Many people who file bankruptcy are behind on their utility bills. Some are being threatened with a utility shut off in the near future. If this is the situation you are in, the good news is that filing a bankruptcy case can stop a person’s utilities from being shut off. In addition, public utilities cannot refuse to provide or cancel service because you have filed a bankruptcy case.
In a chapter 7 bankruptcy case, most types of unsecured debt will be discharged, or wiped out, through the bankruptcy. Utility bills are considered an unsecured debt, and as a result, will be discharged along with a person’s other debts.
However, this doesn’t mean that you will not have to pay utility services after you file your bankruptcy case. The bankruptcy will not discharge current or future utility bills. In addition, a utility company can require you to pay a deposit for future service. If your utilities had been disconnected, the service provider can also charge you a reconnect fee. If you fail to make utility bill payments after your bankruptcy case is filed, your utilities will eventually be shut off.