Can an out-of-state collection agency collect money from you?

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Can an out-of-state collection agency collect money from you?

I have a collection company in CA tring to collect money for an ambulance service I got in NM. I am appealing to Medicare to pay it. I have 30 days to respond. What can I do?

Asked on December 1, 2010 under Bankruptcy Law, New Mexico

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Yes, they can, as long as they have either been hired or purchased or been assigned the debt to collect, which is how debt collection companies work.  After the company can no longer collect the debt on their own they sometimes sell it off or enter in toa contract with an agency who collects it for a percentage of the amount owed.  When you say that you 30 days to respond do you mean that you have been sued?  Then you need to answer the summons and complaint.  Go down to the courthouse and tell the clerk that you want to put in an answer.  Put in a general denial.  Also add what is known as an affirmative defense that states that you were covered by medicare on the date of service and that the debt is owed by them.  The language is not fancy but to the point.  Good luck.


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