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LegalGems
LegalGems, Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 9378
Experience:  Research Attorney; Private Practice; Attorney Mentor; Mediator
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I purchased a condo in Florida and applied online to connect

Customer Question

Hello, i purchased a condo in Florida and applied online to connect the power thru only available company LCEC. I received a confirmation by email that I was approved and based on my credit I have to put 200 dollars deposit. When I called the company
To pay the deposit they told me I have to pay extra 920 dollars for my husband’s outstanding balance from 2008 investment property, which went into foreclosure in 2008.
That account was in my husband’s name only. (we have different last names BTW) I told them I had nothing to do with this debt and even though Florida Statue of limitations is 5 years, but they still denying service until I pay 920 dollars. Without power property might grow mold, appliances and food spoiled, etc. Can I sue them for denying service? Your answer will be very appreciated.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Expert:  LegalGems replied 1 year ago.

A few minutes please as I look into this for you.

Expert:  LegalGems replied 1 year ago.

First, since FL is not a community property state one spouse is not liable for the debts of the other, unless they were joint debtors. The creditor may not go after the unnamed spouse.

Furthermore, the statute of limitations has barred the debt pursuant to section 95.11 located here:

http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=0000-0099/0095/Sections/0095.11.html

While one cannot sue a power company for failing to provide utilities due to a dispute, a complaint can be filed with the regulatory board (complaint form here: http://www.floridapsc.com/consumers/complaints/index2.aspx). One may also bring a suit for "specific performance" compelling the utility provider to provide the requested service.

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act only covers debt collectors, not original creditors. So while attempting to collect a debt that has run past the statute of limitations is illegal for debt collectors (a $1000 fine per violation) there is no restriction on the original creditor (other than requesting a dismissal based on the statute of limitations should they file suit).

You may need to hire an attorney to write a letter threatening them with a suit for specific performance if a written letter from the consumer does not achieve the desired result.

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