Can You File Your Utility Bills in Bankruptcy?

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Bankruptcy can help you dispose of or manage your debts. Any utility bills that are severely past due or have been sent to collections are eligible to be included in any type of personal bankruptcy filing.

The Facts

  • If you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, your utility bills will be discharged. If you file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy, you might be required to pay back a portion of what you owe.

Considerations

  • You can only include utility bills in your bankruptcy if those bills are in your name.

Benefits

  • If your utilities have been shut off because of your inability to pay your bills, the bankruptcy court will require the utility company to temporarily reinstate your service.

Disadvantages

  • If your account with the utility company is a joint account with a roommate or family member, filing for bankruptcy will not dissolve that person's obligation to the debt.

Warning

  • Utility bills that are not past due cannot be included in a bankruptcy. You cannot "adjust" your bankruptcy paperwork later to include current utility bills you do not intend to pay.

References

  • Photo Credit SXC.hu
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