Well, unless your state has a first party debt collection statute (e.g., California Rosenthal Act, Florida FCCPA, etc.) they can still lawfully collect. Still, I would using plain English dispute the legitimacy of the debt in writing, send it certified and then monitor your credit report and further collection activity. The FDCPA would prohibit third party debt collectors from collecting a debt known to be disputed with a cease and desist letter in place. Failure to also report the debt as disputed, with a dispute to the credit reporting agency, could give rise to private causes of action that would help to remedy the macro situation. www.leavenlaw.com
This answer should not be construed to establish an attorney-client relationship. Please consult a licensed attorney in your state and visit www.FloridaBKLawyer.com or www.ConsumerRightsGroup.com for more details.
I recommend a cease and desist as opposed to a dispute. A dispute letter is only timely if received within 30 days of the initial written communication. Unfortunately, most debt collectors tend to lie about when this communication occurred. If a dispute is received outside of those 30 days, then the creditor/debt collector is not required to validate the debt.
Do you have a template cease and desist?
When you signed accepting treatment, it is BEYOND likely (and I say this because the same thing happened to me and when I asked they showed me where it was) that you accepted responsibility for payment if you did not have insurance or if they do not bill your insurance. With that said, pay it or don't and then they will send you to collections. Sounds harsh, but I know from personal experience that when you sign the initial forms at check-in at Zoom Care or 99% of the other Urgent Care places, you consent to ALL bills. That's why you need to see if they take your insurance first, and if you don't have any, work out a payment plan.
THIS IS NOT A CONFIDENTIAL FORUM. PLEASE DO NOT PROVIDE CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION BECAUSE THERE IS NO ATTORNEY-CLIENT PRIVILEGE PROTECTION. My statement is only a matter of my opinion and does not go to the merits of your case. Seek advice from an attorney in your local area if you have confidential or case specific questions or concerns. No Attorney-Client relationship is established between myself and any other party by communication through Avvo.com until both parties have signed a Retainer Agreement and any necessary fees have been paid to my firm. I am licensed to practice law in the State of Oregon and the Federal District Court for the State of Oregon. If you are in Oregon I am happy to help you if I am able or otherwise will find you someone who can.