Cascade Collections, Inc

by Jan
(Salem, Oregon)

hospital bill

by Jan
(Salem, Oregon)

My husband was out of state and since he is the only one in the family who doesn't have health insurance he found it necessary to go to the ER. I submitted information to hospital to try to get help with the bill but apparently not all of it arrived in time and so the bill went into collections. I was not with him so I did not sign my name on any documents. We are a family of eight and currently struggling economically. I have an excellent credit score myself individually and am very concerned about keeping my score so that when we do get into a better situation we would be able to buy another home. I live in Oregon. My question is: Why is my name now on this bill? Is this legal? Is there a way to remove my name from this debt?

Thank you,

Jan

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Nov 03, 2010
spouse's medical bill
by: Gerri

Jan,

Some states have laws under which spouses are automatically responsible for certain debts of their husband or wife, and sometimes that includes medical debts. So it is possible that you could be ultimately responsible for this bill if your husband cannot pay it.

However, this law may not apply in your state. (Unfortunately I don't have that information). In addition, there has been at least one case in which an attorney successfully argued that trying to collect a spouse's individual debt from the other spouse was a violation of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act. If it turns out that the medical provider and/or collector are not truthful about your responsibility for the debt, you may have a case under the FDCPA. You may case for credit damage as well, if the collector has reported the account on your credit history. However, I am not an attorney and can't tell you that for certain.

For that reason, I would urge you to talk with a consumer law attorney who can help you understand your rights here. Find out how to get FREE or low cost legal advice about debt collection from a consumer law attorney here. It doesn't hurt to ask and find out what your rights are.

Do let us know what you find out using the comments link below.

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