My parents were visiting the US from Europe and they had some sort of travel insurance. During their visit, my dad had a fall and was taken to the ER; thankfully nothing was wrong and he was released within a couple of hours.

5 months after they left back to Europe, I received a letter from the hospital for $1,300. I called the insurance company and they said they were processing the claim and asked me to stay put, that they would deal directly with the hospital. I called the hospital and conveyed the message.

Today (a couple of months later), I received a collections letter from the hospital for the same amount. Since my dad and I have the same last name, the letter was delivered to my apartment.

  • My parents are not residents of the US and do not have social security numbers. Can this collection letter affect my score in any way since the address and the last name are the same?
  • I'll of course work with the insurance agency to pay off the debt, but are there any tips to make sure this doesn't come back to bite me? Can I ask the collections agency to perform a pay-for-remove?

1 Answer 1


No-- if you don't let it.

Not all collections people are as ethical as we would hope. Legally, the debt is your father's. They may try to make you pay, but I don't see how or why you would be legally responsible.

Every time you talk to somebody on the phone, make sure you point out you are the son of the debt holder.

Look up and get to know the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act.

Know how to challenge any impact to your credit.

  • Great, thank you Michael. So far I haven't been contacted by phone by anyone about the debt, including the hospital in the first place. Should I just ignore their repeated letters and watch my credit score like a hawk?
    – Craig
    Jul 25, 2017 at 3:11
  • 1
    I would respond to every letter and telephone call from the hospital, insurance company and collection agency and tell them only that the debt is owed by your father and not you.
    – chili555
    Jul 25, 2017 at 15:06

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