North Carolina  |  Credit and Debt Law

Legal Question

Asked on: 2/11/13, 9:30 am

My roommate moved out and owes 79.75 on the light bill being that it's not under her name can I sue her for agreeing to pay it?

2 Answers

Answered on: 2/11/13, 9:52 am by Jeff Rosner

You could sue her but it would not be very cost effective to do so.

- Jeff

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Rosner Law Firm P.A. 1301 Larkhall Court Cary, NC 27511

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Answered on: 2/11/13, 10:29 am by Rachel Hunter

Really? It will cost almost that much to sue, plus an extra fee to have the sheriff serve her. The costs of filing suit and service by the sheriff are tacked on to any judgment, but assuming you recover a judgment, how are you going to collect it?

If the ex-roomie has no assets, you are going to have a very hard time collecting. There is no wage garnishment in NC and the sheriff is not going to levy assets for such a small sum. You also don't even indicate where the ex-roomie moved to or if she is still in NC. If she is out of state then you cannot sue her in small claims here and you would have to travel to her state of residence.

As you say, the light bill is not under her name. She is not responsible for it. Unless you have something in writing showing that she is responsible or a written lease showing that she would be liable for her share of the uitilities, you are unlikely to prevail in court.

You may want to chalk this up to one of life's lessons (being that you never make any verbal agreements like this ever again). You might want to try writing her a letter and asking her to pay. You can always tell her that if she does not pay, you will have no choice but to pursue further legal remedies, but you have to be prepared to follow through if she does not respond.

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