What is a legal timeframe that a creditor can send you a bill?

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What is a legal timeframe that a creditor can send you a bill?

I had a baby almost 2 years ago. My insurance policy states that I have $500 a day deductible for a maximum of 3 days. Also, it states that the max I would pay is $3k. I called yesterday to check on my balance of my $1500 deductible. I was told that I owe $1875.10. I asked what that was for and they said for the fetal monitoring I had. They said they have been arguing with my insurer and it is amount to go to collections in a few days. Yesterday was the first I had ever heard of this bill. Is this legal?

Asked on April 26, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, they most likely can do this. The "statute of limitations," or SOL, defines how long someone has to take legal action against you, which therefore defines how long they have to send you a bill. (If  a bill is sent after the SOL, you can simply ignore it, since they have no way to enforce it.) In CA, the SOL for a written contract or agreement--such as the agreement pursuant to which you were provided medical services (i.e. the paperwork you signed at the hospital)--is four years; therefore, they have up to four years to try to collect from you


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