Did You Know?
Today more than ever compliance with dental collection laws is critical.
In fact, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) says dental debt collectors can’t harass, oppress, or abuse your patients or anyone else they contact. Some examples are clear violations, such as using bad language. But other examples of “harassment” might surprise you, such as:
- Repetitious phone calls that are intended to annoy, abuse, or harass you or any person answering the phone
- Obscene or profane language
- Threats of violence or harm
- Publishing lists of people who refuse to pay their debts (this does not include reporting information to a credit reporting company)
- Calling you without telling you who they are
Furthermore, according to the act:
“You can also sue the dentists debt collector for violations of the FDCPA. If you sue under the FDCPA and win, the debt collection agency must generally pay your attorney’s fees and may also have to pay you damages.”
Which means that if you are attempting to collect outstanding payment on your own, your office is can bee deemed to be acting as a dental debt collector. Reason enough for outsourcing your dental collections is to limit your legal liablilty that your office staff might not even know you have an exposure to.
Compliance and common sense
The law also outlines that dental debt collectors cannot use false, deceptive, or misleading practices.
These would include:
- misrepresentations about the debt, including the amount owed
- claiming to be an attorney during a call or in writing
- threats to have you arrested
- threats to do things that cannot legally be done
- or threats to do things that the debt collector has no intention of doing
Debt collectors also are not allowed to use certain practices that are considered unfair. This would include calling someone at work, telling family members or coworkers of the person you are trying to collect from that you are calling about their debt, calling at all hours of the day and failing to stop calling once you are notified to do so.
Which means, if you leave a message with another person about the debt you are trying to collect from your patient – you may have violated the terms of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
Generally, you may not discuss the debt with anyone other than the patient you are trying to collection from.
- family members
- their spouse
- their legal guardian
Ready to find the right dental collection agency?
Save time, money and aggravation by hiring a professional who can help you collect some (or all?) of your outstanding revenue.
Click the button below and get a free dental collection quote today. After all, you can keep doing what you’re doing (and hope for a different result), or you can work with a collection agency that can help you recover what’s rightfully yours.