My wife had cosmetic surger in July 2011. The surgeon had a form with the fees listed along with, in bold print, if the anesthesiologist is not paid in advance, $1,250.00 NO ANESTHESIA SERVICES WILL BE PROVIDED. My wife thought she had paid but did not. When I started getting statements from the anesthesiologist I thought they were a bookkeeping error that would get straigtened out as the amout owed showed $3,000.00. After two statements I called the office and was told that because we did not pay in advance we had to pay the whole fee. I said we never agreed to that as the paperwork states that no services would be provided. I've asked the collection agncy for proof showing we owe the full amount but just received notice they intend to sue. Can I fight this?
You can try to fight it. However, there are several theories even if the contract was invalid that the creditor can get money on. One would be Quantum merit meaning even if the contract is thrown out and is invalid you received the benefit of the services and therefore should pay a reasonable amount to the creditor. If I were you I would try to settle the debt for less than is owed and be done with it. Look up accord and satisfaction and try to settle the debt for less money if possible. You can try to dispute it but they can also try to collect or sue.
The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the State of Illinois. Responses are answers to general legal questions and the receiver of such question should consult a local attorney for specific answers to questions.
I think this is a tough one to deal with. Did you have medical insurance at the time? If so follow up and find out why they did not pay.
Anyone who pays a filing fee can file a lawsuit. So, yes, the collection agency can file a lawsuit. However, in order to win the lawsuit, the collection agency must prove either that there was an agreement to pay a certain fee, or that the reasonable value of the services provided is the amount of the claim. Because the collection agency is an assignee, not the original creditor, it cannot use Small Claims Court in California. If they file suit in Superior Court, you need to file an Answer. Along with your Answer, you can file a cross complaint against the doctor, if you have grounds to do so. Consult an attorney. Also, you may want to subpoena the doctor to come to court. He will not want to give up a day of his practice in order to spend a day with you at the courthouse.
You will want to write the collection agency, stating that you dispute the amount of the claim. You can also ask them to stop calling you. A "Do Not Call" letter, in writing. If they call you after that, they are in violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and you can sue them, collect a statutory penalty of up to $1,000 per violation, any "actual damages" and attorney's fees. After the Do Not Call letter, they can send you one final letter saying that they will not contact you, and they can file a lawsuit.
Also, if they threaten to sue, and do not sue, they have engaged in a misleading debt collection practice, and you can sue them.
Our Rating is calculated using information the lawyer has included on their profile in addition to the information we collect from state bar associations and other organizations that license legal professionals. Attorneys who claim their profiles and provide Avvo with more information tend to have a higher rating than those who do not.What determines Avvo Rating?Experience & background
Years licensed, work experience, educationLegal community recognition
Peer endorsements, associations, awardsLegal thought leadership
Publications, speaking engagementsDiscipline