Can adebt for a utility billin a wife’s namebe transferred toher husband’s account?

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Can adebt for a utility billin a wife’s namebe transferred toher husband’s account?

I had an outstanding balance with my local utility company and it seems that they transferred my outstanding balance onto my husband’s current account at this same company. Now there is a outrageous bill that we need to pay and/or make some kind of payment arrangements on. Can this company do this and if so what would be my first step as to fixing this problem? We do not have the money up front to pay this off in one lump sum.

Asked on September 25, 2010 under Bankruptcy Law, Florida

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Usually utility companies cannot transfer bills owing on one account to another account without permission in writing or contractually agreed upon by the parties.  If you and your wife each had this utility under two separate accounts in separate names, the utility company would have had a prior written authorization or disclosure to which you agreed to transfer because if it did not it would have absolutely compromised privacy rights of each of you by transferring.  Contact your utility company and find out why your account was transferred. Then contact your state's public utility commission to file a complaint to inquire.  It may result in a resolution for you.


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