Am I liable for my brothers utility bills even though I did not live where the electricity was being used?

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Am I liable for my brothers utility bills even though I did not live where the electricity was being used?

I received my utility bill and they added my brother’s name to my account. I opened the bill and it was almost $800, so I called them and they stated that since my brother had mail coming to my house then I was liable for his bill even though the utilies used were not at my house and I did not live at his house at any time. They told me that if I don’t pay this bill then they were going to shut off my utilities at my house. Can they do this?

Asked on November 3, 2010 under Bankruptcy Law, Missouri

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

No, it does not sound legal to me.  So just because I have mail coming to my house in care of me from any other person they can be liable for my utility bill and I can be liable for theirs?  I think not.  On your bill there should be a phone number or other contact information for the Public Utilities Commission.  Call them and file a formal complaint.  Explain that your brother does not live at your home and is not on the lease or deed or whatever legal document governs your situation here.  Explain that you do not want him on your bill and certainly do not want your name on his for his home.  They should be able to help.   might also call the state Attorney General's Office as well. Good luck.


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