Kansas  |  Credit and Debt Law

Legal Question

Asked on: 3/08/05, 8:56 pm

med bill collection

My medical bill was turned over to a collection agency. I have been making payments for a little over a year. I was unable to make a payment this month to the agency. They told me I had to make the payment or I would have to pay the full amount. It is that I am not going to pay the bill. I just can't this month. They said they were going to contact my employer. Can they do that? What can I do?

1 Answer

Answered on: 3/09/05, 11:23 am by Roger Johnson

Re: med bill collection

In the absence of a written agreement which provides to the contrary, a collection agency can refuse to accept partial payments.

Unless a judgment exists and except for the purpose to serve a writ of garnishment, federal law prohibits an agency from communicating with any third party in an attempt to collect a debt.

Although apparently the agency has not contacted your employer, the threat to do so is a separate violation of federal law.

Based on my experience, most agencies make reasonable efforts to comply with federal and state [if applicable] law relating to debt collection practices. Since this agency [or at least the collector who contacted you] has clearly violated the law, additional violations may have occurred.

You can file suit to recover actual and statutory damages and attorney fees.

You should compile a file with all written correspondence you have received from the agency and a log summarizing the oral contacts, and contact a local attorney who is familiar with the federal and [possibly] state laws applicable to debt collectors.

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Roger D. Johnson, P.C. 3705 Kipling St., Suite 208 Wheat Ridge, CO 80033-5792

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