woman doing bills

Making the decision to file for bankruptcy isn’t always easy, as there are many considerations you’ll have to make before determining if this is the right option for you. One thing many are curious about is whether or not they can include overdue utility bills in the filing, and whether or not their utilities can be shut off during bankruptcy. If this reflects your circumstances, the following blog can answer the pressing questions you may have about these matters. Additionally, you’ll discover how a Memphis, TN consumer bankruptcy lawyer can help you through these complex times.

Does Filing Bankruptcy Impact My Utility Bills?

If you are filing for bankruptcy, you may wonder whether or not you can include any overdue, unpaid utility bills in the filing. In general, yes, you can absolutely include any outstanding utility or cable bills in your bankruptcy filing.

However, if this is the case, you may find that your utility provider may require a deposit that increases the price of your services to continue providing utilities. This is permissible under the law, as cable and utility providers cannot refuse services to someone simply because they filed for bankruptcy, but they can refuse service if you do not provide a new deposit.

It’s also important to note that if you are behind and the utility company has threatened to terminate your services, filing for bankruptcy will provide you with an automatic stay. This prevents the utility company from taking action against you while your bankruptcy case is ongoing. As a result, they cannot turn off your utilities on you. This also stops all other collection methods against you.

What Else Should I Know About Bankruptcy in Tennessee?

When you file for bankruptcy in Tennessee, you must choose what Chapter you file. You may qualify for Chapter 13 or Chapter 7. To file for Chapter 7, you must complete a means test, which means you meet the income requirement for this option. Chapter 7 is a much faster process, as it liquidates your assets, taking around six months. Those who don’t qualify for Chapter 7 can opt for Chapter 13, which is when you will make a repayment plan that lasts three to five years. This helps prevent losing assets.

It’s in your best interest to connect with an experienced attorney to guide you through this process, as filing for bankruptcy can be a complex legal matter. If you’re unsure which option is best for you, your attorney can examine your circumstances to help you pick the best choice. Additionally, they can help you file the necessary paperwork to ensure there are no errors that could prolong this process.

When you’re ready to file, the Arnold Law Firm can help. Our dedicated legal team understands how overwhelming this process can be, so we will do everything to help you navigate these complex times. Contact us today to discuss the details of your case with a member of our team.