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Can I be sued for a medical bill from a collection agency

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I have a medical bill that was placed with a collection agency from 2003.The total I owed was 1695.00. I made arrangements to pay 50.00 a month to the surgery center. I missed a payment here and there so they sent me to collections. I made arrangements with them to pay 50.00 a month. There was several months I couldn't pay the whole amount so I would send 10.00 or what ever I could pay that month. Now they are telling me that they are going to start litagtion. I beg them not to. I told them I am sorry I got sick but I have been sending what I can. They said by sending 10.00 a month that this account would never get paid off. I said someday it would. I asked them what would be accomplished by them sueing me. They would have to wait for their money then as well. I now owe 979.00 I again told them I would try to send 50.00 a month on the 15th well I could only send 25.00 they said they will take legal action against because I didn't stick to the 50.00 a month. I thought that for medical reasons you can pay what you can pay and it would be ok. Can they sue me because I am not paying what they want and only pay what I can?

Yes, the CA can take you to court and get a civil judgement if they wanted to. Then they could tack on the court costs as well.

Sub: #1 posted on Sat, 11/25/2006 - 09:26


(Posts: 5262 | Credits: 731.81)

Since you did not enter into a promissory installment agreement, they are under no obligation to give you payment options. By you not paying them in full at the time of service, you are in default.

They may be trying to bust your balls to get you to pay more than you have been sending. It is obvious they do not like your payment arragements, but they may keep accepting it as long as you keep sending it.

Chances are, that as long as you send something, even just $25 dollars/mo, they will probably hold off on the lawsuit until you stop paying completely.

Sub: #2 posted on Sat, 11/25/2006 - 09:37

DebtCruncher DebtCruncher
(Posts: 2296 | Credits: 269.79)

The CA that threaten to sue told me they have in house attorneys that handle their litagation. Since the CA is in another state then were I live do they need to get an attorney from my state to do the legal stuff against me or can they use their own in house attorneys from their state. I was under the impression they would have to get a lawyer from my state to start litagation.

Sub: #3 posted on Sat, 11/25/2006 - 09:41


From my understanding the CA must be licensed in your state in order to collect a debt, the atty. could be one of their in house attys and they could be licensed to practice law in your state. Somebody correct me if I am wrong.

Sub: #4 posted on Sat, 11/25/2006 - 09:44


(Posts: 5262 | Credits: 731.81)

Yes, they need to sue you in the county/state where the transaction originated or where the debtor currently resides.

If the attorney is licensed in your state, then he could file in your jurisdiction. But they cannot file in their own state.

Generally, they have contacts and they might have an agreement with an attorney in your state who could file on their behalf.

Sub: #5 posted on Sat, 11/25/2006 - 09:50

DebtCruncher DebtCruncher
(Posts: 2296 | Credits: 269.79)

Hi again, I have been doing my homework on the collection agency trying to sue me. I found this court appeal from the CA. What does all this mean I copied it from the appeal papers I found if someone can explain I might have a fighting chances against this company thanks

[quote]This appeal results from an unsuccessful attempt by Hauge Associates, Inc., a collection agency, to collect a $458.25 hospital bill for Clarke County Hospital. The alleged debtor is Charles H. McGriff. Both the small claims court and the district court believed that this court's decision in Iowa Supreme Court Commission on Unauthorized Practice of Law v. A-1 Associates, Ltd., 623 N.W.2d 803 (Iowa 2001), precludes a collection agency from suing on an account assigned to it for purposes of collecting monies owed the assignor.
Our A-1 Associates decision concerned an issue involving the alleged unauthorized practice of law by a collection agency. Our decision in that case was a reaffirmation of an earlier decision in Bump v. Barnett, 235 Iowa 308, 16 N.W.2d 579 (1944), which held that the assignment of a debt for purposes of enabling the assignee to bring suit for the amount owing to the assignor and remit any recovery, less a percentage commission, to the assignor, does not confer upon the assignee the status of pro se litigant sufficient to avoid a determination that the assignee is engaging in the unauthorized practice of law.
We stated in A-1 Associates that neither the recognized right of parties to assign choses in action nor the equally well-settled right to try one's own case in court resolved the question of whether [the assignee's] litigation activity on behalf of others constituted the unauthorized practice of law. A-1 Assocs., 623 N.W.2d at 805. In holding that it did amount to unauthorized practice, we applied the following admonition from the Bump case.
Undoubtedly one might for example engage in the business of buying claims as investments and might take assignments of them to himself and maintain actions thereon in his own name. But when he does not purchase the claims and only takes colorable assignment of them so he may render or cause to be rendered legal service to others and holds himself out as engaged in such practice, it is quite a different matter.
Bump, 235 Iowa at 313, 16 N.W.2d at 582. The considerations involving the unauthorized practice of law at issue in Bump and A-1 Associates do not exist in the present case because Hauge Associates, Inc. was, at all times, represented by a licensed attorney.
The pronouncements that we refer to from the Bump and A-1 Associates cases were not made in regard to the assignee's status as a real party in interest. The real-party-in-interest status of the holder of an account for collection was first determined in Searing v. Berry, 58 Iowa 20, 11 N.W. 708 (1882). We stated in that case:
It is insisted that as the assignment of the judgment in favor of Allen was made to plaintiff without consideration, and merely for the purpose of enabling plaintiff to enforce its collection, he is not a real party in interest, so far as that judgment is concerned, and as to it he cannot support this action. But the plaintiff holds the legal title to the judgment, and according to the defendants' position, is a trustee of Allen. The law regards him as the real party in interest to prosecute this suit to enforce the collection of the judgment.
Searing, 58 Iowa at 23-24, 11 N.W. at 709 (citations omitted). The conclusion that an assignee of an account for collection purposes may be considered to be the real party in interest for bringing suit on the claim was reaffirmed in Carson Pirie Scott & Co. v. Long, 222 Iowa 506, 508, 268 N.W. 518, 519 (1936).
We find no reason to depart from the conclusions reached in the Searing and Carson Pirie Scott & Co. decisions concerning the real-party-in-interest status of an assignee for collection purposes. Iowa Code section 539.3 (2001), enacted after Searing and Carson Pirie Scott & Co. were decided, serves to reinforce the rights of assignees for collection purposes to sue in their own name.Iowa Code section 539.3 provides:
An open account of sums of money due on contract may be assigned. The assignee, including a person who takes assignment for collection in the regular course of business, has a right of action on the account to the assignee's own name, subject to the defenses and counterclaims allowed against the instruments mentioned in section 539.2, before notice of the assignment is given to the debtor in writing by the assignee. In case of conflict Uniform Commercial Code, section 554.9318, controls.
Iowa Code 539.3.
We have considered all issues presented and conclude that the judgment of the district court must be reversed. The case is remanded to the small claims court for further proceedings on the hospital's claim.
This opinion shall be published.

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Sub: #6 posted on Sun, 11/26/2006 - 09:15


this is not legal advice: That means that in Iowa, a collection agancy (asignee) can not sue you for the balance due. Only the person with whom you made the debt with originally can. Good luck!

Sub: #7 posted on Tue, 10/16/2012 - 21:35


Hi! You answered a 6 year old post.:p

Sub: #8 posted on Wed, 10/17/2012 - 03:32

goldenbast goldenbast
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