Oops (or What Happens When You Don’t Pay Your Electric Bill for Six Months)

You can read about our previous (mis)adventures paying bills here and here. We are over a year in and we’re still learning.

Last week we learned you can NOT pay your electric bill for six months with basically no consequences (or notice). Here’s what happend:

AS we understand it, our СӨХ (pronounced “suuk” basically, the Mongolian equivalent of Condo Association or HOA) split into two smaller groups. So we were no longer supposed to pay our сөх fees to the account we had been paying them. The change hadn’t been made at the bank yet and we went six months without paying those on accident (but we got paid up real quickly when someone showed us how, it’s like, $5 a month, NBD). We figured out how to pay our water bill directly via our bank app (or to the lady who showed up at the door asking for money), so that was taken care of on a semi-regular basis.

So we stopped going to the bank every month to pay our bills…and, six months later, the lady whose name is on the deed of our apartment got a call that she was behind 6 months on electric; I guess we forgot about it in the confusion of the changes, our crazy visa issues, and multiple trips out of the country. She laughed and told the electric company not to worry, we were just foreigners who didn’t know what we were doing and we’d get caught up within the week.

So I met her on a Friday, we walked to the electric company got our three pages of bills that began in May and ended in October, paid, and left. As far as I can tell, there were no late fees, no fines, no interest, and no hit to her credit report.

But I can’t really read my bill so I could be wrong.

We still have the small matter of the bank thinking we haven’t paid our сөх fee because the bank is still linked to the old СӨХ account…but we’ll get that cleared up someday. All we have to do is work up courage to go ask our neighbor who is (or was) the сөх president but has maybe sold his apartment and moved, or talk to the lady who cleans our hallways to get a phone number to hand over to the owner of the apartment so she can figure out what’s going on. But we can only tackle so many things in one day or one week. And, as we’ve been learning how to pay bills mildly unsuccessfully for over a year, it just doesn’t feel urgent…

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