What to do if I received an electric shut off notice on my home because my ex-husband rented a house and did not pay the electric bill for his residence?

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What to do if I received an electric shut off notice on my home because my ex-husband rented a house and did not pay the electric bill for his residence?

We were separated at the time he moved to his rental. The utility company has added his unpaid bill to my account, and plans to shut off my electricity. I have contacted their customer service, as has my ex, to get these accounts separated. Can they legally shut of my power? I have a lengthy record of paying my own bills on time.

Asked on September 7, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Michigan

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Usually invoices for utilities are tied to the location where the utilities are being provided and not the the specific customer. If you are being charged for an electrical invoice of your former spouse at a location that he used utilities that he did not pay for different from where you are located and you are being threatened with having your utilities shut off if you do not pay his bill, you are under no obligation to do so.

You need to call the utility company about this followed up by a strong letter advising that it engaging in unfair business practices and if it turns off your utilities because of non-payment of your former spouse, it does so at its own risk.

You should lodge a complaint against the utility company with your state's public utilties department which is in charge of overseeing public utilities to make sure they comply with state regulations and laws.

Good luck.


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