Quick Action Saves Water Service for Ashtabula Client
Andrea Stone* is a Geneva resident who filed for bankruptcy with the help of Legal Aid staff attorney Michael Attali. She was shocked when, a week after her filing, representatives from Ashtabula County arrived to disconnect her water service. Ms. Stone protested, citing her bankrupt status. The County claimed they had yet to be notified of the bankruptcy and were justified in turning off the water because Ms. Stone was behind in her payments.
Mr. Attali explains the distinction: “The automatic stay gives immediate protection to a debtor upon filing of a petition with the Bankruptcy Court. A creditor does not need actual notice before the automatic stay comes into effect.” Mr. Attali brought the oversight to the attention of the Prosecutor’s office. The county’s Department of Environmental Services quickly responded, restoring Ms. Stone’s water service within two hours.
* Name changed to protect client’s confidence