Thank you Care Credit for Giving Dental the ability to Use a Truth and Lending form, and to make sure the practices have a great way to document the financial plan for the practice.
Private practices are always so surprised when I speak about Truth and Lending Laws. We are required to follow certain legal requirements that relate to the extension of credit to our consumers. These consumers must be apprised of any finance charges or interest charged on the “loan” we are extending (payment plan). In addition, we often charge additional patient fees for such things as expenses incurred relating to the collection of past due accounts, including legal fees, fees for returned checks, late payment fees, missed appointment fees, etc.
The reason to utilize a Truth-in-Lending contract is the form is your contract with the patient. It is important to remember you are a business selling a product and allowing the consumer to pay it off, just like a store credit card. If you don’t comply with the law, you are subject to a fine of $5,000 and/or a year in jail.
If you need to send the account to collections this is the proof required to do so. Minor in comparison to reason one.
Care Credit has helped the industry way beyond the use of using their credit and I am Thankful to them for helping practices see and understand the ability to use the care credit system to help practices set up their own, Truth and Lending forms. It allows you to choose the options that best serve your patients.
You can choose the information pertaining to finance charges, the interest rate, and the terms for payment. If you plan to levy any additional charges such as late fees, attorney’s fees, bank charges, etc., these must also be prominently specified in the original form.
Who better to assist you in making this happen, than the company that is the leader in the business of lending,
Remember, telling your patients up front what their responsibilities are is the only way to provide treatment if you are willing to be the bank.