Am I required to pay interest on medical bills that have been turned over to collections?

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Am I required to pay interest on medical bills that have been turned over to collections?

I had a couple of out-patient surgeries approximately 2.5 years ago. My insurance paid and I was left with almost $3,000 that I owed. The hospital gave me 6 months to pay or they would turn me over to collections. I have been paying the collection agency $60/month for about 1.5 years, and have been paying $100/month for the past year. The collection agency is charging me 8% interest, which I told them I would not pay. They have sent forms trying to get me to sign that I would pay interest, and I never returned the forms.

Asked on October 18, 2010 under Bankruptcy Law, Colorado

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

The issue is whether there was anything in the documentation under which you incurred the debt obligating you to pay interest. For example, if the agreement by which you authorized surgery stated that you would pay interest on outstanding balances, or the invoices and statements you received from the hospital stated that outstanding amounts incur interest, then you would very likely have to pay (at whatever the specified rate was). Without something putting you on notice of interest, and to which you either explicitly agreed or could implicitly be deemed to agree, there would be obligation to pay interest unless and until you are taken to court and a judgment is obtained against you. Once a judgment is obtained, they could then seek to have to pay interest from that point on, until the debt is paid.


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