The city of Bartlett has reduced the number of unpaid utility bills by over 40% this year, according to The Commercial Appeal.
These numbers reflect a new policy allowing Bartlett to cut off utilities for anyone with bills 60 days overdue, regardless of how little the person may owe. Previously the debt had to be $70 or higher.
Although unpaid bills have been drastically cut, the city is still turning over $73,000 in debt to collection agencies in hopes of gathering the rest of the funds they need to cover utility costs.
If you’re in Bartlett and have unpaid utility bills, this can mean a few things for you and your family:
First, if you’re delinquent on your payments for over 60 days, the city can turn off your power.
That means even if you only owe five dollars, you might find yourself without air conditioning. Hopefully people who owe small debts can pay them back quickly. That’s certainly what Bartlett is hoping, at least.
Second, you can also expect collection calls to start fairly soon.
Collection agencies get people to pay back debt. They call you at your home, and can even try reaching you at work to find out where you are and get you to pay. Their harassing phone calls can be a real imposition and a frustration for debtors and their families.
If you find yourself fearing you’ll lose your utilities or trying to avoid a collection agency’s calls, you do have some options.
If you’re able, you should pay the bills, of course. But most people who get to this point are also juggling other debts that need to be paid. Quick repayment isn’t always an option.
You can also talk with the city and try to set up a repayment plan. Creditors sometimes prefer you pay back something rather than nothing. But while this strategy might keep your power on, it won’t always work long-term. If you don’t have an income or need to deal with other larger debts like medical bills or credit cards, you could easily find yourself overwhelmed again in no time.
Lastly, you could consider bankruptcy. Bankruptcy isn’t an easy decision, but it can stop harassing phone calls and allow you to keep power in your home. Our Memphis area bankruptcy attorneys can walk you through the advantages and disadvantages and let you know what this kind of choice might mean for you.
If you have questions or would like to speak with an attorney, contact us today.
Bottom line, don’t settle for having your utilities turned off or dreading angry phone calls from collection agencies. Consider all of your options and make a choice that helps you get out of debt long term.