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Can a collection agency try to collect from two different people for the same account

Melbourne, FL |

Medical bill was sent to collections for my daughter. Both her father and I who are not married have the same debt on our individual credit reports. Can they legally do this?

Attorney Answers 4

  1. It is ABSOLUTELY possible to seek collection from 2, 3, or 10 people at the same time if they are all legally responsible for the debt.

    Assuming both adult parents of a minor are legally responsible for the minor's medical bills, then yes, they can do that.

    Good luck.

    If you need further clarity, please email me at MICHAEL@MIRELAND.US Answers to questions are for general information purposes only and do not establish an attorney-client relationship. This is not legal advice, simply information. You SHOULD NOT act on this information without consulting a competent bankruptcy attorney in your area and providing ALL relevant information.

  2. They can try to collect from as many responsible parties as they can find. You may not have the same liability if one of you signed paperwork at the medical provider and the other did not.

  3. If two people are liable for the account, then absolutely. Example: two people co-sign on a loan and they default. Co-signer has taken on liability by co-signing. They may go after either person.

  4. Let me make it clear that my colleagues are not saying that the same debt can be collected in full from each of the persons liable for the debt, only that the creditor can collect money from each person that is liable until it receives the full amount owed. It does not have to limit itself to an equal share, so if 3 people are liable for a debt, the creditor can properly obtain 70% of the debt from one, 20% from another and 10% from the third. Or 100% from one and none from the others.

    In Florida, parents are responsible for their children's necessities, which medical services certainly are, regardless of whether the parent signed an agreement with the health care provider.

    I hope you found this response to be of assistance. This response shall not be considered the rendering of legal advise but instead a general response to a general question. While Avvo is a wonderful resource, nothing can be a substitute for an in-depth consultation with an attorney in the jurisdiction in which the law is to be applied. This response shall not be deemed to create an attorney-client relationship, nor shall it create an obligation on the part of the attorney to respond to further inquiry from the questioner.