Utilities shutoff banned temporarily for coronavirus

Kansas Governor Laura Kelly
Kansas Governor Laura Kelly

Kansas Governor Laura Kelly issued an executive order 20-05 banning utility and internet service shutoffs until May 1, 2020. The order applies to services not regulated by the Kansas Corporation Commission (KCC).

For utilities regulated by the KCC, the commission extended the cold weather rule to April 15, 2020, which suspends shutoffs.

The City of Water has a moratorium on water shutoffs until April 15, 2020.

The cold weather rule requires customers contact the provider to make payment arrangements. It applies to electricity, gas and water utilities regulated by the Kansas Corporation Commission such as Evergy and OneGas Kansas Gas Service.

Cold Weather Rule–

How do I sign up?

If you can’t pay your entire bill, call your utility company to make pay arrangements:

  • Agree to pay 1/12 of the overdue amount of your bill, plus 1/12 of your current bill, all disconnection and reconnection fees plus any applicable deposit owed to the utility, and agree to pay the remainder in equal payments over the next 11 months; or
  • Negotiate a payment plan to pay the overdue amount off quicker than 12 months.

Apply for federal, state, local or special funds for which you are eligible.

If you are behind in a previous payment plan and cannot catch up, you need to make a new payment agreement with the utility.

If you have illegally used service, you must pay for the value of the illegally used service.

What will the utility company do?

Utilities must inform you of the Cold Weather Rule payment plan as well as other available payment plans. Remember, under the Cold Weather Rule, you always have the option of spreading your payment over a total of 12 months.

Utilities must send written notice to customers 10 days before disconnection, plus attempt a phone call or personal contact the day before.

Utilities must tell customers about agencies that have funds to help pay utility bills.

Can you be disconnected during the Cold Weather Rule?

A utility can’t disconnect you when the temperature is forecasted to drop below 35 degrees Fahrenheit within the following 48-hour period, except in certain circumstances.

To prevent disconnection when it is 35 degrees or above, or to be reconnected regardless of temperature, you must make pay arrangements with your utility.

A utility may start the final notification and disconnection process if there is a 48 hour forecast of temperatures above 35 degrees.

If the 48 hour forecast changes before the period ends and there is a forecast of below 35 degrees, the utility cannot disconnect until there is another Cold Weather Rule 48 hour forecast of temperatures above 35 degrees.

Can I File Bankruptcy Again?

You have filed a bankruptcy before and now you need help with your debts again.  You are wondering when you can file a bankruptcy again and if you can get a discharge of your debts in the new bankruptcy case.

Follow the 2 – 4 – 6 – 8 rule to determine if you can get a discharge in a subsequent bankruptcy.  You count from the filing date of the old petition to the filing date of the new petition.

  • 2 years between 13s –1328(f)(2)
  • 4 years between an old 7 and a new 13  –1328(f)(1)
  • 6 years between an old 13 and a new 7  –729, 727(a)(9)
  • 8 years between 7  –727(a)(8)

Thanks to my blogging colleague from Bankruptcy Law Network, attorney Andy Miofsky of Southern Ilinois, who coined the term 2 -4 -6 – 8 rule.

Photo credit: AttributionNo Derivative Works Some rights reserved by DougitDesign.com / Doug Aghassi

US Trustee on Debtor Audits

Official U.S. Trustee Program Information Concerning Debtor Audits "The United States Trustee Program is authorized to audit chapter 7 and chapter 13 bankruptcy cases filed by individuals. See Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection … [Continue reading]

NDC Opens Debtor Portal

National Data Center Launches Enhanced Mobile Responsive Debtor PortalEnables Debtors in Chapter 13 Bankruptcy to Understand Rights and Obligations, Stay Current on Repayment Plans LAFAYETTE, Calif. - November 12, 2019 - National Data Center (NDC) … [Continue reading]

What do I do when my credit is hacked?

Here is information from some trusted sources about what to do when your credit has been hacked. Key Steps to Minimize Risk After Equifax Data Breach Nearly every adult with a credit history is at risk of identity theft after the recent Equifax … [Continue reading]

Bankruptcy Means Test Gets Easier

More Kansans will pass the bankruptcy means test starting April 1, 2017. The income figures used in the bankruptcy formula are rising. The means test formula uses median income data from U.S. census for Kansas. Telling us who can afford to pay … [Continue reading]

Means Test Eases April 1, 2016

    On April 1, 2016, the income numbers used to calculate the bankruptcy means test will increase modestly in Kansas. Filing bankruptcy will be a little easier for debtors in all Kansas household sizes. Here are the new … [Continue reading]

Beware of Bankruptcy Fraudsters

Beware of bankruptcy fraudsters who are calling debtors and demanding money. They lie about who they are. They are using information from bankruptcy schedules to fake you into thinking they are legitimate. Do not fall for their scam. Say no and hang … [Continue reading]

Kansas Bankruptcy Means Test Changes November 1 – Mixed Message

Mixed Message

Up for Some, Down for Others Median income figures used for the Kansas bankruptcy means test change again on November 1, 2015. There is a mixed message. Median income for one earner and a household of two goes down while the median income for … [Continue reading]

Tax Transcripts Online Service Closed

UPDATE: 5/27/2015. IRS has closed this service due to theft of 104,000 accounts. The IRS has issued a IRS statement about this breach of security. The IRS announced a new service today that allows direct download of at transcripts called Get … [Continue reading]

Means Test Numbers Adjusted

The formula that is used to measure income for bankruptcy purposes changed again. The numbers were adjusted May 1 and May 15, 2015. Most Kansans fared better on the means test after the new numbers went into effect. In theory, the means test … [Continue reading]

New Means Test Numbers November 1, 2014

New means test numbers go into effect for bankruptcy cases filed on or after November 1, 2014. Median income numbers go up for households of one, two and four persons. Oddly, the number goes down for households of three. For more information, see the … [Continue reading]

Bankruptcy Might Save Your Life

Filing for bankruptcy might save your life. A new study finds that bankruptcy filers make more money and live longer than those who were denied such protection. http://for.tn/1u6bd1z … [Continue reading]

Bankruptcy Fee Increases

The Judicial Conference of the United States has approved several bankruptcy fee increases starting on June 1, 2014. The new  fees will be: Chapter 7:  $335 (up from $ 306) Chapter 9: $1,717 (up from $1,213) Chapter 11: $1,717 (up from … [Continue reading]

Is an Inherited IRA Exempt in Bankruptcy?

The National Consumer Bankruptcy Rights Center (NCBRC) has filed an amicus brief on behalf of the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys (NACBA) membership in the U.S. Supreme Court case of Clark v. Rameker (In re Clark), No. 13-299. … [Continue reading]

Child Tax Credit Not Exempt in Missouri

A recent Bankruptcy Appellate Panel decision found that the debtor may not exempt her federal Child Tax Credit refund under Missouri’s exemption for “public assistance.” Hardy v. Fink (In re Hardy), No. 13-6029 (B.A.P. 8th Cir. Dec. 23, 2013) (notice … [Continue reading]