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Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 33235
Experience:  Began practicing law in 1992
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I live in the state of NY my daughter who was living with my

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I live in the state of NY my daughter who was living with my mother at the time had a psychotic episode and came to my home when my mother alerted me of her odd behavior.. She was not covered under our plan since she was 20 years old at the time. In a few days she was with us she became violent and attacked me and I had to call the police who took her to a Hospital that specialized in Mental Health issues.. We did not sign her into the hospital. But after some time after this whole thing happened they started harassing her but they got my name and started harassing me. This has become an extremely stressful situation for me as the bill is over 43,000.00. I told the collection agency that she was not living with me at the time, she wasn't covered under our plan but they told me I had to prove it and hung up on me. My daughter is still under outpatient medical care and not working and is now under our insurance plan (obviously after all of this happened). I believe the age of maturity is 18 in NY but they insist that I am still liable since she was not 21 years old. Is this correct?
They are incorrect unless you are obligated pursuant to a court order of child/medical support and, even if that were true, it isn't up to them to pursue you under the order, it would be up to the other parent.

You can stop them from contacting you by sending them a letter by certified mail, return receipt requested, with the following language:

“Please be advised that, as I have informed you, I am not responsible for and dispute the validity of this debt. Pursuant to the state and federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act(s) I hereby instruct you to cease all communications with me regarding the alleged debt. Any further attempt by you to contact me will be construed as an intentional violation of the law.”

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

No there is no such court order of child or medical support... There argument is that under New York Law I am still responsible because she was 20 years old and according to them living at home. She wasn't living with me, we was not under my taxes, she was not under my insurance. I have her year end tax statement (W2) with her name and another address as my only proof that she was not living at my address... The person that contacted me is the from the State Attorney's office which alarmed me even more... And when I told her she wasn't living with me she said I had to prove it. I had my daughter call them and insist she would some how make arrangement for payment on this bill but they said that legally her parents were still responsible. I just don't know on what grounds... Something happened to my daughter while living with my mother in another borough and only when she came so I can observe her was when she attacked me, stole my car keys and threatened one of my younger children... and now I feel that I am being attacked again and made responsible when I already felt like a victim by my own daughter. Is there any other law that I can reference in this letter in regards XXXXX XXXXX adult daughter.

There is no law that says you are responsible for a person 20 years old. 18 is the age of majority. This is one of those cases where they are asking you to prove a negative and there is no law that says you don't owe it, there would have to be a law that said you did.

Are you sure they were from the State Attorney's office and not just lying?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

The letter I got from them says its from the State of NY Office of the Attorney General Division of State Counsel, Civil Recoveries Bureau.


They are located in Centereach, NY.. A lady I spoke to sent me documents so I can show her my financial situation for financial assistance but I didn't return them because I am apprehensive about disclosing more information for them to use against me or my husband. I don't work I am a stay at home mom and we have four younger children. She said that they would file a judgment against me...


I had to file bankruptcy last year to eliminate older debts and we could stay afloat, keep our home and be able to live with more breathing room, we are still on a tight budget so I was naturally concerned especially since my daughter is still undergoing treatment and doesn't seem able to hold a job.


I am just stressed about this and I would like to take action if I have to before they sue... By what you are telling me they have no grounds but she surely sounds convincing in the fact there is something in the law that can pin this on me...


I appreciate your reply and the time you have taken.

No, under the facts you've given there's nothing that applies. Ask them to provide you with the law that states you are responsible because they won't be able to do so.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for your time and assistance. I will send them the certified letter and request the law they are basing their case on.... And see how they reply.


Sincerely grateful!

You're very welcome.

Best wishes to you. Please don't forget to leave a Positive Rating (of course I'd suggest Excellent) so I get credit for my work.

Once you issue your positive rating the question will lock open and you can come back for follow ups if there are any new developments.
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