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SOL Question in WA


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I live in Washington state and I understand the SOL for open ended accounts is 3 years. Does this include medical bills or is this considered a written contract?

I hate to duck out on a few of these bills, but I am currently jobless and have no means to pay on some medical bills that are being collected by Puget Sound Collections. It appears from their last letter they "may" proceed with a lawsuit ( insinuated by the phrase "We will extend to you the courtesy of holding your accounts from further collection efforts until 01-02-07." ) sometime after the date they expect to hear from me - and the 3 years would be up for most of those bills by March at the latest.

Any info or advice?

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Guest E. Normis Debtor

A medical account would not typically be considered an open account. Though there could be exceptions such as where the medical provider is unable to determine what ongoing treatments may be necessary and for how long.

If care was provided by a hospital, you'll also want to determine if that hospital is defined as a municipality, such as a county, regional hospital. Some states have separate SOL's for debts owed a municipality which can run much longer.

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Hey...sorry to hear about your unemployment. A couple tips.

First, read every post regarding collections on creditboards.com. sorry to re-direct ya...but there is often better, more updated, info there.

ok, not sure whether you know or not but WA licenses CA's through the DOL...go to www.wa.gov and then to dept of licens. and then to CA licensing program. it will cite the relevant CA statutes in WA.

FYI, read RCW 19.16.250 8©...if, in your bills from the CA, they ask for more in each bill...was the differing balance itemized? i'll bet it wasn't. if not, you've got em on a coll. agency act vio which is a consumer prot act vio also...for what its worth...they can lose their license for this. i'd recommend not calling them and citing this info...just wait until they sue, and bring it up as a counterclaim, they'll run like the wind. oh yeah...if they DID charge interest...was the rate published in the letter? again, bet it wasn't...violation of the WAC. CA's in WA really don't know the WA version of the FDCPA, stupid them.

CA's in Wa are regulated by the DOL, and the CA licensing office is a pretty lazy place to work as they never get any educated, well written complaints. If you choose to READ THE LAW (RCW 19.16) and become familiar with it...you can write a WELL WRITTEN complaint to them and you'll be surprised at what they can do. like i said, they're a pretty bored bunch...but give em some ammunition and they are Nazi's when it comes to enforcement...CA's a terrified to death of being audited by them, they have no mercy when it comes to enforcement. but this can only happen if you: 1. do your research by actually reading and then rereading the law so you understand it inside and out. 2. write a well written, educated complaint by using citations of applicable law...and DONT SOUND LIKE A WHACKO!!!

I'd never advise you to not pay your bills. but there is always a way to tactfully 'dogde them.' if they are in collections you are probably beyond the stage where the hospital and/or docs will work with ya in payment arrangements...but sometimes the CA's are good to work with...give em a try...just dont sign anything. but if you do get sued...you HAVE TO fight it. i assure you...if you follow the protocol on the other site you will win. CA's look for default judgments and if they dont get it they try to intimidate by filing a summary judgment motion, as that scares most non-lawyers. But a summ judg is the same as anything...if you actually SHOW UP FOR COURT...and object for any reason...they won't win, it's just the rules on that type of motion...bring up SOME triable issue and they can't win, just the way it is.

anyways.....im just babbling at this point.....you can PM and i might write back...i might not. rememeber.....i AM NOT A LAWYER.....just a guy eating cheerios and drinkin vodka @ 2 am...take my advice with a grain of kosher salt.

fight a good fight, become educated in collection law, spend time on the boards...and whatever you do.....SHOW UP FOR COURT AND DON'T!!! EVER GET A DEFAULT JUDGMENT ENTERED AGAINST YOU!!!

good luck

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