I have an old doctor bill which I disputed and the office never sent me another bill or took me to court etc. This bill is now over 8 years old, they recently sold it to a debt collector who is now hounding me, is there anything I can do.
Step 1: Check link below to determine your state’s Statute of Limitation to determine your legal obligation to pay.
If you are not legally obligated to pay:
Step 2: Contact Dr. Office and offer them a reasonable settlement based on what you believe you owe, not what they believe you owe. This is because you morally owe them something – I assume that was your position.
Step 3: Tell creditor to go pound sand if they threaten any legal action or to ding your credit. If Dr. Office is unresponsive, you could offer them 20% of what you believe you originally owe with no interest, penalties or anything else.
If you are legally obligated to pay:
Step 2: Tell them to send you, in writing, a written proof of the debt. If & when you receive it, send them, certified mail – return receipt, your written dispute. Wait to see if they ever respond before the statute runs out.
Step 3, offer them the same 20% – 25% of what you think you owe.
ABOVE ALL: Send no money, no agreement to pay a dime until they send you, in writing, a written agreement of payment in full.
And read this: http://www.suzeorman.com/igsbase/igstemplate.cfm?SRC=MD012&SRCN=aoedetails&GnavID=84&SnavID=20&TnavID=&AreasofExpertiseID=24
Morally of course if we owe a debt we should pay it.
There does seem to be some leeway give for time in the Bible, but I’m certainly no expert on how to apply that… and of course repayment isn’t always possible and in this case is disputed anyway.
Once a debt is 7 years old it generally is NOT reported on your credit report any more. Meaning there really is no problem other than what your conscience tells you. (not going to help with certain debts however, taxes, school loans etc…)
BUT…. there is a problem.
Once you communicate again with them you can ‘reset’ the date of the debt. It doesn’t just go by ‘date of service’ etc… if you deal with them in anyway, you can reset the date.
I don’t know exactly how this works, and would search more for this online. I’m sure Suze Orman probably covers this (not that I always agree with her, but I’m sure she would know about this if not in Ramsey (sp?) info.
We need to find out the statute of limitations for these things. I know that each state varies. Some are a little at 4 years. Others are 7 or so. If your state has a statute of 4 years, it has passed. If you can prove it, the debt is done. You are free of it.
We have had some old dogs sold to folks after 10 years, way past any statute I have heard of.
Does anybody know of a quick place to look up the statute of limitations for debts by state?
I am in CT so it looks like 6 years is my sol. Thanks everyone for the help. I am starting to think the doctor wrote of the debt and/or sold it to some scummy debt collection group. So it seems I do have a sol defense. I recently (last few days) heard a report I think on NPR radio (you can do a search) about many people who have discharged their debts thru bk, or the SOL has run out, but their debt has been sold to a collector, so the collector keeps harassing them trying to get any$.
The report said that these collectors buy your debt, for say, $10. per $100. of debt. So if they get you to pay $50.00 of a $100. debt just so you can get them off your back, they make a profit of 40% right there.
I’m going to search for the report later, and see if I can link to it. I forgot to add, in the report they said, if you think your old debt may have been discharged, ask the collector (demand) written confirmation of the original debt, eg credit card invoice, or whatever.
They can get in trouble doing that after one has filed with bk. they are simply not allowed by law to do that.