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creonxxx

Not sure how to handle this

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It's been a while since I've posted.  I have an issue I need some direction on pretty quick.  For the last year and a half I have paid the cable bill in my deceased mothers name.  Same residence.  This is my home. I've paid it using my debit card from my checking.  I felt no need to change the name because when I called  over a year ago wondering if there would be any disconnect charges to change the account name they said possibly a deposit.   I gave no account number or name and presented it as just wanting to know.   So I just kept the cable in her name and paid.  However, the last two months I haven't.  I thought I could catch up this month but can't.  I am now wondering about what they are going to accuse me of.  I've milked this for two months thinking I could pay but can't and it needs to be shut off.  I don't want to dodge this bill and am more than willing to say she has been deceased, I've been paying, you've taken the payments in my name and I'm the one responsible for using it BUT is there a chance even though I do the right thing I will still be accused of fraud?  If this went to collections i'd stand in court and say ... yes it's my bill.  I paid it for over a year and a half and told them put the overdue bill in my name and I'll be responsible for it or is it too late?  Please help.  I got laid off a month ago.  Just now collecting unemployment and bills are so close to collecting up on me I'm about ready to file for Bankruptcy but if I do I'm not going to include this cable bill and I'll try to pay it when I can but I'm so afraid i've created a nightmare with it by not having it put in my name a year ago.  Opinions?  

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This stuff happens all the time. Seems that whether you voluntarily close the account or wait for it to be shut off, the result is going to be the same. Were you the administrator of your mother's estate?

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yes and also power of attorney.  No probate needed to be filed.    My intent was not to deceive for the cable.  I simply paid the bill and figured whether in my name or hers the cost was the same and we were both living at the same address when the account was opened.  I know they could suggest I was using her name for the service but the bill was paid in my name for a year and half after her death.  It's just these last two months that are delinquent and I need to shut if off and the first thing they are going to state is the account holder has to shut if off.  I'll have to produce the death certificate and then they will see how long she has been deceased.  With the two months delinquency they will say.... FRAUD!  But as I said I'm asking for the bill to be placed in my name and to terminate further use.  I didn't steal her identity to  get the service.  I paid for it until recently.  I'm admitting I was the user.  Am I going to be arrested for this?

 

Edit to add...  There was a legit reason why I couldn't simply get this turned off and put in my name a year and a half ago.  The cost could have been way to high for me.  I rationalized I'm paying for it but at least without some crazy down payment.  As time went on and the cost increased for new fee's and I still paid it I kept thinking I'd love to be able to get a cheaper package but I'm stuck now because I never contacted them about her death.  so I just paid and paid and paid. When I lost my job I just couldn't pay it and again the thought of contacting them quickly would potentially lead to being called a fraud.  It's just a stupid situation and when I'm reading all this stuff about it could be called fraud I'm thinking I sorta was pushed into this by trying to avoid a much higher price and then proceeded to actually lose money for the next 1 1/2 years as the cost of the original package increased.  I'm not a very good fraudster because I have lost money myself in all of this wanting to shut it off  earlier and get a cheaper package.  Not sure how to deal with them other than pulling a white lie and saying I contacted them a month ago and they never turned it off but I'm not good with that type of stuff.

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I have a similar situation.  My roommate died about 13 years ago and I still live in the same house.  The electric was in her name, and I've just kept it that way because I am just keeping her memory alive.  I get nostalgic every month when the bill comes.  

 

I don't think they will actually care other than the bill is not being paid.  You can just call and cancel the bill.  You don't have to tell them she died even.  They are not going to know that. 

 

Call and cancel, pay the bill when you can and leave it at that.  

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Thanks for the reply.  I'm toying with that but when you try to cancel they ask for the account holder to verify it.  So my other option was letting it run itself out and then it just gets shut off.  Bills come I pay or I don't.  Would that be ok?  I was hoping they'd shut if off after only a month but now it's two.  I don't want it to climb any higher.  The whole being called a fraud thing though doesn't seem to apply.  I paid the thing for over a year and a half.  

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Thanks for the reply.  I'm toying with that but when you try to cancel they ask for the account holder to verify it.  So my other option was letting it run itself out and then it just gets shut off.  Bills come I pay or I don't.  Would that be ok?  

Tell them that your mother passed.  If they don't believe you, they can pull her credit report.  I'm sure it's been updated to reflect this.  

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and the next thing would be they'd accuse me of fraud for letting it go delinquent for the two months.  Grrrr this is driving me up the wall trying to decide how to handle it.   All i could say is look at the history of the account and who's been paying it for the last year and half.  It doesn't exactly reflect fraud.  And it is impossible to discuss anything about the account with them unless you are the account holder.  If i had just once ever said she's dead they may have cut it off.  Charged me a new deposit.  I figured I'm paying it so forget all that.  Currently though it now looks deceptive.  Not sure if Comcast focuses on that but focuses on just getting the bill paid.  Being charged with fraud in this case would be odd as hell.

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@creonxxx  - They are probably going to request a deposit any way if you don't have credit with them or if there's negatives on your credit.   Just tell them your mother passed and that you need to get the electric in your name.  I don't think they are going to file criminal charges of fraud.  

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The electric and gas are in my name.  Cable was the only thing left in her name.   There was no doubt they were going to ask for a deposit and at that point I'd just paid a few thousand for funeral and burial and an additional bill in her name.  The idea of paying even a few hundred for a down payment on cable when I could just continue service without the extra added bill of a deposit worked.   This sounds childish but it was a selfish thought in thinking I didn't want to give up cable.  I'd be the first to admit it was all a stupid mistake considering how it turned out but back then I didn't think I wouldn't ever be able to pay it.  Unemployment came out of nowhere.   I think in regard to fraud they'd have to prove intent and I'm guessing a year and a half paying almost 200 a month on time doesn't exactly look like my intentions for keeping her name on it were to create fraud. I've carried the bill.  they make it impossible to quickly fix the problem when you no longer can carry the bill.  

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Just cancel the cable service.  This is a bit of a soap box, but you don't need cable.  Everything you want to watch is online.  Netflix and Hulu are much cheaper options.  

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I'm going to cancel there's no question.  It's the admission she's deceased for over a year and a half that has me worried.  i'd be stunned to see law enforcement standing at my door with a warrant for fraud.  

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I'm going to cancel there's no question.  It's the admission she's deceased for over a year and a half that has me worried.  i'd be stunned to see law enforcement standing at my door with a warrant for fraud.  

I doubt the police will get involved in a civil action, and I doubt any Judge will uphold a claim of fraud when you paid the bill for a year before you lost your income. Fraud requires an intent to decioeve, and paying the bill for so long defeats that allegation.

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@shellieh98

 

even a roku box, you can stream it in to your tv. much cheaper, no deposit. www.roku.com

Yep, that's what I do.  One fee for the box then just the monthly fees for Netflix and Hulu.  

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I'm going to cancel there's no question.  It's the admission she's deceased for over a year and a half that has me worried.  i'd be stunned to see law enforcement standing at my door with a warrant for fraud.  

@creonxxx - I really wouldn't worry.  Just tell them your mom passed.  And by the way, sorry to hear that.  

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Wanted to add an update so that if anyone is ever facing something similar here's what to expect.  Keep in mind I'd been paying the bill for the last year and a half.  Everyone with great advice above was correct.  There was no issue about never changing the account name.  They complied with the request to shut if off.  They are sending me boxes to send back the equipment and I've faxed the death certificate.  The bill switch's to my name for anything over due.  They said they understood the whole situation.  Huge load off my mind.  

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I know.  I really was surprised the account holders name wasn't an issue.  I'm sure the history of payments played into that and me actually contacting them explaining the situation instead of it first landing in collections and then back peddling.  This site gives great advice.  :)  It's gotten me through every concern when it comes to finances.  Thanks again!!

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I know.  I really was surprised the account holders name wasn't an issue.  I'm sure the history of payments played into that and me actually contacting them explaining the situation instead of it first landing in collections and then back peddling.  This site gives great advice.   :-)  It's gotten me through every concern when it comes to finances.  Thanks again!!

@creonxxx - you are so welcome!

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