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We have a veternarian that we took our pet to in 11/2003. The total due at that point was close to $700. Fast forward to 8/2005 - since that time we received no statements, collection letters, etc, and my wife feeling bad about the original debt sends a check for $100 (which includes our then current address at the time). 6 months later we move from TN to MN, with mail forwarding in place for 1 year. Jump ahead to July 2008 when we receive a letter from a collection agency demanding a balance of $1461.09. I send the default letter proving the debt, and they sent their journal ledger for our account showing the almost $600 balance, then written to the side is the amount of $1461.09.

We never signed any statement regarding collection actions or fees; the only thing my wife signed says:

I hereby authorize the veterinarian to examime, prescribe for, or treat the above described pet. I assume responsibility for all charges incurred in the care of this animal. I also understand that these charges will be paid at the time of release and that a deposit may be required for surgical treatment."

I do not feel anything beyond the original debt is lawful, plus they've had 5 years to contact us regarding the debt and have not done so. I know it's within the statute of limitations, but what is the proper way to fight back and only pay what I owe?

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