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Statute of Limitation On Medical Bills



A majority of my credit reporting issues are, unfortunately, alot of medical bills I’ve been unable to pay over time. Not sure how these are seen in terms of the statute of limitations, but I recently received a letter from the collection agency that owns all of my accounts, and that partial payments were no longer accepted. Strangely enough I had previously paid off two of the accounts, online, with receipts for each.

My Response

The statute of limitation is 6 years in most states. Also, a collector who says that “partial payments” are no longer accepted is lying. Collectors will tell you anything to get you to pay. They are simply trying to scare you and I bet would be more interested in cutting a deal with you if you were to say, “Well then I suppose you get nothing”. Keep on pushing them and they will eventually take an offer.

If you need help removing a medical collection from your credit report check out my article on how to do that.

In regards to the paid off accounts and the incorrect account balances. You need to print out the receipts you have and any other documentation that proves these accounts are paid off. Mail these documents to the collection agency and tell them that by federal law you have the right to request that they provide solid proof that the debts are yours. In many cases, they simply cannot do this –either because they were lying or because they don’t know how to do their books. Hang in there.


  1. i hope you can help me, i live in california, my son incurred medical bills that i am responsible for, there was a lein in 2002 and because of the tatics they used, i was paying 100.00 a month, i have paid almost $12,000.00 and when i asked for a breakdown t will i still be hey sent a piece of paper showing that the original bill was for 11,500, and now the bill is for $23,000.00, i decided i was not going to pay, so i was wondering if they have a lein and it was almost 10 years will i still be liable? thank you

  2. I have some medical bills from an accident in 2006 that the insurance company didn’t pay. I know the statue of limitations is 3 years in Colorado. I’m wondering if there is anyway I can dispute these medical bills to be removed from my credit report?

  3. Hi,
    By “last activity,” is that just payments or any communication, inquiries, etc.? Does the time start when the bill (medical in this case) is first issued, or is sent to collections?

  4. I’ve been getting calls about a 2006 medical bill my bill was 5000 but over time they said with fees and other add on now it’s like 10000 and there telling me they need to send me papers I guess about taking me to court and getting there Money and if I give them what the bill was originally then that would be the end of it.I don’t now what to do

  5. Hello! I have recently been receiving calls from an agency stating I owe for a medical bill from 1996 (when I was 13!!!) They are now saying that they have 22 years to collect and are still in their rights. They have also told me they will be sending a court summons and will be requesting wage garnishment from me. Is there any way to fight this? One it was 20 years ago and two I was a minor!

  6. Was just informed a couple days ago when making an appt at a dentist that they couldn’t see me because I have an outstanding balance from 2000. The woman on the other end told me that if this isn’t paid in full they will garnish my wages. Can they legally do this or has the statue of limitations ran out. She also told me I had to pay $100 a pay period. I told her I can’t afford that much but was able to give them $50 a pay period. Still told me I had to pay $100 a pay period and she wants a financial report from me to see if I can indeed afford $200 a month. What should I do?

    1. No they can not garnish your wages. Them telling you that is illegal and your dentist office clerks need to take a course on what they are allowed to say and not say. Garnish wages, no. Place a lein or judgement, yes, but once the are not allowed to threaten you with further legal action without doing just as they said. They can not threaten and not follow through.

  7. I have debt that is the date of service in 2011 and 2009..

    But the debt collector states that I paid the hospital on a payment plan in 2016.. on debt from 2009.. if true would I still need to pay.

    On the 2011… I only have the date of service.. how can I get when it was sent to collections…

    If the date that the collection agency received my debt is within the 6year Window would i still need to pay.. even though my date of service is out side the limitations?

  8. I have received a bill where last date of service was 3/30/2015 with last payment from insurance was 4/9/2015. I have received no bills since I paid my deductible on 3/30/2015. I have been told in letter I am 60 days Past Due and if don’t pay the $22.05 in 30 days will be turned over to a Collection Agency. When I called the doctor’s office and questioned why no bills were sent since 2015 I was told “there’s been no-one in this position” . I realize $22.05 is a piddly amount but I am angry to receive this type of bill 2 years later. Services were provided in Texas and I live in Arkansas. I feel there’s been neglect onbtheir part in not billing for 2 years.

  9. I got hit with a medical bill for nearly $1000 because the payments I had been making for doctor’s office visits turned out not to go toward my deductible, so most of my sleep study wasn’t covered. I called the hospital system and asked for a payment plan, but the one they proposed was way outside my budget. I told them I could pay a smaller amount, and the rep said that would be okay. Now they have sent me to outside collections, despite the fact that I have made payments every month. When I called back, the rep I got told me that it was legal unless I had agreed to *their* payment plan. Is that right?

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