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Title 3 . Commerce, Community, and Economic Development
Chapter 52 . Telecommunications
Section 445. Deferred payment agreements

3 AAC 52.445. Deferred payment agreements

(a) For a residential customer who demonstrates that economic hardship prevents payment in full of a delinquent bill, a utility may not refuse to restore or continue service unless the customer refuses to agree to or comply with a deferred payment plan meeting the requirements of this section.

(b) A deferred payment agreement between a utility and a residential customer must provide that service will continue if the customer meets all of the following conditions:

(1) the customer agrees to pay one-third, or less at the option of the utility, of the outstanding bill at the time the parties enter into the deferred payment agreement;

(2) the customer agrees to pay all future bills for utility service in accordance with the effective billing and collection tariffs of the utility; and

(3) the customer agrees to pay the remaining outstanding balance in installments over a period not to exceed 12 months.

(c) The duration of a deferred payment agreement must be at least three months unless the customer agrees to a shorter period.

(d) A utility may include provisions for deferred payment agreements with non-residential customers in its tariff, or may negotiate them by special contract.

(e) In determining a reasonable deferred payment schedule, a utility and customer shall consider the following conditions, a list of which must be presented to the customer:

(1) size of the delinquent account;

(2) customer's ability to pay;

(3) customer's payment history;

(4) length of time the debt has been outstanding;

(5) circumstances that resulted in the outstanding debt; and

(6) any other relevant factors related to the circumstances of the customer.

(f) A deferred payment agreement must be in writing and must be signed by the customer and an authorized utility representative. A deferred payment agreement may include a finance charge as specified in the utility's effective tariff, but the charge may not exceed that allowed by AS 45.45.010 (a).

(g) A utility shall offer comparable terms and conditions to customers with similar payment problems.

(h) If a customer fails to fulfill the terms of a deferred payment agreement, the utility may disconnect service under 3 AAC 52.450(d) . The utility may offer a subsequent deferred payment agreement before disconnecting the customer's service.

History: Eff. 1/1/87, Register 100

Authority: AS 42.05.141

AS 42.05.151

AS 42.05.291

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Last modified 7/05/2006