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They Say I Owe Magnolia Hospital a Debt From Twelve Years Ago. – Shelley


“Dear Steve,

I received a letter today (6/3/2009) supposedly from an attorney in Mississippi.

I live in Tennessee. The letter says that I owe Magnolia Hospital $642.59 from 1/1997. It says that the amount is plus interest. This was 12 1/2 years ago. I was certain that this bill was paid following the birth of my child. I would no longer have any records regarding this debt since it has been so long. I do not believe that I owe this debt. Furthermore, even if I dispute the validity, what proof do I have? They have threatened to file suit. From everything I have read for Mississippi and Tennessee, they are well past the statute of limitations. What recourse do I have?


Dear Shelley,

I can’t give you any specific legal advice about the statue of limitations since I an not an attorney. You should check with one in your state,

First thing I would do is not dodge this. Send a letter by traceable means like FedEx or certified mail, return receipt requested. In that letter you should dispute the validity of that debt and state that you would like proof, in writing, showing your full account history from the hospital.

Next, sit back and let them respond. When they do, give me an update in the comments section of this question.

Let’s say this proves to be a valid debt but is outside the statute of limitations. That doesn’t mean they can’t try to collect from you, just that they can’t sue you.


You are not alone. I'm here to help. There is no need to suffer in silence. We can get through this. Tomorrow can be better than today. Don't give up.

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About the author

Steve Rhode

Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.

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