Utility Wants Me to Pay Very Old Debt

by Dana
(D'iberville, MS)

I've been with my power company for over 2 years now and they just put on my recent bill an old debt of $268 they claim is mine from 1997. It's been 14 years and I don't even remember this! But they are saying I have to pay it. I'm very confused by this because they are just now telling me about it & expect payment for it. Isn't there a time limit for them to have collect this? I don't even know if it's mine! They told me to take irt up with civil court. Please help! I live in Mississippi.

Comments for Utility Wants Me to Pay Very Old Debt

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Sep 02, 2011
Utility Wants Me to Pay Very Old Debt
by: Debtcollectionanswers.com.com

Dana: I do not understand how you can owe your current utility money for service from 14 years ago if, as you state in your question, you have been a customer of the utility for only 2 years to date.

If you do not believe you owe the debt, ask the utility to send you a copy of the unpaid bill so you can confirm the name on the account and the service address. Perhaps you had did have service with the utility back in 1997 and you have forgotten that fact, or perhaps the company has made a mistake and is asking you to pay someone else's bill. If in fact the debt is yours, the utility is entitled to ask you to pay it, even if the debt is very old.

If you are unable to get clear proof from the utility that you owe the bill it wants you to pay, you may want to contact your state's Public Utility Commission (PUC) to find out if it has a consumer advocate who can help you resolve your problem. The assistance will be free. Another option is to contact an attorney in your area, but the attorney's help could cost more than the amount of the debt.

Whatever option you decide to pursue, I would take action sooner rather than later -- before the utility sends your debt to an outside collector. By the way, if you determine that the debt is in fact yours, but you cannot afford to pay the full amount of the debt in one lump payment, talk to your utility about setting up a payment plan you can afford.

Good luck!

Sep 16, 2011
Paying on old debt
by: Anonymous

I would consult an attorney. I doubt that the utility company can collect on a 14 year old debt, and you should not pay it if the statute of limitations has run on the debt.

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