five year old ER debt


New Member
North Carolina
I was informed by phone call that I owed for an ER visit from five years ago. Insurance paid. This is a bill I believe was dismissed by the charity care department, which I may be able to prove if I can locate the letter. Isn't this bill too old to just be getting brought to my attention? What do I do? The events relating to the ER visit left me permenantly disabled with hypoxic brain injury, and my income is very low.
A statute of limitations is the deadline for filing a lawsuit. A creditor may attempt to collect the debt forever but would have no legal way of enforcing it.

However, the unpaid debt can appear on your credit report for 7 years from the time it is delinquent. That might do you some damage.
I would also be wary that this isn't a scam. Hospital IT systems are unfortunately soft targets for hackers, and if they get patient billing data from a few years ago, all the hackers have to do is start making threatening calls about unpaid bills. Even if just a small percentage of patients believe the caller and pay the bill, that nets the hacker a nice little income stream.
The poster should make sure that some tolling provision isn't in play (for example, they have left the state).

While the hospital is free to attempt to collect debts after SOL expiry, third parties (collection agencies) may not.