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  1. #1

    Default Debt Collection Notice Against a Minor

    My question involves collection proceedings in the State of: WA

    The back story:
    Almost 7 years my wife and our son were involved in a car accident. My wife and I paid all of the medical bills before settling her claim against the other persons insurance company. We were under the impression that all of our sons bills had been taken care of either by PIP or by us paying them directly. We still haven't settled our sons claim with the other persons insurance company, because we wanted to make sure there weren't any long lasting medical issues. My son did have a lawyer representing him, but doesn't currently.

    The current situation:
    The other day we received a notice addressed to our son from a collection agency stating that there was an outstanding bill that they intend to collect on. This bill includes about $2000 in charges and another $1500 in interest (12% from RCW 19.52.010). To the best of our knowledge we never received any bills from the company in question, and we never remember making any payments to them either. Going back through the paper work from the lawyer I did find a list of visits from this business and some chart notes but nothing else.

    I believe this debt may be valid, however I have a problem with the 12% interest they are attempting to charge. Like I stated before we paid all of the bills we received ourselves, and had this business sent us correspondence we would have likely paid it also.

    My Questions:
    1. I plan on requesting validation of this debt from the collection agency should this request come from my son or from me as his parent?

    2. From what I have found the statute of limitations in Washington would be 6 years. Doing some reverse math on the numbers they sent they are charging interest for about 6.5 years. The last appointment from the list I found in the lawyer file seems to be about 6.5 years ago. Is it correct to use the last visit date for the start of the statute of limitations and assume that the statute of limitations has passed?

    3. If I am correct in assuming that statute of limitations has passed should I state that in the validation request, or should I wait till I receive the validation response?

    4. Any other information/help on this matter would be appreciated.

    Thank you,
    Thomas

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    25,767

    Default Re: Debt Collection Notice Against a Minor

    7 years and you haven't settled with the insurance company? Is there some reason the statute of limitations is tolled?

    How old is your son now?

    the statute of limitations as a defense is only an affirmative defense. That means that if you are sued, you can use that as a defense. Until that time, the SOL does not have an affect on the situation.

    but speaking of SOL, depending on the situation, the SOL may have been as short as 3 years. 6 years applies to written contracts and promissory notes. It is 3 years for oral agreements.

    the SOL begins running at the first date of delinquency. That would mean if payment was due upon presentation of the bill, it became delinquent at that time if you failed to pay it. If they gave you 10, 15, 30, or whatever days to pay, then it became delinquent at the expiration of that time.
    I am not an attorney and any advice is not to be construed as legal advice. You might even want to ignore my advice. Actually, there are plenty of real attorneys that you might want to ignore as well.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Debt Collection Notice Against a Minor

    Our son is now 9 years old. We wanted to wait to settle to ensure there weren't any additional problems related with the injury later down the line (hard for a 2 year old to tell you about back problems).

    I understand that the SOL is a defense used if they take you to court, I am trying to determine if it is a possible defense in this case and if I should let them know up front that if taken to court I would use it. We never received a bill that we can recall, and they are charging us interest from the date of the last visit, so would that be the date the statute of limitations would start? I don't know if/when they consider it delinquent, I never saw a bill, nor does my wife remember talking with them about it.

    Thanks,
    Thomas

  4. #4
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    Sep 2005
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    Default Re: Debt Collection Notice Against a Minor

    Do a Google search for the name of the debt collector. I would not be surprised if it turns out to be a junk debt buyer that just picked up this debt, past the expiration of the six year statute of limitations, for pennies on the dollar and is now shaking the trees to see what falls out.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    25,767

    Default Re: Debt Collection Notice Against a Minor

    madhatterclb;576445]Our son is now 9 years old. We wanted to wait to settle to ensure there weren't any additional problems related with the injury later down the line (hard for a 2 year old to tell you about back problems).
    then you would file any sort of response. He is a bit young to be disputing a bill, especially since it isn't actually his bill anyway but yours.

    I still don't understand why the 3 year statute of limitations would be tolled with your son. While it isn't relevant to the issue at hand I am simply curious. Unless it has been tolled for some reason, you lost any right to make a claim for costs incurred due to at least the initial injuries and anything discovered more than 3 years ago.

    I understand that the SOL is a defense used if they take you to court, I am trying to determine if it is a possible defense in this case and if I should let them know up front that if taken to court I would use it. We never received a bill that we can recall, and they are charging us interest from the date of the last visit, so would that be the date the statute of limitations would start? I don't know if/when they consider it delinquent, I never saw a bill, nor does my wife remember talking with them about it.
    It isn't going to hurt to let them know you are aware the SOL has run, if it has. It won't change what they can or cannot do.

    After all this time I wonder if you are not simply the next guy on the list of some junk debt buyer who purchased old noncollectable debts from whomever the original creditor was. The fact it was addressed to your son suggests as much.
    I am not an attorney and any advice is not to be construed as legal advice. You might even want to ignore my advice. Actually, there are plenty of real attorneys that you might want to ignore as well.

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