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Ask the Lawyer: June 2011

If I am collecting debts for my health care practice, what do I need to know and follow?

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act governs all activities undertaken by debt collectors attempting to collect consumer debts. If you are collecting your own debt, or are acting as an "in-house" collector, you are not bound by the provisions of the Act. Only if you bring in third-party collector does FDCPA apply.

North Carolina has its own legislation to protect citizens located in Article 2, Chapter 75 of the North Carolina General Statutes. The North Carolina Act includes creditors. It defines a "debt collector" as any person engaging, directly or indirectly, in debt collection from consumer. A practice collecting its own receivables would be considered a debt collector. It is here that it is good to know the FDCPA rules regarding communication because the North Carolina Act follows those guidelines. The collector can communicate with the debtor, his attorney, his spouse and his parent if the debtor is a minor.

There will be more on this issue in next newsletter.

This article is for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. The information contained in this article does not create an attorney-client relationship between Karen McKeithen Schaede Attorney at Law, PLLC and the reader.

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