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Can my NC state tax refund be taken for a hospital bill from 1997?

Raleigh, NC |

I had my refund taken and given to UNC Hospitals and when I called them about it they said it was for a bill from July 1997 and they told me that there is no statute of limitations for them. I was never given any notification that this setoff debt was being done nor was I ever given any notice of the debt. Is this legal? Is UNC hospitals above the SOL on debt collection laws and guidelines? This is the first time I have heard about this debt. You would think that in the almost 15 years, that they say I have owed the money, I would have been sent a bill or had something on my credit report about it. I don't know what to do at this point I have called the DOR, Consumer Dept, UNC Hospitals and no one seems to have any reason as to why they can do this.

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Attorney answers 2


In some states, public hospitals are exempt from the laws that pertain to ordinary creditors, such as the statute of limitations or even the need to file a lawsuit to collect.

You may wish to review the laws in your state for any pertaining to this issue. I would also suggest that you check the court records in your community to see if the hospital obtained a court judgment against you. In many states, there are two court levels - one for debts of a small amount, and another for larger amounts. Many courts post all information online so you may not even have to go downtown to the courthouse.

Hope this perspective helps!


Set your withholding to match or slightly more than your tax liability and you will have less at risk.

Curt Harrington Patent & Tax Law Attorney Certified Tax Specialist by the California Board of Legal Specialization PATENTAX.COM This communication is general information and not legal advice, and does not create an attorney-client relationship. This communication should not be relied upon as any type of legal advice. Please note that no attorney-client relationship exists between the sender and the recipient of this message in the absence of either (1) a signed fee contract and (2) remission of an agreed-upon retainer. Absent such an agreement and retainer, I am not engaged by you as an attorney, nor is any other member of my law firm.