If it is the Paragon Group, Inc. out of Dallas, Texas the short answer is no. They are not registered in the state of Florida as a collections company. By not being registered they are violating the Florida Consumer Collection Practices Act and in turn violating the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
I recommend contacting an attorney who handles these types of claims that can assist with issuing a demand to the collector and if necessary filing suit. Our firm handles these cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning you do not pay our fee unless we recover for you. The only out of pocket expense is usually the filing fee if a case is required to be filed, which is rare.
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I would say no and that you should contact an attorney in your area that handles these types of situations and let him take it from there.
Two questions need to be addressed - 1. Does the debt collector have to be licensed in your state to collect from you in your state? 2. Is there a spousal exemption from the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act?
The medical debt is a consumer debt and the Paragon Group is a debt collector, so FDCPA applies.
Mr. Goldstein is a Virginia-licensed attorney only. The information is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation. Answering this question does not in any way constitute legal representation. Contacting Mitchell Goldstein or the Goldstein Law Group does not constitute legal representation, nor is any information you provide protected by attorney-client privilege until otherwise advised.
As an issue separate and apart from the question of whether the company is registered to collect in Florida, if your husband identified himself to them as such, then they have a "right party" and can continue the "talk off" (collection script) without violating the FDCPA.
Again, if they're not registered to collect in Florida, that creates a cascade of illegality that culminates in FDCPA liability, regardless of whether they have a right party.
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