What can a utility company do to me, if I owe it $7,000 but am not considered to be low-income?

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What can a utility company do to me, if I owe it $7,000 but am not considered to be low-income?

They are taking me to court for payment. I can’t pay so I told them to put a lien on my property, but they are still taking me to court. The problem is that years ago I put a lower amount than I get from SS and pension. I am over 70 and my wife is 60. The customer service person told me to just lie so they wouldn’t shut me off. I am very ill and gave a doctor’s letter but they said that I had to be low-income. What can they do to me in court?

Asked on January 7, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Massachusetts

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

What they will do is sue and try to obtain a judgement against you or you can try and settle the matter in court.  If they do obtain a judgement then they can put a lien against the property for the amount owed, but it could gain interest over the years until paid off.  Or worse they can attach bank accounts or income if your wife still works.  Call the Public Utilities Commission and see if there is any way that they can guide you in all of this.  They may be able to suggest services for the elderly that you may apply and qualify for such as help with utilities (either one time or continuous).  It would be best for you not to have the lien, which I am sure that you know.  Maybe an equity loan?  Try different avenues.  Good luck. 


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