A published report blasts the credit and collection industry, especially those collecting medical debts, for suing individuals with unpaid debts that should have been covered by workers’ compensation insurance and infers that those doing the suing are knowingly taking the risk, expecting that the individual is not going to do anything other than pay the debt.
The report accuses medical debt collectors of not fully investigating accounts prior to sending out collection letters, and says that the low number of consumers who might stand up and sue a collector for sending a letter that should not have been sent is worth it for the amounts that are being collected from those who do not contest the debt.
Medical debt collectors are also becoming “more aggressive,” according to a consumer advocate quoted in the article, who goes on to say that the “the field is ‘crawling with bad actors who ignore or defy the law to chase after the sick and injured for money that they do not even owe.’ “
One consumer attorney noted that he has settled more than 100 such claims in the past year and that he has as many as 30 cases that are actively being litigated. Suing medical debt collectors has become the “bread and butter” of his legal practice.
The article points to a ruling that was issued last year out of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida, which said that a debt collector could was “not entitled” to assume that accounts placed with it by a medical provider are “validly due and owing.” That decision has been appealed to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals.