What to do about an electric bill that I am being made to pay but whichI never owed?

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What to do about an electric bill that I am being made to pay but whichI never owed?

I was receiving help from the energy assistance program 5 years ago. Now years later the Department of Social Services is claiming that I owe them about $3,000 over an overpayment that they made to the light company. I had to get into a legal contract stating that I will pay them 10% of my salary to get that issue resolved in order to get help. The light company has no idea about an overpayment, in fact they stated that I had a balance of almost $2,000 for the bill not being paid. The light company does have recollection of the checks they received because I gave them the check numbers. All they want is to give me a letter stating that what usage I used. So how do I get to owe this money when I was getting assistance? And all this happened in only 5 months. I am really stressing and calling everywhere. DSS don’t care, they just want their money.
And the light company is not willing clear the balance that I have to pay now.

Asked on March 28, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, New York

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You must feel like a mouse caught in a bureaucratic maze.  I feel for your situation.  At this point, you should consult a general practice attorney.  If money is an issue for you, see if you qualify for representation by Legal Aid.  If not, check to see if there is a law school nearby to where you live; they typically run free/low cost clinics that handle these type cases.  You can also contact the local Bar Association in your county; they may have a list of attorneys who will take your case "pro bono" (for free) or at least for a reduced fee based on your income/circumstances. 


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