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  1. #1
    sprungli is offline Member
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    Jun 2002
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    illegal to charge late fees?

    My doctor had billed me for an appt and then added a late fee...I paid the bill but not the late fee which i disagreed with...he kept charging $25 fees on top of the remaining late fee...(the principal had been paid)...so $25 became $50 and on and on...so now it's gone to collection and it's about $150!

    Isn't it illegal to charge a finance charge (or late fee) on top of a late fee?!

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  3. #2
    SoParkDiva is offline Senior Member
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    Mar 2003
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    796

    illegal to charge late fees?

    If you're late paying your credit card bill don't they keep charging you a late fee until the bill is current?

    If X CC company charges you a late fee on $100 and you pay the $100 but not the late fee. It's still late and they can continue to charge you a late fee.
    "The large print giveth, and the small print taketh away." - Tom Waits

    All I have in this world is my name and my FICO scores

    EQ - 732
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  4. #3
    Flyingifr is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
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    1,570

    Re: illegal to charge late fees?

    Originally posted by sprungli
    My doctor had billed me for an appt and then added a late fee...I paid the bill but not the late fee which i disagreed with...he kept charging $25 fees on top of the remaining late fee...(the principal had been paid)...so $25 became $50 and on and on...so now it's gone to collection and it's about $150!

    Isn't it illegal to charge a finance charge (or late fee) on top of a late fee?!
    It depends on whether the doctor gave "fair notice" of the charges. Fair notice would be a ststement on a piece of paper you either were give on signed, or a sign prominently posted in the public area of the doctor's offices.

  5. #4
    GEORGE is offline Senior Member
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    Mar 2000
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    20,468

    Re: illegal to charge late fees?

    Was it like 4 or 5 months AFTER service was rendered???

    If yes...a LATE FEE MAY BE LOGICAL or INTEREST tacked on...

    I PAY BEFORE I LEAVE...BUT THAT IS ME...

  6. #5
    Butch is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2002
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    6,411

    Re: illegal to charge late fees?

    Originally posted by sprungli
    My doctor had billed me for an appt and then added a late fee...I paid the bill but not the late fee which i disagreed with...he kept charging $25 fees on top of the remaining late fee...(the principal had been paid)...so $25 became $50 and on and on...so now it's gone to collection and it's about $150!

    Isn't it illegal to charge a finance charge (or late fee) on top of a late fee?!
    Hi Sprungli,

    First, they may not charge a late fee unless it's stipulated in your financial responsibility agreement you signed when you first saw the Doc. Since I know you don't have a copy, go get one or have them fax one to you. :)

    Second, what you're referring to is called "pyramiding late fees" and you're right, they cannot do that. If your bill is $100 and you pay late, they can add the late fee, as long as it's in the contract. Once you pay the principal, but not the late fee, they may not pile on one late fee after another to increase the balance.

    Now wouldn't you know it. Just last night I read case law about this very issue, so I do know I'm correct. Right now I just can't remember where I saw it. I'll look for it. Heintz v. Jenkins, btw, was about an atty. attempting to collect more than what was owed.

    But until I can find it and prove what I'm saying I have to qualify my remarks.

    :)

  7. #6
    sprungli is offline Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
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    55

    Re: illegal to charge late fees?

    Awesome! Thanks, Butch...I was thinking that it couldn't be right for them to just pile on these fabricated fees...Thank you for your help!

  8. #7
    sprungli is offline Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
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    55

    Re: illegal to charge late fees?

    p.s. George: it was 15 days after the visit! (which is why I refused to pay it in the first place!)

  9. #8
    Butch is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2002
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    6,411

    Re: illegal to charge late fees?

    Well ... I can't find it right now Sprungli.

    Sorry. I'll keep tryin.

    .

  10. #9
    GEORGE is offline Senior Member
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    Mar 2000
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    20,468

    Re: Re: illegal to charge late fees?

    Originally posted by sprungli
    p.s. George: it was 15 days after the visit! (which is why I refused to pay it in the first place!)
    15 days is NOT LATE even if they ask for payment BEFORE you leave the office!!!

  11. #10
    sassyinaz is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Posts
    2,695

    Re: illegal to charge late fees?

    Originally posted by sprungli
    My doctor had billed me for an appt and then added a late fee...I paid the bill but not the late fee which i disagreed with...he kept charging $25 fees on top of the remaining late fee...(the principal had been paid)...so $25 became $50 and on and on...so now it's gone to collection and it's about $150!

    Isn't it illegal to charge a finance charge (or late fee) on top of a late fee?!
    You just need to request validation, sprungli, the FDCPA covers that.

    It is also covered under the FCBA, but that doesn't apply to medical bills.

    Heintz v Jenkins isn't really applicable, the whole point of that case primarily was the validation requirements and mini-miranda wording as it applied to attorney's communications as a debt collector versus being exempted under the FDCPA. It changed the entire interpretation of the FDCPA too. It's a great case, but not here.

    So, send a validation letter to the CA, the additional fees and interest are covered there.

    If you want to address the OC, since it's a doctor, look to your state's unfair and deceptive businesses practices act. It won't go that far though, because it is a medical bill, there is never interest on medical bills (save plastic surgery) and would have to have been part of your original agreement with the Doctor to be allowed -- most doctors don't go there.

    Getting the original agreement is the key, showing you agreed to it or NOT, required as part of validation -- it is unlikely you'll be receiving one.

    Collection activity has to cease until and if it is ever provided, that will take care of that TL and doctor's don't report directly.

    Sassy

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