husbands past

by sarah
(hopkinsville, ky)

I just got married and my husband and I decided to move into town. We went to hook up the electricty and the company said he had a outstanding balance. He left the service in his name when he left his but x-wife. She didnt pay the final bill when she moved out. It was a shock to him and the utility company wants the money owed plus $1500 deposit. I said I will just put it in my name. They told me that I would have to pay his past bill and the deposit will still be $1500. the normal deposit is only $200. Can they make me pay this even those I was no part of the past. sarah(kentucky)

Comments for husbands past

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Jul 19, 2010
Husband's unpaid utility bill
by: Mary

On the face of it, it makes sense to me that if you put the utilities in your name only, you should be able to get service at your new residence without having to pay your husband's outstanding utility bill and the $1,500 deposit. (I assume that you were told otherwise because you raised this possibility during a conversation you had with the utility regarding your husband's unpaid account balance.) If you want a definitive answer however, I suggest that you get in touch with a consumer law attorney in your area. I am not an attorney nor am I am not familiar with the particular policies of the utility in your area and the kinds of information you might be asked for when you apply for new service.

If you do get service in your own name, I caution you and your husband not to ignore his unpaid utility balance. It is likely to haunt you. For example, the debt may be turned over to a debt collector, which could create a whole host of problems in your husband's life (problems that would affect you too), and if the unpaid bill is being reported by the national credit reporting agencies and you and your spouse apply for new credit together -- maybe you want to purchase a home or a car, for example -- the fact that the bill remains past due is likely to mean that you will be turned down for the loan that you want or the terms of the loan you are approved for will be very unattractive. Therefore, I suggest that you talk with your spouse about paying the utility debt. I would imagine that he could pay it off overtime, but in order to do that he will have to work out an installment plan with the utility. Ideally, his ex-wife will agree to help contribute to paying off the debt; but even if she won't, it's important that your husband not allow the debt to get in the way of the two of you building a life for yourselves.

Please share what happens with your situation in the comments section for this question. We are very interested in hearing how this turns out for you, and your experience can help others who are struggling with debt collectors.

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