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Southfield, Michigan 48075
Using chapter 7 or chapter 13 bankruptcy is one way to prevent a utility or DTE from shutting-off your services. There are many ways that bankruptcy can save the day and can be an excellent tool to protects consumers at the same time. During bankruptcy, utility companies may not shut off essential services because of past due amounts, so long as they are listed as creditors in your bankruptcy case. Federal law prohibits utility companies from discontinuing service to you because you declare bankruptcy.
As soon as you file your bankruptcy petition with the bankruptcy Court, the bankruptcy automatic stay goes into effect. With a few exceptions, the automatic stay prohibits all collections efforts by your creditors on delinquent accounts, such as phone calls, billing statements, lawsuits, or termination of utility services including DTE. So, once you have filed for bankruptcy protection, DTE company can no longer collect on your past due utility bill. Of course, you are responsible for paying new, post-bankruptcy utility charges as they come due.
In addition to the general automatic stay, the Bankruptcy Code has a special section that specifically relates to utility companies: 11 USC §366. That section provides that a utility company may not discontinue utility services or refuse utility service to you solely because you file bankruptcy or because you are behind on your utility bill when you file bankruptcy.
If the utility company or DTE is threatening to shut off your utilities, then a bankruptcy can also make them stop the cutoff process.
You will have your utilities restored after bankruptcy, and your bankruptcy will also discharge the debts owed to the utility company, so you don’t have to catch up with your payments.
If you’re struggling to pay your utilities and your utility company is threatening to cut you off, then filing for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy can help.
If you have questions about your DTE bill, call us at (248) 281-6299 or visit our website www.bankruptcyTrack.com to discuss the best course of action for your circumstances. Our Detroit bankruptcy lawyers are here to help you.