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Was this legal?

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I have a $75 medical bill on my 3-year old son that got screwed up because of billing problems through my insurance company. I received a notice from a CA about a week ago saying that I need to pay before 1/7/05 or I get a neg. on my CR. Fair enough, and I plan on paying.

Or at least, I did plan. Last night I get a call from the CA. I should have known better than to stay on the line when I got the "please hold..." message from the autodialer, but I did. So this obnoxious collector asks me to verify who I am, then, without any explanation, starts grilling for personal details on my son. I demand to know why she is asking these questions, and she refuses to explain. I in turn tell her that I refuse to discuss personal details of family members with any unidentified callers. I of course knew why she was asking - she wanted to double-check the correctness of the account without letting me know why she needed to get that information - but I wasn't about to give her anything. She told me that she already had the information, and couldn't understand why I wouldn't confirm it. I told her again that I would not give out that information without being offered a valid reason to do so. At that point she muttered something (probably offensive, but I couldn't make it out) and hung up.

Now, although the medical procedure was indeed on my son, I am the responsible party for the debt, so there was no need for her to have that information anyway. But is it some form of violation for a collector to request personal information on non-liable individuals, especially minors?

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For $75 dollars, they (the CA) now owe you $1000.

Make a copy of the letter and send it along with a complaint to their state Attorney General, and file a complaint with the FTC. Then sue them.

If this was a billing error, get on the phone with your insurance carrier and get them to actually walk across the hall to the file cabinet and see what's going on. Do the same with the billing department at the medical facility.

HIPPA is the regulation regarding medical information. It's a complex and sometimes confusing piece of work. I would suggest doing a search (link above) on it to get the jist of it.

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Legal? I don't think you've got anything you can pin on her...right now its your word against hers.

Personally, I'd write a letter to the Administrator of the hospital or doctor informing them of the call, how she behaved, and so on...

Include the check for $75 if you like, but I think they ought to know who they have working for them.

You might also mention HIPPA in your letter...

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I wasn't thinking that was a violation. Here's the exact text of the letter:

After a standard 30-day validity notice, a second paragraph states "You should act to avoid the possibility of this account becoming part of your credit history. Any account not paid in full before 01/07/05 may be reported on your credit bureau file for seven years from the date of service."

What exactly is illegal about this?

The idea of telling the hospital about the dubious behavior of the CA is a good one though.

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Because they are undermining the 30 day time frame for you to dispute the debt.

Basically they are confusing you about your rights.... you are confused now arent you?

You basically asked what was illegal about it... if it was clear then you wouldnt need to ask. :lol:

I would write them a nice intent to sue and tell them that you will subtract the 75 buck you owe from the 1000 they should pay you and a check for 925 should be coming your way.

Lotsa luck

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