My question involves collection proceedings in the State of: Washington
I got a call from a collection agency on 10/25 stating that I must pay off passed due patient portion bills for my son that his mother (the Custodial Parent and Legal Guardian) failed to pay.
When I told them the CP is the legally responsible person since she took the child to doctor and signed an greement to pay, they told me that since Im the father, I am legally responsible for the debt. Also, If I didnt pay, they would put the collection on my credit report. When I said they were wrong and in violation of FCRA and FDCPA, they said "We tried to help!" and hung up on me. When I called back and demanded their mailing address and the account number repeatedly, they refused/stalled many times and finally a manager supplied the information.
The CP took him to the doctor and signed a contract to pay and listed me as the father. In fact, she takes him to many different walk-in clinics, medical/dental providers and never pays the patient portion after my insurance pays its portion. She takes him to each medical/dental provider until they deny treatment for unpaid PP bills.
I am the NCP, never married and havent lived with the mother for 2.5 years. I pay for the childs health/dental insurance and child support. I have never received a bill or collection notices via mail and neither party will/can prove they know my address. All attempts were sent to her parents address she provided. Although I have never received a bill from the doctor, or the collection agency by mail, I have, however, seen the visits on my EOB. She chooses not to pay the patient portion after she signs as the legally responsibile person for the care provided.
I have never signed a contract to pay. Can a doctor/collection agency force me to pay? Can the doctor/collection agency put this collection on my credit report without me signing and agreement to pay and they haven't met due diligence requirements?
Simply put... Can the CP run all over the state racking up medical/dental bills for my son that go to collections and ruin my credit when I never agreed to pay?