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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 32086
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Hello, My husband and I separated in January 2012. He has

Customer Question

My husband and I separated in January 2012. He has always paid the utility bills and continued to do so up until June 2012. This is when I was forced to agree to taking over the bills as he was ringing up all the relevant companies and taking his name off them.
I told him at that point that I cannot afford to take them all on but to no avail.
The utility bill in question is the gas/electricity bill. My husband called EON and got approx. £500 rebate which I only became aware of when I placed the bill in my name. EON then expected me to pay for it. I cannot see that it is right for them to give him a rebate considering by June we had not even filed for divorce, in fact he asked if I would have him back in July!!
Anyway, I explained to EON that I would not be able to pay off the £500 as I could not afford that as well as the £100 per month. They said I could pay a bit off here and there but every month I was struggling, having to borrow money from my mother who is a pensioner. Then I started to receive letters saying I had to pay as I had changed suppliers to British Gas. So they lumped another £200 on top of the £500. I called and explained I could not afford this, and offered £10 per month but they insisted on £47 and no less. If I couldn't pay they would send it to a third party debt collectors and I would have to go to court.
I am a single parent of a child with special needs and also have a debilitating illness - panic attacks/anxiety/depression and Agoraphobia. I did not need this kind of stress. So I called again and spoke to another lady after receiving a letter from the previous person. She agreed for another 12 months and sent me a card to pay as and when then third party would get involved.
As I was and am still going through a very messy divorce and I was having setbacks with my illness which also plagues me with short term memory loss I did forget to action the payments and only realised this year in April as I came across the card amongst some paper work.
In February I lost my job as a Community Nursery Nurse due to my illness and have had to claim benefits. Because I had the back pay I then managed to pay off £200.
I have now received letter saying the £569 has to paid now in full.
I called them and they would not accept that the fee should never have been passed onto my account as I could not afford it given the situation and my husband should never have received the rebate. They asked me to take it up with him but as I have said this divorce is extremely bitter and messy, he would not agree that he shouldn't have received it.
I don't know what to do, I am desperate and really frightened about any court action. I hoped that I would have the house on the market now as I cannot afford to live here much longer as I will not even have the funds to feed ourselves properly. But things are on hold as my husband has not agreed to the house being sold as he wants 50 % of equity. I need the lions share of this equity as I need to live in the local area. My daughter will be going into Yr10 and as she has Asperger's Syndrome she needs stability. The only way I can afford to rent is to receive the lions share. I had planned to pay the bill off once I received that even though I still think I should not have to pay this.
Please help!!
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for your question.
My name is Clare
I will do my best to help you but I need some further information first.
May I ask - have you got legal support for the divorce at all?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Clare,


Yes I do have a solicitor.



Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Relist: Other.
I am still waiting for an answer and really need one asap please.
Many thanks
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Relist: No answer yet.
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
My apologies for the delay.
I assume that the rebate was actually the Credit on the account at the time of the change of name - is that correct?