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Infolawyer, Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
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Experience:  Licensed attorney helping individuals and businesses.
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My son was the responsible party for his the electric bill

Resolved Question:

My son was the responsible party for his the electric bill of his apartment which he shared with 3 roommates. When their lease terminated August 31, 2011, my son forgot to notify the utility company. The landlord's daughter moved into the apartment in September and the electric bill stayed open under my son's name for 15 months. He was never notified by the utility company nor the landlord. The bill remains unpaid 2 years later and lawyers finally forwarded the bill to my son on August 27, 2013. I cannot find a law in Massachusetts that states one way or another that he is responsible for the full 15 months of service. The person incurring the charges should be held liable and the utility company should follow proper due diligence and not let this go for 15 months. My son should have been notified much sooner and not get stuck with someone else's electric bill. Do you have any advice on his next steps? He would like to appeal.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Expert:  Infolawyer replied 1 year ago.

INFOLAWYER :

Hello,

INFOLAWYER :

Practically, he needs to contest the charge and demand that the subsequent user cover the charges

INFOLAWYER :

so it becomes a two front effort

INFOLAWYER :

negotiating with the utility company to shift the cost or hold off on pursuing it

INFOLAWYER :

and then demanding and if needed suing the subsequent user to have said persons pay

INFOLAWYER :

Lawyer involvement by letter to both can help expedite movement on both fronts.

INFOLAWYER :

Let me know if you satisfied or if I can clarify anything

INFOLAWYER :

awaiting your reply

Customer:

So their lawyer is stating that he is responsible regardless of his lease termination. Is it unreasonable for us to ask them to quote Massachusetts General Law regarding public utilities because I do not find that in writing under any law. And how might he best obtain a lawyer to represent him. Does the state provide that? We do have DPU investigators so imagine that they will act as mediators.

INFOLAWYER :

It is very reasonable

INFOLAWYER :

To demand payment from a non user and non occupant is unjust

INFOLAWYER :

and there is no basis in fact or law for it

INFOLAWYER :

they have their remedy in pursuing the third party

INFOLAWYER :

if they refuse, son should pursue that third party directly

INFOLAWYER :

I wish you the best.

INFOLAWYER :

Kindly click on an excellent rating for the answer.

INFOLAWYER :

if you have a follow up, of course, ask me first

INFOLAWYER :

If you choose to retain a lawyer, mindful not to incur high fees, consider martindale.com and findlaw.com

INFOLAWYER :

both excellent resources, highly rated and good to use.

Customer:

ok, thanks much

INFOLAWYER :

very welcome

INFOLAWYER :

have a nice weekend

INFOLAWYER :

Kindly now click on that positive rating

INFOLAWYER :

it was off before.

Customer:

And the 3rd party did make minimal payments to the bill early this year probably to avoid having it shut off again. So the utility knows of the 3rd party. Then they wrote off the balance.

INFOLAWYER :

Precisely

INFOLAWYER :

that helps a lot

INFOLAWYER :

shows the company knew, the 3rd party knew to pay, and basis for full payment by 3rd party

Customer:

yes

INFOLAWYER :

it amounts to an admission

INFOLAWYER :

against interest

INFOLAWYER :

and will be very helpful

INFOLAWYER :

Good luck!

INFOLAWYER :

Kindly select the excellent rating option.

INFOLAWYER :

All the best to you both.

Infolawyer, Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 50977
Experience: Licensed attorney helping individuals and businesses.
Infolawyer and 2 other Consumer Protection Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Infolawyer replied 1 year ago.
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