Utility bill has gone to collections, yet utility company wants payment on it to restart service, why?

My gas bill went to collections after I was unable to make payment on it. The utility company sent the bill to collections. I got a written notice from the collections agency. Then I called the gas company to restart the service and they want full payment on the account or they won't restart my gas. I would like to... show more My gas bill went to collections after I was unable to make payment on it. The utility company sent the bill to collections. I got a written notice from the collections agency. Then I called the gas company to restart the service and they want full payment on the account or they won't restart my gas. I would like to work this out with the collections agency and have the gas company restart my gas. Is it legal for the gas company to ask for payment once they've sent the bill to collections? BTW, I am in Kansas, if that matters.
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