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My Power Company is Suing Me. I Don’t Have the Money to Pay. – Megan

“Dear Steve,

I moved a year ago( October 2011) and my power company changed. Before I had been on equal pay. When I closed my account with the first company, they said I owed over $700. I made one small payment to the company. Soon after they cashed that check they sent me to a collections agency, Bonneville collections Check Services. I have a letter dated Nov. 29, 2011 from them saying I owe $713.43.

I entered into a verbal agreement with them. ( I know, I should have gotten it in writing) At the end of the month, after all my bills were paid I would send them as much as I could. I sent $50 in december, $20 in jan, $100 in feb, $10 in March, $30 in april/early may and another payment later in may, but I don’t have the amount on hand.

June and July were horrible months and I didn’t even have enough to pay all of my current bills, so I didn’t send anything. Bonneville despite having my home/cell number called me at work. I asked them to please not call me at work and that they could contact me on my cell after 5. I never received another call from them.

I just got a knock on my door from the Sheriff. They are sueing me. I just read an article on here on what to do when you get sued. I cannot afford a lawyer to help. So following that advice, I have carefully read through the summons. I found what I think might be a mistake. They claim that “on or about 10-01-11, the above named defendant owed me the sum of $530.79″ This is not true, I have paperwork from them saying I owed $713.43. Is this enough of a mistake to get the suit dropped? I need advice on what to do next. Should I contact the original power company and see when the sold the debt and how much it was? If I had the money I would just pay the debt. I am not denying that I owe them money, just that the figures aren’t matching up and they really did little to no effort to contact me prior to suing and and they signed a statement saying they made a bona fide effort to collect the claim, which I beg to differ. Please help.

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Dear Megan,

Nobody here can give you specific legal advice on what to do. That needs to come from an attorney that is licensed in your state.

Just because they are suing you does not mean you still can’t attempt to work out a negotiated repayment plan with either the debt owner or the collection company. Give that a shot first and let us know what happens.

Please post your responses and follow-up messages to me on this in the comments section below.


You are not alone. I'm here to help. There is no need to suffer in silence. We can get through this. Tomorrow can be better than today. Don't give up.

About the author

Steve Rhode

Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.

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