I had a medical bill recently go into collections and they are trying to charge me almost $200 in a turnover fee. I heard this was illegal. Is it? If so what can I do?

Asked on March 16, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, North Carolina


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

A transactional fee (turnover fee) such as the $200 amount that you have written about is not a per se illegal fee. Rather, it is a fee many entities use in the area of collection to pocket extra money from a consumer. Such a fee is not an allowable cost to be charged to a person unless the written agreement setting forth the terms of the underlying obligation states so.

If I were you, I would write the collection company a note agreeing to pay the amount you are obligated upon on a monthly basis where the agreement is to be signed in writing as to the total amount (assuming you owe the money). Specific reference should be made that the "turnover fee" is not part of the equation.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.