Hospital Contacting Child About His Parents' Medical Debt

by Lynn
(Cincinnati, OH)

My 16 year old son had physical therapy and we received a huge bill that we are in the process of disputing. Unfortunately we can't pay it right now so we are getting calls asking for my son instead of we parents. These call are coming for the hospital affiliated with PT office of the bill not a collection agency yet. We plan to pay before it hits the collection agency. Is this legal to call the child? I feel so bad for my son and this puts amazing stress on him and guilt.

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Feb 23, 2011
Hospital Contacting Child About His Parents' Medical Debt

Thanks for getting in touch.

I am so sorry that your son is being contacted about the debt you incurred when he was hospitalized. I can understand why the calls are making him feel bad.

What the hospital is doing is illegal. A minor cannot be held responsible for his or her parents' debts and the hospital should not be contacting him. I would suggest that you call the hospital's business office and ask the office to stop contacting your son. Then follow up that call by putting your request in writing. Make a copy of your letter for your files and send it to the hospital's business office via certified mail with a return receipt requested.

If the calls to your son do not stop after you have contacted the hospital via phone and mail, get in touch with a consumer law attorney in your area who helps consumers resolve debt collection problems or call the Collection Complaint Hotline at 888-711-5183 for a free, confidential case evaluation.

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