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VIC Debt from Mystery Ambulance Ride?

Discussion in 'Debt and Bankruptcy Law Forum' started by PleaseHelp, 13 July 2017.

  1. PleaseHelp

    PleaseHelp Member

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    Hi guys

    I'm not sure if this is the right place but looking at other similar posts, it may be.

    So a couple of days ago, I received a letter from a debt collector (baycorp) requesting me to call them about an urgent matter. I did so and they advised me that I had an outstanding debt of about $800 from St. John Ambulance for an ambulance ride that took place 3 years in Western Australia.

    But here's the rub: I live in Melbourne and the only time I've been in an ambulance was years ago when my mother-in-law needed emergency surgery and that was in Singapore. Apart from that, I've never seen the inside of an Australian ambulance much less taken a ride in one. Furthermore, I think I would remember if I literally flew across the country, got hit by a bus or something, took a ride in an ambulance and flew back to Melbourne. The whole thing is insane.

    I told the guy I had nothing to do with this and he became a bit aggressive. I suppose it's their job to be intimidating? Anyway, he eventually said he would do a bit more checking on his end and get back to me. However, I'm guessing this is just the start of some ugly protracted battle.

    If they do (and most likely will) pursue the matter, what exactly are my options? At first, I thought of getting some kind of statutory declaration from my workplace to state that I was at my desk in Melbourne during the time but the incident took place on a weekend. Furthermore, I can't remember what I was doing on some random weekend 3 years ago and who I was with so I don't even know where to begin in terms of putting together some kind alibi.

    I'm pretty sure professional legal help would end up costing much more than the $800 they're asking for. I guess it's possible someone who had knowledge of my details (name and address) could have taken the mystery ambulance and provided that instead but isn't that argument the legal equivalent of 'the dog ate my homework'? And why are they only pursuing the matter 3 years after the supposed incident?

    Should I just pay their extortion money? I'm very likely going to apply for a home loan in the foreseeable future and don't want something like this to tarnish an otherwise spotless credit history. Having said that, $800 is no small amount for me and why should I pay for a service I never used?

    Help me Obi Wan(s). You're my only hope...

    Sincerely
     
  2. Rob Legat - SBPL

    LawTap Verified Lawyer

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    You've disputed it, so it's now their job to verify the debt. Ask for proof if they contact you again. It is them that has the burden of proof in the claim.

    It's entirely possible you happen to share the name of the person who is liable, the collector hasn't been able to find them, and your name has come up in a search. It's shoddy collection activity, but unfortunately it's not unusual.
     
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  3. Ozwarlock67

    Ozwarlock67 Well-Known Member

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    Rob is correct. You should demand they produce the details of this non-existent ambulance trip so you can prove you were not the patient. Ask what hospital you were taken to also.

    I take it you've never even been to Western Australia?
     
  4. PleaseHelp

    PleaseHelp Member

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    Hi guys

    Thanks for the advice. I spoke to baycorp again today and I asked for some kind of evidence and all they had was an invoice with my name and address. I asked to see the invoice but they said to take the matter up with the ambulance people instead. Apart from that, they didn't have any further information. They said to "expect more calls" until the supposed debt was paid. I'm not quite sure what to do here...
     
  5. Rob Legat - SBPL

    LawTap Verified Lawyer

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