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Do Medical Debts fall under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act?

Yes! Medical Debts and bills fall under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act because medical debt meets the definition of a “debt” under rule 803(5):

This rule defines “debt” as, “a consumer’s obligation to pay money arising out of a transaction in which the money, property, insurance, or services are primarily for personal, family, or household purposes.”



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  1. My husband had medical event in dec of 2013. We paid all bills sent and insurance also pd. we have just received bills from dec 2013 that we were not previously billed for. These have been sent to collection agency. but just made known to us on 4-8-15. is there a time limit for when we should have been billed?

    • We should review the collection activity on this. Please send us the collection letter and give us a call to discuss. Fax:866-773-6152 Phone:888-595-9111

  2. I had a medical event in Sept of 2013. We and/or our insurance carrier have paid all invoices sent to us. We have no outstanding balances or past dues.

    We have just received (April 30, 2015) a collections notice from the California Service Bureau in which they claim we did not pay an invoice from Sept 2013. They say payment is due immediately and they are charging a daily interest rate on the amount they claim is past due.

    Is it possible that they can do this while providing absolutely no proof that the debt was ever owed or past due? This issue is so similar to the above comment that I can’t believe it.

    Is the California Service Bureau a “scam”?

    • Thank you for your question. I would suggest responding to their letter in writing, you may use our sample initial dispute letter. Sample Dispute Letter
      Second, give us a call and fax us a copy of the collection letter 866-773-6152, we can help determine if the company is viable. We are happy to review your situation in detail and if they have violated your consumer rights we can represent you at no cost. Give us a call today. 888-595-9111

  3. I just received a phone call from a collection agency about a medical debit from 2009 for my son, I didn’t even know it existed, is there a statute of limitations on this type of service, in Florida? I am curious especially I don’t ever remember getting a bill.

  4. I am getting phone calls from work by a John Butler at GLA Collections. I have told him to STOP calling my work because he is going to get me fired. He is also harassing me on my cell number at my work, too. He told me to BORROW money to pay this debt which I can NOT do because my credit is not good. What can I do to make him STOP harassing me at work before I get fired?

  5. In June of 2012 I was served with a summons by a debt collector and had to go to court over unpaid medical bills from the early 90’s that I had no idea about.so we had a mediation and I agreed to make payments (only so they would quit harrassing me),when I fell behind they started garnishing my wages,leaving me with barely enough gas money left over to get to work.Every 90 days I have about a thousand dollars paid off of the 4000 debt,yet when they reissue the writ,they charge fees and they say interest is being charged by rediculous amounts even though I’m making payments.so I end up owing more than I did after the payments.When I called them the other day,they said there is nothing I can do,to borrow the money or get a loan.Im a single mom what can I do?

  6. I have been receiving calls regarding a bill from a hospital from March 2009. I live in Massachusetts. The caller states he works for a call center for an attorneys office and I am being sued for the unpaid bill. He said this would have gone through 3 collection agencies before he received it. I have not received any bills since 2010 and believed it had been resolved. At the time of the services I was on workers compensation for a back injury on 3/6/2009 and had two insurances, health and workers com., They both were refusing to pay stating that the other was responsible. This dispute was between them and I shouldn’t be responsible as there is nothing I can do to get it paid as the consumer.

  7. I was contacted by Transworld Systems Inc. in early May 2015 concerning a medical bill for a prcedure I had done a year ago. First, I was harrassed by their phone calls that I did not answer because I make it a practice not to answer calls from people I don’t know. (They never left a message and only their phone number would come up and not the name of the company.) Anyway, when I finally decided something was up, I called back and asked who they were. Before they would identify themselves, they demanded I give them my personal information. I had not received any letter or correspondence from them so I was totally caught off guard. They were rude, accused me of not paying my medical bill, which I had never received at which time they said I must have! They talked fast and interrupted. During the next few months, I called back, talking to several different reps, trying to get the problem resolved. I even had Blue Cross Blue Shield, my health insurance company, talk to them. I faxed and sent cerified letters showing that the bill had been covered. Finally today, I called Transworld to check on the status of my account with them and found out my account had been “closed”, with a zero balance and that there had been an error made from the creditor! All this time I have been wondering and waiting as to what the outcome would be. Never once did they call to inform me that everything was resolved. I was even told earlier in the process to call a particular rep who knew the history of my case and when I could not reach her, the rep I was talking to at the time said she would leave an email for her to call me back. . . which she never did. I even had to adamently request that THEY send me a letter to officially confirm that the account was closed and the debt resolved. They acted like it was not required and wondered why i would want such a thing. Aren’t they required to notify a person whom they are collecting a debt from as to whether or not the debt has been resolved one way or another? For instance, if it had turned out that I did owe the debt and eventually paid them (as they instructed I do), aren’t they requried to show that I paid off the debt in writing? I would also like to know If I have any merit in filing a complaint against them to my State Attorney General’s Office OR the Federal Trade Commission. Or, is this just the way collection agencies work and I have no grounds for complaints.
    Thank you for time and consideration in this matter.
    Julie Hall

  8. I have about $10,000 in medical debt. A creditor has received a judgement against me back in 2011. Last year they took $1000 of my student loan money out of my bank account and since I couldn’t prove the money was not from some other source, I could not get it back. I am a single mother with 2 boys and even at that time didn’t make enough money for them to garnish.well, they are at it again, garnishing over $100 of a $400 bi-weekly paycheck. I do not even make enough money to live on, and I am CONSTANTLY juggling bills (who will be put off this month so I can pay for last month!) I am so tired of this debt collection place, they received this judgement 4 freaking years ago! How can I make this stop? The stress has caused the very same health issues as the bills they are trying to collect on, it has become a very vicious circle. Any advice would be helpful.

  9. I had a medical bill from the birth of my daughter Oct 2014. I received the bill for myself from the hospital and paid in full within a month of her birth per the financial departments quote and staff. 2014 Comes and goes and I suddenly start getting frequent calls both at work and on my cell phone from Medicredit regarding a bill from the hospital. I could not verify the bill at the time and said I would need to do more research. They continued to call me frequently and I became concerned about receiving these types of call at work. They told me that I was welcome to check into the bill, but if I did not resolve it that day they would begin reporting against my credit that Friday. This was July 28th 2014. I asked if there was anything they could do to reduce the bill due to it being unexpected, we had already paid my deductible bill in full and that was all we had budgeted for the birth of our daughter based on information provided by the hospital on what we would pay out of pocket. He went through this big long financial eval where I provided all the details of my salary and expense. They said if I would make payment arrangements that day they could reduce my bill and would not report to credit. I made payment arrangements and the first payment debited my account on 8/7. I was talking to my credit union today and regarding a car loan and they told me my credit had taken a serious hit due to a unresolved debt being reported by Medicredit. Now not only are they reporting to credit, but they are reporting the full amount due not the discounted agreed upon amount. I happen to get the same guy I made payment arrangements with and he is saying that I only get the discount if I paid in full that day, and that they began reporting to credit in June 2015. I cancelled all payments and informed him I would wait and pay the discounted amount in full whenever I got the money if it was being reported either way. I would have never agreed to pay the bill without so much as verifying the information or receiving any paper documentation if it was being reported to my credit either way. I see no benefit in making payments if that is the case. Do I have any recourse. I had really good credit prior to this ding, like a 780-790. My credit is now down to a 630. Please help! Any advice is welcome! Is this common practice for them to claim I can avoid a credit hit when they have already been reporting it? I always pay my bills! I am furious!

    • Medicredit is a pain to try to work with. They are supposed to be sending me monthly statements, which they aren’t. They call me during all hours of the day or night and on weekends too. I have asked them to stop calling, since I only have a prepaid cell phone. I finally ended up blocking their number, but it still shows on my phone every time, every day that they call. I know if you ask them to stop calling, they have to do it. I hope that your problems with them are resolved by now.

  10. Live in Idaho. Collection agency contacted me via phone about a medical bill from March 2010.i had no idea what they were talking about. As far as I knew, iI hadpaid every bill sent. I Contacted doctor’s office and they cannot find anything saying I owe them money. Can they try to get me to pay this? I think state staute of limitations is 4 of 5 years.

  11. I have had horrible credit resulting from ignoring every single debt retrieval attempt. This is because the trustee of my father’s inheritance which the primary role of the trust /ee is to resolve all medical expenses retroactively since his. I pay over 500dollars a month in medical insurance and the never once received a bill warning me of the collection status approaching. What, if anything, can I do or where is there a comprehensive list of laws, the “dos” and “donts”if you will that is easy for the consumer to research and understand when looking up rules and guidelines? Is there a “go to” place for people who are not and understand that mumbo jumbo?

  12. Our children’s pediatric Doctor left. All open bills were sent to a collection agency in Ontario. They ate charging us $250 per child. The bill on one child is $20 plus $250 fee and the other is $40 plus a $250 fee. Can they charge us the $250 fee? I think paying the $60 is completely reasonable but not their fee.

  13. In Florida can a hospital send my account to a collection agency even if i am paying them what I can monthly? If I’m paying, how can that be legal?

    They also never advised me of programs that could have helped me since I’m on social security and not earning a lot until after they sent me to collection.

  14. In Florida can a hospital send my account to a collection agency even if i am paying them what I can monthly? If I’m paying, how can that be legal?

    They also never advised me of programs that could have helped me since I’m on social security and not earning a lot until after they sent me to collection.

  15. I went to the hospital for a stomach problem and gave my ins to them and they told me my ins payed nothing on the bill so they sent me to a collection agency which is southern credit recovery inc so should I pay or not

  16. I have a dental bill from 2009-10 and the provider sent this to collection in 2013 I had moved and didn’t know anything about it. I no longer have that insurance so I was not able to look at my eob’s because the account was closed with my insurance carrier. Needless to say, I asked the collection agency if I could have a copy of an itemized billing along with copies of the eob they refused that was back in May of 2013. Have called the providers office they say you are in collections, please contact them. So I get this letter which is have typed and the other half is in writing a fill in the blank form stating that they are going to sue me. Is there a status of limitations in California and what is the code I can reference too?

  17. Wisconsin USA, is it a fact that credit collections must not be on my record after 5 years and they cannot change the date to keep it open?

  18. I work for a medical provider and we have uncollected debts from patients dating back over 5 years ago. Is there a statute of limitations as to when we can still collect from these people? Or send them to collection agency? Can you recommend a good collection agency? Thank you.

  19. In wisconsin how long can they come after medical bill

  20. I have medical bills on my credit that I don’t remember getting bills for and I am sure my insurance should have paid them. Also my son noticed that there is a medical bill on his credit report with a date back when he was still considered a minor living at home and in high school. Not sure why that is there either. We are in Alabama. Are ya’ll able to help me?

    • YES! Medical bills are notorious for being wrong; a recent study put medical billing errors at above 60%! We’d like to see your reports and any disputes you (and your son) have written, and if you haven’t yet disputed we can help show you how. We sent you an email for more info, please reply or call.

  21. I live in Pennsylvania. On January 1, 2017, my homeowner’s association sent me a bill for $1,600 which represented an initiation fee of $200 and dues from 2003 to 2017 at $100/year. I bought the lot in 2003, built a home and moved in on 2/14/2004. I was never invoiced previously for any of these years although I have a cancelled check for $100 payable to the association for $100 dated 3/22/2006. That is the only evidence I have that I ever paid anything. Are my homeowner’s association dues considered to be “Under Seal” and are due since under seal goes back 20 years or are these past dues not collectible since they were not invoiced and are too old?

  22. I recently found out from a former NJ dentist that I had a deliquent bill of $186. dollars from 2006. I do not remember ever getting anything from collections or even seeing it on my credit report. Now that I revisted the dentist an adjustnent has been added to my current bill of $39.00 dollars making a current bill of $225. I’m not sure if I even owe the $186 dollars and I don’t think this is right to adjust the bill has a currrent bill. What options to I have for this matter.

    • Ask for proof and figure out if you really owe it. But until its incorrectly credit reported, or 3rd party collected, your consumer rights have not yet been violated.

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