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My previous employer (March of 2019) has discovered that they were paying into my HSA account the amount for a family when I am a single person. This happened in 2017 and 2018, the amount they overpaid is 1800.00. They want me to pay them what they overpaid for these years. They are threatening to sue. Is that allowed? Can they go back that far?

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  • Which state did this occur in?
    – Hart CO
    Dec 4, 2019 at 4:34
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    Possibly veering into a question for Law SE and/or a legal advisor. A legal answer (though I'm not a lawyer) may depend on things such as whether you knew they were over-paying; whether you told them in a timely manner (if you did know); or whether you could have been reasonably expected to know. (Although here may not be the place to answer those questions).
    – TripeHound
    Dec 4, 2019 at 8:05
  • @TripeHound while I agree with your well thought out comment, this will be a non-issue due to the amount. The filling fees alone would be close to the amount in question.
    – Pete B.
    Dec 4, 2019 at 12:02
  • Did their contribution take you over the limit for single? Was it a lump sum, or was it paid per check/per month? Dec 4, 2019 at 13:38
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    Do you have some good argument for not repaying them, such as that you relied on the higher amount and made decisions you wouldn't have made otherwise? Dec 4, 2019 at 14:04

2 Answers 2

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Anyone can sue for any reason, so technically yes they can sue. The only thing that they might run up against is a statute of limitations, but that would be state dependent and you did not specify the state. Additionally, I would think that 2 years is within most statute of limitations.

I am no lawyer, and as such this is not legal advice. This is what I would do in your case:

I would say "okay, sue me". That will likely end the matter right there. $1800 is just not enough to make this worth while for most companies. It is probably a bullying tactic from a collection agency. How were you informed that they would sue you?

Lets say they do sue you. If this is not small claims court, you will be served with a complaint. For which you will have a limited time to respond. You can provide a response yourself (not hard) or file a motion for an extension (also not hard). Then make a decision from there. You can negotiate a settlement, find a lawyer, or represent yourself. However, I put this in the extremely unlikely category. LLCs, in Florida, have to be represented by outside council. How much will it cost them to go after you for 1800? Probably close to 100K and the judge may side with you out of sympathy.

Now they may possibly sue you in small claims court. I would still put this in about a 1% chance category, but they might. No biggie, learn about the process and follow it. Go to mediation, try to negotiate a settlement, whatever. Here you can represent yourself as you are on equal footing with lawyers. Small claims court is very forgiving provided you are respectful of the judge and his staff. These matters play out much like the "Judge Judy" type shows on daytime television.

If this amount was 18K, the same advice still applies. If it was 180K, it might change things a bit. While I understand 1,800 is probably a lot to you most healthy businesses should be putting their focus on other things. Perhaps correcting their HR procedures would be a good step, and there are probably 100 more profitable uses for their time.

The key here for you is to remain calm and do not give into fear.

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    "How much will it cost them to go after you for 1800? Probably close to 100K". Pesos? Indian Rupees? Because I'm really dubious that it would cost anything near 667 hours at $150/hour.
    – RonJohn
    Dec 4, 2019 at 18:06
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In the USA anybody can sue anybody for anything. So yes they can do it. Will they win? You need to see a lawyer to have a better idea of that.

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