this means a security deposit, usually for the next few months of the utility bill. However, you have 20 days from the date of filing to pay it, and many utilities will accept the security deposit in three installment payments.

Once your utilities are turned on, or are no longer in danger of being turned off, you do have to keep current with the new charges. Payments that are in arrears are dischargeable through bankruptcy. Our New Jersey bankruptcy attorneys can help you with getting your utilities reinstated as part of bankruptcy as well as setting up this security deposit installment payment plan.

Can a Utility Company Shut Off My Utilities if I File for Bankruptcy?

No, it cannot. As stated above, it can require you to put down a security deposit toward future service but it cannot refuse you service. Bankruptcy affects the utilities directly, as your prior debt to them will be eliminated as part of your discharge. However, they are not allowed to penalize you for this.

Contact experienced personal bankruptcy lawyers with offices in Paterson, Jersey City and East Orange today to find the solutions to your financial problems. Call for a free consultation at 973-414-8069 or 888-827-5493.

We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.