Is it legal for a collection agency to include my wife’s bills on my account?

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Is it legal for a collection agency to include my wife’s bills on my account?

I have medical bills that have gone to collection. I almost have them paid off when the statement showed they added $800 for “various accounts”. After several phone calls I found out they added a bill in my wife’s name to my account. They had filed with the courts for the money I owed, but not my wife’s. Is this legal or do they need to notify my wife? She was unaware of this bill as she was covered at the time by medicaid (pregnancy). Instead of notifying her, they added the amount to my account without telling anybody.

Asked on June 19, 2009 under Business Law, Colorado

Answers:

B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You mentioned that they had gone to court, so the situation is a little unclear.  I'm not a Colorado lawyer, and the law and procedure can be a bit different from one state to another. For you to get advice you can rely on, you'd need to give all the facts to an attorney in your area.  One place to find a lawyer is our website:  http://attorneypages.com

Certainly, if you are paying through a garnishment under a court order or settlement agreement, they can't do this.  Make sure you bring all of the paperwork, for whatever your debts were and the original repayment agreement, along to your lawyer's office.


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