At The Law Offices of George Castrataro, P.A., we are aware that medical debt can be staggering for those in Fort Lauderdale and elsewhere. After an unexpected illness, an accident or a routine medical procedure, you might find yourself facing hundreds or even thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket expenses. If you have healthcare insurance, you are not necessarily shielded from overwhelming medical expenses. You may be forced to pay high deductibles and co-pays, as well as cover the cost of medication and treatments that your plan will not pay for.
The Consumerist reported on recent action taken against two Oklahoma law firms for allegedly using deceptive language and abusive practices against thousands of consumers regarding medical debt. As you may have read in previous blog posts, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act protects you and others from being harassed, threatened and misled by agencies who are attempting to collect a debt. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau fined the law firms and ordered them to repay $577,135 to those who made payments after receiving deceptive collection letters from the firms. In the letters, it was alluded that legal action would likely be taken against the consumers with medical debt. The letters were also printed on the firms’ official letterhead, further giving the impression that legal action was forthcoming. However, the CFPB stated that attorneys from the firms did not review the accounts personally.
Debt collectors are held to the same fair collection standards for medical bills as for any other type of debt. You may learn more about your rights when experiencing financial difficulties by visiting our bankruptcy page.