Vet bill

by Steven

I shared a vet with my ex boyfriend. I had a cat and he had a dog. We would occasionally go together for whatever animal needed something. The dog became ill and my ex and the vet entered into a payment agreement for a couple thousand dollars that the dog had needed to get better. We broke up but I still went to the vet. A year and a half later I'm getting my cat's regular shots and they deny me service due to the dog's unpaid bill. Being confused and embarassed I left. I get a call from a bill collector the next day. The vet is making the assumption that my ex and I had a domestic partnership and therefore I was co-owner of the dog and should pay the past due bill. I requested verfication of the bill and clearly stated that I had no legal partnership with my ex, regardless of what the vet assumed, nor would I have ever told them that. Is there anything else I should do in this situation? I've tried to get my ex to call the vet and verify that he was the only owner of the dog, but I don't think he will. I'm just shocked that just a month ago the cat had his rabies shot and not a thing was said about the dog or any unpaid bill but all of a sudden I'm in collections now.

Comments for Vet bill

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Nov 26, 2013
Vet bill

You have a couple options. Your first option is to request verification of the debt as you did. That may put an end to your problem if the information you receive confirms that yes, it was your ex, not you, who incurred the debt. BTW, it's always best to put your verification request in writing, to make a copy of your letter for your files, and to send the original via certified mail, with a return receipt requested. That way, you have proof that you made the request and that the collection agency received it in case there are problems down the road, like the collection agency ignores your verification request.

Your second option is to send the collection agency a letter stating that the debt is not yours and so you do not want to be contacted about it again. (Again, send the letter via certified mail with a return receipt requested after you've made a copy of the letter.)

If you send such a letter, the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) says that the agency cannot contact you again after receiving the letter other than to confirm its receipt or to notify you of anything else it intends to do to collect the money from you, assuming it continues to believe that the debt is yours. For example, the collection agency might decide to sue you for the money. For these reasons, it's best to be 100% sure that you don't owe the money -- that you did not sign any paperwork with your former boyfriend stating that you agreed to be responsible for his unpaid vet bills, for example.

Another option is to talk to the vet's billing office to see if you can resolve your problem with it. If you do, make sure that the office agrees to contact the collection agency to tell them not to continue contacting you.

Your fourth option is to go here to schedule a FREE consultation with a consumer law attorney. The attorney can advise you further about your legal rights and suggest any other steps you might want to take. For example, the attorney may suggest that he/she write a letter to the debt collector explaining that you do not owe the debt and why. This assistance will not cost you a bundle of money.

Hope this information helps and that you are able to resolve your problem quickly. If you are, be sure to check your three national credit reports to make sure that the debt does not show up there as a collection account. If it does, you can try to get the collection agency to remove it, but otherwise, you will have to try to make that happen yourself by contacting each credit bureau.

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