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 from Attorneys
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.