Supposed 11 year old utility bill? Do I have to pay?

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Old Mar 27th, 2012, 01:28 PM   #1
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Default Supposed 11 year old utility bill? Do I have to pay?

I have just rent a new place. When I went to get the power turned on, the company it is with told me that I had an old bill with them from back in 2001 for $565!!!! (I no nothing of this supposed bill.)
The lady said I would have to pay that bill, plus $300 deposit, plus $20 service fee, plus $5 membership fee (for a grand total of $890) BEFORE they would give me service.
I do understand that most of the power companies will charge a deposit. I don't understand asking me for a bill that I don't even know if it's mine or not. Plus, that was 11 years ago. I have no way to prove if it is or it's not.
I always paid my bills. How and why I am now hearing about it? Can they make me pay this SUPPOSED bill?
I am very cncerned about this. Thanks.
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Old Mar 27th, 2012, 02:10 PM   #2
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Default Re: Supposed 11 year old utility bill? Do I have to pay?

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Originally Posted by tilemo3 View Post
I have just rent a new place. When I went to get the power turned on, the company it is with told me that I had an old bill with them from back in 2001 for $565!!!! (I no nothing of this supposed bill.)
The lady said I would have to pay that bill, plus $300 deposit, plus $20 service fee, plus $5 membership fee (for a grand total of $890) BEFORE they would give me service.
I do understand that most of the power companies will charge a deposit. I don't understand asking me for a bill that I don't even know if it's mine or not. Plus, that was 11 years ago. I have no way to prove if it is or it's not.
I always paid my bills. How and why I am now hearing about it? Can they make me pay this SUPPOSED bill?
I am very cncerned about this. Thanks.
The state you reside in makes a difference as to whether or not the utility company can collect from you. But more than 10 years old, the statute of limitations should have run and the utility company be unable to collect a penny.

They can require a deposit, though, and it is unlikely with a bill that old the power company could provide much in the way of details, anyway.

You may want to check your credit report in case this shows up there so you can dispute the charge -- AND also, if it was in fact placed for collection 10 or more years ago, demand the credit reporting company remove it from your credit report -- same reason -- stale, uncollectable debt.
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Old Mar 27th, 2012, 02:12 PM   #3
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Default Re: Supposed 11 year old utility bill? Do I have to pay?

The state I am in is Georgia. Thanks.
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Old Mar 27th, 2012, 02:15 PM   #4
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Default Re: Supposed 11 year old utility bill? Do I have to pay?

Does anyone know the exact law # or case # that I could use? Thanks.
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Old Mar 27th, 2012, 02:24 PM   #5
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Default Re: Supposed 11 year old utility bill? Do I have to pay?

The statute of limitations on debts in Georgia (open accounts) is 6 years on written and 4 years on oral.

2006 Georgia Code - 9-3-25

9-3-25. All actions upon open account, or for the breach of any contract not under the hand of the party sought to be charged, or upon any implied promise or undertaking shall be brought within four years after the right of action accrues. However, this Code section shall not apply to actions for the breach of contracts for the sale of goods under Article 2 of Title 11.
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Old Mar 27th, 2012, 02:29 PM   #6
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Default Re: Supposed 11 year old utility bill? Do I have to pay?

I wish to inform you that the amount is a time barred debt thus no legal action can be taken against you. In this regard you can challenge the amount of bill raised to you. You can ask the company to show evidence that the amount is due from you. You may file a suit and can have court order whereby your electricity connection must be granted to you.

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Old Mar 27th, 2012, 02:46 PM   #7
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Default Re: Supposed 11 year old utility bill? Do I have to pay?

Thanks to you all. I greatly appreciate all your advice.
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Old Mar 28th, 2012, 06:55 PM   #8
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Default Re: Supposed 11 year old utility bill? Do I have to pay?

They are not suing me, but are still trying to say the bill is mine. I told them that they needed to show me proof that it is mine. They said it might take a couple of days. But they are still not offering to give me service while they figure it out. What else do you think I should do?
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Old Mar 28th, 2012, 07:18 PM   #9
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Default Re: Supposed 11 year old utility bill? Do I have to pay?

Are you moving in with somebody who can put service in their name, even temporarily? Why is it taking them so long, they should have dates of service and address right with the bill. You may need to visit their office.
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Old Mar 29th, 2012, 06:25 AM   #10
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Default Re: Supposed 11 year old utility bill? Do I have to pay?

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They are not suing me, but are still trying to say the bill is mine. I told them that they needed to show me proof that it is mine. They said it might take a couple of days. But they are still not offering to give me service while they figure it out. What else do you think I should do?
Normally, they have the right to withhold service until satisfactory payment of old debt is paid. However, the statute of limitations for them to collect on this debt has expired.

Throw into the mix that you dispute you ever had an account with them in the past (if I'm reading your post correctly) and they cannot refuse you service.

You must present them with the law. Inform them of the statute of limitations.
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