collecting debt for retired physician

by J

I live in the state of Oregon and a collection agency contacted me regarding a medical bill they state I owe. I asked them to validate the debt and they have not done so. They did send a computer generated invoice but nothing that has my signature on it from the original creditor. I tried to make a payment agreement but the agency said the physician has since retired and they are not able to make agreements because of this. If the physician has retired how are they able to legally collect on this debt? Plus is a computer generated invoice validation enough without my signature or an agreement between me and the original creditor?

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Jul 15, 2010
Collecting on a debt for a retired physician
by: Mary and Gerri

Thanks for submitting your debt collection question on our Q&A page.

Unfortunately, the federal Fair Debt Collection Act is silent regarding the specific documentation a debt collector must provide to a consumer when that consumer asks to have a debt verified.

However, if you are not sure that you owe the debt that the debt collector is trying to collect for your former doctor, we suggest that you contact the collector again in writing and ask for a more specific accounting. Send your letter certified mail and request a return receipt.

If the debt collector fails to respond to your request or continues to provide you with what you consider to be inadequate proof that you owe the debt, get in touch with a consumer law attorney in your area who has specific experience handling debt collection cases. Find out how to get FREE or low cost legal advice about debt collection from a consumer law attorney here.

Regarding your question about whether or not the physician is legally entitled to collect on a past due debt from his practice now that he is retired, we think the answer is probably yes. However, for a definitive answer, talk to a consumer law attorney.

Please share what happens with your situation in the comments section for this question. We are very interested in hearing how this turns out for you, and your experience can help others who are struggling with debt collectors.

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