Bankruptcy and Utility Shut Offs

: Reese Baker & Associates

  Filed under: Debt

If you are behind in your utility payments and worried your electricity, gas or water is about to be turned off. Bankruptcy may be an option to stop that from happening. By filing bankruptcy, the automatic stay will stop any attempts to collect on a debt and stops any legal actions from moving forward. It isn’t a good idea to file bankruptcy just to keep your utilities on, sometimes there are other options to help you pay those bills.


If, however, you are having other financial issues that are making it difficult to pay your bills, you might want to file bankruptcy. The sooner, the better to keep your utilities on. Once you submit the paperwork with the courts, the utility companies must restore service or stop the threat of termination.

You will have 21 days in which to pay any new utility bills after you filed for bankruptcy. If you complete all the requirements and have a successful bankruptcy, you will not have to pay any past utility payments, they will be legally eliminated.

Emergency Assistance

Other sources may help provide you with money to prevent your utilities from being shut off.

  • Utility fuel funds. Contact the utility threatening with shutoff, plus any other utility company you get service from and ask if they have a special fund to help people pay their utility bills.
  • The county department of social services
  • State emergency assistance, some states have a “homeless prevention” fund that can be used for utility terminations.
  • Local churches often help people in need.
  • Salvation Army usually has money to help people in the community that needs assistance with their utilities.

If you have overwhelming debt and worry that you won’t be able to catch up, contact a Hidalgo bankruptcy attorney to find out how you can get all of your qualifying debt wiped away.