CAN A HOSPITAL LEGALLY SEND A BILL TO COLLECTION IN MY DAUGHTER-IN-LAW’S NAME IF IT WAS FOR MY HUSBAND?

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CAN A HOSPITAL LEGALLY SEND A BILL TO COLLECTION IN MY DAUGHTER-IN-LAW’S NAME IF IT WAS FOR MY HUSBAND?

SHE HAD PAYROLL DEDUCTION. SHE WAS HAVING HIS BILL DEDUCTED FROM HER PAYCHECK AT THE HOSPITAL. SHE QUIT OVER 2 YEARS AGO AND NOW THE ACCOUNT HAS BEEN TURNED OVER TO COLLECTION AGENCY IN HER NAME. I AM TRYING TO GET THE HOSPITAL TO CHANGE TO HIS NAME AND AM GETTING THE RUN AROUND. THE BILL GOES BACK TO 2007 AND WE ARE JUST NOW FINDING OUT ABOUT THIS MESS.

Asked on February 8, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Illinois

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If your daughter had agreed to pay the bill--e.g. through payroll deductions--and then defaulted on it, then the hospital may take collections action against your daughter; it may even sue her. By agreeing to pay the bill, you daughter obligated herself to it; if she defaults on that obligation, then that is what collections or a lawsuit may be based on, regardless of who received the medical care. The best way to resolve this--assuming you do not dispute the amount--is to either arrange to pay the bill all at once or to come to some payment schedule with the hospital that they find acceptable. The hospital has no incentive to let your daughter off the bill or obligation, since doing so deprives them of a person to whom they can look for recourse or payment.


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