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Is a current owner responsible for pass due utilities from a

previous owner who is deceased. JA...
Is a current owner responsible for pass due utilities from a previous owner who is deceased.
JA: What state are you in? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: Michigan
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: Dis previously show a death certificate but they claim it wasnt.
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: Would like something in legal writing proving that the utility company is wrong in forcing the new owner to pay for it.
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Answered in 4 minutes by:
1/12/2018
KLAW
KLAW, Lawyer
Category: Legal
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Customer reply replied 6 days ago
Home had previously belong to my husband's mother. She is deceased since 2013. There was a past due balance when she passed. The home was vacant for a while. My son bought the house in August 2016. They're forcing him to pay the past balance that was hers. If he doesn't they are going to shut off his services. Can they legally do this?
Rule 460.120 prohibits any attempt to recover from any person any outstanding bills or other charges due upon the account of any other person, unless that other person has entered into a lawful guarantee or other agreement to pay those bills and charges. So unless at closing you guaranteed or stated you would be responsible for the past due charges, you are not liable.Also Part 8 of the Rules provide for shut off of service. Under 460.137(h), if a current member of the customer’s household has not paid a delinquent account for service that is not in dispute and that is owed by that person, shut off is permitted if the customer lived at the same residence served by the utility at the time that all or part of the debt was incurred by the current member of the customer’s household. Here is a link to the rule.http://www.lawrefs.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/107_92_AdminCode.pdfBring supporting documents to water company showing that you are the new owner.
You're not responsible for the past water bill. The water company will go after the previous owner through collections. They should be able to set up your water once they have the supporting document. Speak to the water company to find out which documents they exactly they need.I would make a call to your closing attorney and tell him/her what happened. This should have been paid for and cleared by the seller, (bank) by closing. The amount should be indicated on your hud statement.I hope this clarifies. Please don’t forget to rate the question. We as attorneys are not employees of Just Answer and are not paid unless you rate the question with stars.
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Customer reply replied 6 days ago
The house was sold between dad and son.
Then unfortunately if you resides at the house, then the law would require you pay the bill. I referenced the relevant law above.
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Customer reply replied 6 days ago
We didn't live in the house. My son bought the house 3 years after she died. He didn't live in it. Nobody did.
Customer reply replied 6 days ago
The house was will to my husband and brother-in-law after their mom passed. Between them, they sold the home to our son. Then my brother-in-law passed away. The bill was in her name all this time until he moved in.
All he can do is argue that under Rule 460.120 they cannot collect against your son because it was an arms length transaction, and he had no connection or control to the property when the bill was incurred.The law prohibits any attempt to recover from any person any outstanding bills or other charges due upon the account of any other person, unless that other person has entered into a lawful guarantee or other agreement to pay those bills and charges.He should show the water company his supporting documents, the deed, transfer papers, tax statements and closing statements showing that he is the new owner. I hope this clarifies
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