19 year old's medical debt.

I am a 19 year old full time college student. I still live at home with my parents and only have a part time job. I recieved a call while at work from a collection agency over a medical bill from last year. I am still covered by my parent's insurance, and I'm not sure if I am responsible for this debt. I was unaware that this debt even existed until this call took place. My questions are:

1) am I responsible for this debt
2) how do I know this debt is real, considering its from last year and i knew nothing of it prior to the call

Thank you for your time

Comments for 19 year old's medical debt.

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Mar 03, 2012
19 year old's medical debt.
by: Debtcollectionanswers

If you were a legal adult at the time that you incurred the debt (at least 18), then you are responsible for it. In fact you probably signed a statement of financial responsibility at the medical provider's. Therefore the collection agency is entitled to look to you for payment, assuming the debt actually belongs to you.

If you are not sure that the debt is yours, the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act entitles you to ask the collector to provide you with written proof that you owe the money. Put your request in writing and send it to the collector via certified mail with a return receipt requested. That way you will have proof that the letter was received. Once the collector has your letter, he must respond to you in writing. If you get no response, the collector has violated the law and you may have grounds for a lawsuit.

If you decide that the debt is yours, it's important that you pay it; otherwise you may be sued for the money. If you cannot pay the debt in full, explain your situation to the collector and find out if you can pay what you owe over time. If you are able to work out a payment plan you can afford, do not being paying on the plan until the terms of your agreement are in writing.

Another option is to try to settle the debt. When you settle a debt the collector lets you pay it in full for less than the total amount due. You will probably have to pay the settlement amount in one lump sum, however. Again, if you reach a settlement agreement, do not pay anything until you have a written settlement agreement.

If you want to become more educated about your debt collection rights and your options when you are dealing with collectors, I recommend that you get our ebook Debt Collection Answers. You can read the first chapter of Debt Collection Answers online for free.

And, if you believe that the debt collector has violated your rights, schedule a free consultation with a consumer law attorney. The attorney may decide that you have grounds for a lawsuit.

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