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Posted by Ryan Singleton | Apr 16, 2024 | 0 Comments

Earlier this year, the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit held that confusing medical bells could be considered a violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (referred to as the FDCPA herein).  The Plaintiff in Huber v. Simon's Agency, Inc., visited a medical provider on four separate occasions, resulting in four separate amounts due.  The medical provider hired the Defendant, Simon Agency, Inc. (referred to as “SAI” herein) to collect the outstanding amounts from the Plaintiff.  

SAI sent four different collection letters to the Plaintiff over a period of four months.  The letters contained an account summary section that contained two amounts, one titled “Amount” and another titled “Various Other Accts Total Balance,” with the latter being a much higher amount.  

The Plaintiff claimed that she was confused by the two amounts and wasn't sure how much to pay, so she paid neither and sought professional assistance instead.  She ended up filing a class action against SAI alleging the collection letters constituted a “false, deceptive or misleading” attempt to collect a debt and therefore violated the FDCPA under 15 U.S.C. 1692e.  

The District Court agreed with this argument, finding that there were two ways to interpret the amounts in the letter.  A recipient could view the total amount owed as the combination of the “Amount” and “Various Other Accts Total Balance.”  Alternatively, the “Amount” could already be incorporated into the “Various Other Accts Total Balance.” Because the first interpretation is inaccurate, the District Court ruled that the letter was deceptive and violated the FDCPA.  The Court of Appeals upheld this decision.  

If you've received any confusing medical bills or believe you have experienced any form of creditor harassment, do not hesitate to contact the Holland Law Group to hire an experienced Florida attorney. We have attorneys throughout the state that can assist you whether you're in Miami-Dade, Hillsborough, Duval, Orlando, Sarasota, or any other area in Florida. Call (941)-306-3601 for your consultation today!

About the Author

Ryan Singleton

Ryan Singleton is a native of Portsmouth, RI but he is a long-time resident of St. Petersburg.  He attended Eckerd College from  and he graduated law school from Stetson University College of Law in 2005.  After 2 years of general practice, Ryan started managing a high-volume of bankruptcy cases ...


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