The Bankruptcy Code protects Oregon debtors from utilities disconnecting water, home phone, electricity or gas services. Utility services such as cable television, cell phone services or internet are not considered utilities for this bankruptcy protection because they.

A Portland or Salem utility company simply is not allowed alter, refuse, or discontinue service to an existing customer solely because either (1) the customer filed for bankruptcy protection; or (2) the customer failed to pay a pre-petition debt to the utility.

The protection is, however, limited and within 20 days after the bankruptcy filing, an Oregon debtor may have to give the utility company ” an adequate assurance of future payment,” which usually means ponying up a newsecurity deposit.

The law allows the utility to retain your prior security deposit and apply that deposit to your prior bill. If the debtor does not provide “adequate assurance of future payment” within the 20 day time period, the utility provider may discontinue services.

The takeaway here is that if you are filing bankruptcy and you have a back balance on your current utility account, you can eliminate the balances and not lose services, provided that you do a little foot work after your case is filed.