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dloran

Who is responsible?

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Am I responsible for my ex-wifes debts (mostly medical) that she accumulated while we where seperated, before we got divorced?

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You'll have to consult with an attorney for a definitive answer. It will depend on WA state statutes, current WA case law, your separation agreement and your divorce decree.

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That's a tricky thing--I live in Wa State to and here's what happened to me recently...

Last April sometime my husband went in for a doctor appointment. It was within the month of April, but his employer had "laid" him off towards the end of the first week in April and then the med insurance said he "no longer qualified" for health insurace (even though we were told he'd still qualify for ONE month after he left the job!) At any rate, we get this bill in the mail for 79.00--so, we wrote a letter to PREMARA (the med co that illegally refused to pay) but nothing came of it and this amount went to collections (we weren't diligent enough, our fault) at any rate MY name somehow popped up on the bill (after it was at the CA) !!!! When I called the CA about this her words to me, "Well, if you can provide proof that you were legally seperated at that time then you won't be liable.." Can you imagine this? How'd they get my friggin' name in the first place and when is it ok to all the sudden add peoples names to bills?!

Unfortunately, we reside in a communitive property state and sadly--unless you had a "legal seperation" (one filed in court or some other legal protection) you may be liable for your wifes med and other bills she attained during seperation.

NOW--is she disabled or otherwise NOT working?? Is there any reason why they're coming after you INSTEAD of her? Have you received copies of the bills/debts? If her name is first on the debt than she's definitely more responsible--I would play dumb and tell them I had no idea of the debt because we were no longer together and dispute the crap out of it from there...

If I were you, I'd definitely dispute it and fight it HARD. We ended up paying the stupid 79.00 because as it turned out they didn't have my SSN anyway :twisted:

But still...the idea that anyone can just indescriminately place peoples names on bills in unnerving!

One other thing--check the wording (carefully) of your divorce papers--it may cover debts accumulated during seperation--or at least debts in general. It usually covers debts all the way up to the day the judge signs your final papers. It may say her debts are hers and yours are yours or something like that, if that's the case then they shouldn't have much of a leg to stand on. Even still, check your wording carefully and see an attorney. If she purposely did this (got in debt while seperated) you may end up finding out OTHER things that could ruin your credit for YEARS to come. My hubbys ex stole checks and ran up credit cards--only she had her b/f do MOST of it so we could've called the police and we didn't (stupid, I know).

Best wishes and I hope this all gets worked out amicably. Some people go ahead and send each creditor copies of their divorce papers to let them know, "Hey, we're no longer together--see!" That may be a good idea for you. But again, I agree, ask an attorney. Personally, I think people should be able to contact their creditors the moment their stbx moves out and say, "Hey, look we're not together-please FREEZE this account and allow no further charges unless they get their OWN credit card and accept FULL responsibility for it's charges!" (And maybe you can do that, but I haven't had a credit card really to know for sure)

Elyse

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I did the divorce myself and it states that any debts she accured after Sep. 9,1999 are her responsiblity. But the CA says that doesn't matter by law we were still married. The seperation was made legal when she filed for child support and was granted it, and once agian CA says doesn't matter. No she doesn't work and as far as disabled( :lol: yes) but not sure all I know is that she has heart problems and has already gone through by pass surgery. I still haven't recieved anything from my DV as of yet so I am not sure what the CA is actually trying to nail me with, who knows maybe I will never hear from them again :p but chances are unlikely.

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Here's the bottom line: the CA needs to kick rocks.

You have a court-upheld document that puts her debts in her lap exclusively. There's no way they have authority to collect on this debt.

If you put the screws to them, my bet is they will go away. It will probably take either a lawsuit or a threat of one to do that. Might as well try to collect $1K while you're at it.

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I agree w/ vrandon. Don't take this lying down. I would simply tell them I was "sorry they were having difficulties collecting the debt but that they should beware of violating court orders and that you will take appropriate action as necessary and contact the correct organizations." Again--it couldn't hurt to talk to an attorney. It also couldn't hurt to report them to the usual people (FTC, BBB, Attorney General) if nothing is accomplished and if they keep it up.

When my husband got his divorce she got him to agree to take ALL the debt in exchange for custody of their sons (she's wackos--so he figured it was worth it to get them out and away from her grasp) anyway...the debt collectors only EVER came after my husband and in some cases, even removed her name from some of the bills.

One other question--she's claiming "heart issues" and has had bypass surgery--so she IS NOT working (has she ever worked?) also, does she receive SSI funds? Well, either way--this all sounds like it's something she's going to need to work out. I'd give them her information and tell them "sorry charlie..." I know the court orders DO matter and they DO count so be ware that they are probably trying to scare you into paying. :roll:

ONE other question--How did they get your name? Was it on the insurance still that you two were both on and that's how or what? Just wondering...I'm wondering if they got your name AFTER the fact or if her name still appears on the debt.

Elyse

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I have no idea if she collects SSI or not I know the person she lives with does, but out side ofthat the only other income I know of is the child support. Yes she has worked in the past but only for about three months at a time, she is the type that most depend on other people to support her. The CA got my name for these debts because of joint debts that I had already paid to another CA that was taken over by Collection Proffesionals. This is In Montana where I did live, not Washington where I now live.

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LOL--my husband was married to one of those, lol. She has various undeclared (but medically dx'd) mental health conditions and she has a hard time working herself and often times will just find some MAN to take care of her, usually some poor schmuck from a bar somewhere.

We're lucky we get ANY child support from her for my two step sons who are are nearly 12 and 14 yrs of age. Initially her c/s was set at 50.00 per month (total) but she dragged us to court to try to get custody(yah, she can barely get by herself and she needs to be legally/physically liable for children-they were 5 and 7 at the time)---even still, it's only 75.00 now...it kills me, but oh well. The effort she takes in committing FRAUD though is AMAZING--she has the mental capacity to do THAT, but not work for too long-lol, sheesh...anyway...

Did you run the check to see if the CA is legally liable to collect debt from Washington residents from Montana?? In our state (Wa) they do need to be licensed. Check the stickys out on the front page of "collections" and you should see a sticky for that. Also, statute of limitations for Montana is:

Oral Contract/5yrs, Written Contract/10 yrs, Promissory Contract/10 yrs and Open Ended/5 yrs. You may want to try to see which of these this debt (or any of the others) would fall under. OHHH--and the SOL begins at the time either when the debt was incurred or whenever last payment was made on the debt--so if she incurred the medical debts in 1998 and the SOL for that debt is 5 yrs they are SOL in another way if you catch my meaning--The other thing is this-if this is reporting on your CR's then you'll have room to see how they got your SSN because they may have illegally attained that information.

Elyse

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The problem here is that divorce decrees don't mean SQUAT to creditors, they are NOT bound by them and do NOT have to be. If your name (or hers) are on the debts, then the creditor/CA wil go after that person to collect and no divorce decree is going to stop it.

If WA law says that a legal separation severs the marriage, then the CA is full of crap and any debt the EX incurred AFTER that separation went thru the courts is HER problem, community property no longer applies.

Add to this that the SOL for medical debts, per the UCC is FOUR years, even it you were responsible, the SOL has expired.

Tell 'em to go pound sand.

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Lady, I wasn't trying to offend anyone, sorry! :oops:

But, that's why we were telling him to speak w/ an attorney though. Each situation carries it's own unique details and it's tough to lay a blanket statement on what is or isn't going to happen.

Having been in and out of Wa courts for 5 yrs I can offer that in a divorce the debts incurred and who takes legal "responsibility" does count...(but I think maybe dloran was divorced in Montana?) Anyway, I am in NO way saying that it means they can no longer attempt to collect from EITHER party. What it really seems to boil down to is they go after whoever WORKS....so dloran YOU are the naughty one here, lol... :lol:

dloran, good luck to you! Keep us posted--if it helps ya any I'll tell ya this--those debts my husband agreed to take in his divorce? They never were able to collect on them...we did get a lot of letters, threats, etc...and we did pay a few of them but trying to deal with those PLUS keep custody of the boys was just too much.

If the SOL is 4 yrs like Lady says then they don't stand a good chance of collecting anyway...let us know if you get a response to your DV request--good luck again! :) And if they send you any more letters do like Lady says, send them the C&D letter.

Elyse

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Well I still haven't heard back from the CA, so I am now waiting to get a copy of my credit report and if the collection for the medical bill is still there they are going to recieve another letter stating they need to remove it until the debt has been validated. If I still don't receive anything and they don't remove it then they will get nailed with a lawsuit. I might as well try and get something out of it. I have tried to contact a few attorneys in Montana but no one has returned my calls and unsure if the attorneys here in Washington have any jurisdection in Montana, but I will worry about that if I ever hear anything back from the CA. Thank you for all your help. Dave

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dloran,

I too, was divorced in WA state and know what you are going through. You can tell the CA to get bent because you have a court order signed by a judge that states ANY debts incurred after your separation date, which I am sure is listed, you are NOT responsible for. Send them that page and your ex's address and tell them to get lost. Also, send it to the CRA, they will take it off of your credit report if you can prove the debts were incurred after your separation date that is listed on your decree. Good luck.

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Get this I was contacted today by the main office of the CA I sent a DV to. I informed the lady that the debts she was trying to set up payment arrengement for where in DV she started to do some back peddling, stating she was only what they call a Dialer, someone who only picks up the line after a computer dials the number. She stated she had no idea how my number was put into the call list but she would turn it back over to Tammy the agent who supposedly sent me two list the 7th of June either of which I still haven't seen. A second letter to validate is in the works as well as a no contact order until they can prove that the debts are mine and that they have a right to collect in Washington state.

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I sent out the second DV letter June 17, 2004, the same day I recieved a list of the debts they say are mine. Looking over the list alot of the medical bills are for my ex-wife after we seperated, there are even two bills for her current partners daughter, I about died laughing when I seen this. They also stuck all the debts under one collection account number instead of each one being seperate. The second letter states that they are not to contact me by phone again, and that they are suppost to prove to me that I aggreed to this debts in any way. So now I am stuck waiting once again for more info.

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I have been trying to find info on Montana collection laws, but the only thing I could find was on lawdog, stating that Montana code annotated 1997 contains no provisions governing fair debt collection practices. So does this mean that a collection agency in MT. doesn't have to follow the FDCPA? This is also puzzeling to me is the CA is based out of Wy. and has offices in MT. but not WA. can they collect from me in WA? The more I try reading about this the more I am getting confussed. If someone has any or even more info on MT laws dealing with collections I would be very thankful for the help. D.

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You need to look at Washingtons laws.. then look at MT..

Now if montana has no debt collection laws then the FDCPA is what you will go by.. Its a federal law and it supercedes state law UNLESS State law gives more protection.

Washington may have stricter requirements than montana or none at all.

FDCPA ALWAYS APPLIES IN EVERY STATE!!!

No matter what!!

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So If I am understanding everything, that has been writen, correctly, and from what I have read, The CA has no authority to collect from me in the state of Washington because they are not liceneced or bonded here. Any medical bills older then June 23, 2000 has gone past the SOL per UCC and they don't have a foot to stand on. So the next letter I send to the CA is a cease and desist letter or you will end up in court, or should I just talk to an attorney and if possible take them to court.

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This question has been on my mind for a while, has anyone else here had any problems with Collection Professionals, INC., or have heard anything about them or their collection tatics? They are based out of Wyoming.

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Man I thought I had at least a grand in my pocket yesterday, Collection Professionals called me at 8:06 am pst to talk to me about my accounts. I told them I sent a C&D on telecomunications letter and they needed to send a letter. My wife contacted the FTC and Washington state AG, the FTC told her that the collection companies have one last phone call after recieving a C&D to inform you of what they are doing with your acount(s) :cry: (bubble bursting). However both the AG and The FTC have started the complaint process, here is where I need some HELP!!!!!!!! I need info on where to find in the UCC that medical bills SOL are only four years, I also need to find out for sure what type of contract medical bills are. Both the FTC and the AG want me to get this information for them and I haven't a clue on where to find it. The AG believes we can nail the CA with ID Theft, Medical billing fraud as well as a few FDCPA violations :D (bubble back)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Go to about page 25 of this section and look for the thread titled "????? about HIPPAA LAW", There may be some useful info there for you. Medical bills are considered "Open Accounts". You will have to search the Federal Law sites to find the UCC. If LadynRed happens to see this, she will be able to direct you straight to it. I can never remember where to find that particular law. I do know it is posted somewhere, but, where. Also, each State has it's own SOL. Some are found in the Revised Statutes or Code Of Civil Procedure. Look around your State's sites to find it.

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I am still a little confussed, I am not the one who can use the HIPPAA but my ex-wife, since it is her medical info as well as her partner's daughters medical info, that can use it correct? If this is the case does she just get an attroney or does she just contact the medical instution that released her info to the CA. Sorry not trying to sound stupid, this is all new to me, before I would just dodge the calls or pay them to get them off my back. I wish I knew of this site two years ago. Thanks again for all the info and help.

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Well the CA called again this morning, This time I informed them that I had sent two DV letters and that the second one contained a C&D on telecommunications and that she was in violation of the FDCPA. I nearly was rolling on the the ground when she started with the "whats" and started back peddling and asked me what again. I repeated that the collection accounts she was calling on where in DV and that they had a C&D on telecummunications with the second one and they needed to send me a letter with the information I asked for, not the phoney computer print outs, as well as a reason why the collection account had all of a sudden gone up by $400 dollars and a $1000 dollars for the violation of the FDCPA and to stop calling me, she was like oh I see it now I am so sorry for this call I was just handed this this morning and was told to call and collect on it. I told her she needed to talk to who ever told her this because it just cost them a law suit, good day and good bye. Man after I mentioned the FDCPA she was having a hard time talking, It was great for once it wasn't me doing the squirming trying to come up with excusses. Now to find a lawyer in the area that deals with sort of stuff.

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Whether you are responsible for your ex-wife's debts depends on your state law. In many states, both parties are responsible for medical debt because it is a necessary expense. Some states would require a signature from the spouse. The debts would have to have been incurred during your marriage.

If you are in a state that makes you responsible for an ex-spouse's debts, the divorce decree doesn't really mean much. Your divorce decree is an agreement between you and your ex spouse. If you end up paying one of the ex spouse's debts, the ex spouse would be responsible to you to reimburse you. The agreement you have with the medical provider is between you and your ex-spouse and the medical provider. You are responsible to them. The medical provider did not sign your divorce agreement, therefore would probably not be a party to it.

If the debt is not medical or for a necessity of life, then whether you would be responsible would depend if you are in a community property state or not.

You probably need to consult a lawyer who deals with past due debt.

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First off I am in the process of getting a lawyer for this to find out exactly where I stand. Second any of the old medical bills from when my ex-wife and I where still together not seperated are past the SOL. If the medical center wanted payment they should of sent me the bills just after my ex-wife and I seperated, I would have paid them. Now 4 to 6 years after the fact they are trying to get me to pay them because I work and she doesn't , forget it. Third I don't care if we where still married till Dec. of 2003 (this is a whole other story) , we seperated Sep. 9, 1999 at which she already had her new partner living with her so all those medical bills for the Preg. tests ( I got nothing for the last six months of our time together) just be for we split as well as all the other medical bills she accured during our seperation till the divorce are hers and her partners that is to include her partners daughter, who is no relation to me at all. The only bill I feel is truely mine was the medical bill for my knee injury, which I feel even if it is past the SOL I will pay it. But the CA says they won't just take a pay off for this one bill but will take a payment on the whole account (which by the way they clomped togehter after I DVed them) which ticked me off so that is why I sent them a letter to prove that this debts belong to me. The only thing they have been able to send me so far is a computer generated letter and some photo copies of medical prucedures that they preformed on my ex-wife, her partners daughter and my knee, which violates HIPPA laws. They have called me twice sent I sent them a C&D on telecommunications and still haven't recieved anything cerditable since Feb. 20 , 2004 and it is now July 19, 2004. If it was the CA wanting their money, legally, we wouldn't be able to go six months before we found our selfs with a letter from the courts stating that we where being sued for the debts and another $1000 plus dollars being added on to our account, but when we ask for the information they can take as long as they please to get it to use. To me it makes me feel like they are trying to find away to either add more money on to it or are trying to find some loop hole so that they can actually make the debts stick, and if they can't then they're just going to leave you hanging out there with no I'm sorry or we are unable to make any connection between you and the debts that we said belong to you there for we are droping this matter.

Sorry I will stop venting now. D.

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