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,


Comments for hospital bill

Click here to add your own comments

Nov 06, 2010
Hospital bill in collections
by: Mary

I am not sure why your name is on your husband's unpaid hospital bill. It may be that your name was added after you submitted information asking for help paying the bill. Have you contacted the hospital to inquire?

I recommend that you write a letter to the debt collection company asking for written verification of the debt. You are entitled to such information under the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Make a copy of your letter for your files and send the letter certified mail with a return receipt requested. The collection agency is legally required to respond to your letter and its response may resolve your confusion.

Also, sending your letter will buy you some time to figure out how to deal with your husband's unpaid bill. Have you explored the possibility of getting assistance paying it from your local, state or county government? They may have a medical assistance program that you could qualify for. Another option is to try to settle the debt with the debt collector for less than the full amount that you owe or to set up an installment payment plan.

You may also want to contact a consumer law attorney in your area with experience in debt collection cases. Find out how to get FREE or low cost legal advice about debt collection from a consumer law attorney here. Either resource may be able to help you determine why your name is on your husband's bill and tell you if that fact gives you any leverage in dealing with the debt collector.

I am sorry I do not have a straight-forward answer for you. I think it's going to take a little research on your part using the resources I've suggested and I strongly recommend that you buy yourself time to do that research and explore your options by asking the debt collector to verify the debt he wants you to pay. Good luck!

Nov 06, 2010
Hospital Bill
by: Mac411

Most hospitals have financial assistance programs of their own that give varying discounts, up to 100%, to people based upon their income level. With a household of 8, and if you are 'struggling' as you say, you probably would qualify for a significant discount. Ask the hospital about their income-based assistance program.

Click here to add your own comments

Return to Debt Collection Questions.

Learn how debt collection laws can help you!
This website does not provide legal advice.
All information is for educational purposes only.
Copyright 2007 - 2016 by Mary Reed and Gerri Detweiler.
All rights reserved.