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Collections Law/Medical bill supposed to be in parents name...?


Hi there
I'm a NJ resident and have just received a collections letter from a 3 year old emergency room medical bill that was supposed to be charged to my father.

I was 18 at the time, but the bill was supposed to be in my fathers name and not mine. When the bill initially arrived in 2011 I showed it to my parents and they said they would have it switched to his name, but I suppose they never did. Now I'm receiving collections letters and, after investigation have found that this has been reported to the credit bureaus and is affecting my credit.

If I just pay it off how long will it take to stop affecting my credit? Is there some way to transfer it to my parents? Does that involve a lengthy dispute of some kind?

I'd just pay it but I'm barely affording my own bills and even though it was my emergency, my parents said they'd take care of it and I frankly don't have the money for a medical bill that was supposed to be in someone else's name.
What can I do?
Thank you.


If you pay the bill, it will stay on your credit for 7 years. I would dispute the debt with the collection agency and the credit bureaus explaining the situation and also explaining that as soon as you were sent written proof that the bill had been changed over to your parents and all reference to it has been expunged from your credit history from all 3 credit report agencies, your parents will pay the bill in full.  Start keeping a collection diary concerning this debt. Who you talk to, who you send letters to and what the subject matter was. That way, you do not run in to the "he said, she said" situation.  Be sure to get everything you can in writing.  It is hard to change the written word.  If you send a letter to anyone concerning this debt, keep a copy filed away in a safe place so you can refer them easily.

I wish you will with this situation and if you need further information please let me know.

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Ray A Miller


I am qualified to answer questions on the following subjects: FDCPA, FCRA and HIPAA as well as medical collections, general collections and collection agency related issues. I trained these subjects at a nationwide collection agency and customer service call center and audited around 150 representatives for compliance to the laws. I have been in the Collections Industry for over 30 years. I feel that everyone deserves to be treated fairly and with compassion and that is the way I trained collectors. Even though I worked for a Collection Agency, I get great satisfaction in helping those who have been mistreated or in need of help with these confusing issues.


I was the Compliance Administrator with a nationwide collection agency and customer service call center-I have trained hundreds of collectors on the above referenced topics. I have been in the medical collections industry for over twenty years and research these topics on a daily basis.

ACA International

Some college ACA Certified Collection Specialist

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I am retired due to medical conditions and spend a good deal of time keeping current on collection issues.

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