Can I be held legally responsible for a medical debt that my mother did not pay when I was 16 and 17?

A debt collection agency is contacting me about an amount that has went against my credit for braces that my mother did not pay for when I was a teenager. I had no idea the bill had not been paid, nor did I choose for her not to pay it. Now I am 21 and they are treating me like I am a horrible person for this. The debt collection agency nor the dentist’s office will give me answers about why the account is in my name and not my mother’s.

Asked on June 7, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, Alabama


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Under the laws of all states in this country, the debt of a minor is primarily the repsonsible for the minor's parent and secondarily, the minor's responsibility. In your situation since your mother did not pay for the braces that you received, you are responsible for paying it off unfortunately.

I would contact the debt collection company and ask to see the bill in order to possibly enter into monthly installment payments to pay it off.

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