My question involves collection proceedings in the State of: Pennsylvania (dental procedure conducted) & New Jersey (where I live).
In short, I had a dental procedure done in January 2010 (the last time there was action on the billing account was on November 2010). It has been exactly 7 years and 3 months since I've had this dental procedure (I was 19 years old at the time). I got a random phone call the other day from a debt collector stating that I have an outstanding balance on this medical bill. Being that it was so long ago, I was obviously in shock and had no clue what she was talking about. At the time I was young and didn't have a job nor did I have my own dental insurance - I was on both my mother's and father's for medical and dental.
The lady calling me said that she was hired by that dental office to sort through old outstanding bills from their office. Not taking any fraud chances, I immediately called the office where I had my dental procedure done (not my current dentist). The receptionist there looked up the information for me and found that I did in fact owe $135 and some odd cents. She told me they've been trying to contact me over the years - when I promptly stated that I've never ever received any calls or postage from them and that simply was not true.
Well today I actually received a bill in the mail for the stated amount. The bill has no due date on it or anything, just the procedure billing dates, costs, and descriptions.
Today, I'm almost 27 years old, have my own job with own medical insurances. My parents had switched jobs and have totally different insurances than they had that many years ago.
My main question is... should I pay this $135 outstanding bill? Do I actually owe that to them after this many years after not hearing a peep out of them for so long? Is there something called a Statue of Limitations involved? Why after all these years wasn't the bill tossed over to a Collection Agency, if it was in fact that serious? Can this still destroy my credit if not paid? I'm not even sure if it has anything to do with MY credit per say (maybe my parents since it was not my insurance?)?
Can anyone offer me any advice?
Thanks and I do appreciate it very much!