I was involuntarily committed due to a suicide attempt. I am also single. I was told by the hospital that the state was to take care of the bill. It is 7 years since this occurred. Now, I am getting calls from a collection agency demanding payment.
The statute of limitations for breach of contract is 6 years in New York so if this was 7 years ago tell the collection company to stop bothering you or you will sue them under Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
I am a former federal and State prosecutor and have been handling criminal defense and personal injury cases for over 18 years. The above answer, and any follow up comments or emails, is for informational purposes only and not meant as legal advice.
Notwithstanding the involuntary nature of the admission to a State hospital, the law allows you to be billed for the services provided.
This is not legal advice. No Attorney client relationship has been created. The comments here are for informational purposes only.
Technically, it was your responsibility to pay the bill, but only until one  year ago. Based upon the information you've provided, it would appear that the statute of limitations has lapsed. Demand a validation of the debt, in writing, if you feel it necessary to affirmatively do something about it - though you'll probably never hear back...
Good luck with your case!
Jonathan D. Warner, Esq. is an attorney and licensed to practice in the State of New York. This answer is provided for informational and/or entertainment purposes only. It should not be relied upon as legal advice, which can only be offered to clients in an office consultation setting, after all of the facts and circumstances of a case or controversy can be fully considered and reviewed. No attorney-client relationship should be inferred by virtue of any answers posted. We are a debt relief agency and help people file for bankruptcy.
It appears that the statute of limitations has lapsed. I would recommend that you send a letter to the collection agency to cease and desist from attempting to collect as the statute of limitations has lapsed. Indicate in the letter that if they fail to stop attempting to collect, you reserve your rights to seek damages against them for violations under the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act. Best of luck, Barbie D. Lieber
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There are some wrong answers in this thread. I would like to let everyone know: it is NOT a violation of FDCPA to attempt to collect debt past the statute of limitations. However, it IS a violation to threaten to sue on it, and it is also a violation to actually sue on it.
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