Electric company charges children for parents' bill

Netanya judge rules children cannot be charged for parents' electricity debt, criticizes IEC for allowing mistake to happen.

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A judge in Hashalom Court in Netanya ruled the Israel Electric Company (IEC) must forgive a 40,000 NIS debt and pay the defendants' court fees. .

A Be'er Sheva family living in a rented apartment accumulated a large debt to the IEC. After the father died, the mother declared bankruptcy, and IEC sued one of the couple's children, who had been written as responsible for the family's electric bill when he was still a child.

According to attorney Rafi Boker, who is representing the family, IEC discovered the debt only recently since the "debtor" was still a child when the debt accumulated. The IEC thereafter sent letters to all three of the family's now-grown children informing them they were being sued to cover their parents' debt.

Boker said that since the children were not actually the ones responsible for paying the bill when it accumulated, they should not be charged for it now. He also noted that IEC has never charged children for their parents' electric use in the paste, and did not send the children any written notices informing them of the debt.

According to Boker, IEC had taken no prior steps to resolve the debt - such as cutting off electricity - and could not prove which, if any, of the couple's children had used the apartment's electricity, nor how much they had used.

Netanya judge Miri Yifati, who received Boker's complaints, sharply criticized IEC for allowing the bills to be written in a minor's name. Yifati ruled the IEC cannot charge the children, and forced them to pay 4000 NIS to cover the family's court fees.








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