Can a doctor or dentist send me a bill for a service they claimed I received 8 years ago and expect me to pay it?

UPDATED: Jun 25, 2015

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Can a doctor or dentist send me a bill for a service they claimed I received 8 years ago and expect me to pay it?

It was the first time I had ever received a bill for this service.

Asked on June 25, 2015 under Bankruptcy Law, North Carolina


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

In your state, the time period within which someone must sue (the "statute of limitations" or "SOL") for an allegedly unpaid bill is 3 years from the time the bill was due and you failed to pay. That means that the bill may only be legally enforced for up to three years. Therefore, while nothing says they can't send you the bill and hope you'll pay it, based on what you write, if you refuse to pay, they can't do anything except plead with you.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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