November 17, 2011
Bachmann & Associates, Inc.
Lake Elmo Office
8669 Eagle Point Blvd.
Lake Elmo, MN 55042
Dear Dr. Bachmann:
The undersigned is personal counsel for John Becker of Burlington, Vermont.
It has come to my attention that Bachmann & Associates has wrongfully billed my client Mr. Becker, representing the organization Truth Wins Out, for therapy sessions that he never attended.
More so, you have personally called my client demanding he remit immediate payment to Bachmann & Associates in the amount of $150.00 for cancelled appointments. In truth and in fact, these so called appointments were timely canceled pursuant to and in compliance with your clinic’s stated procedures.
According to Bachmann & Associates’ no-show policy, patients are assessed a $75 fee for each appointment that they miss without giving prior notification. Becker’s telephone records indicate that he called the clinic in early July to cancel his remaining sessions, giving Bachmann & Associates ample time to schedule appointments with other clients.
Accordingly, assuming you were even entitled to collect money for cancellations, that would not apply in this instance. My client met your office’s policies. This should end the discussion alone.
However, if you are persistent in this claim, and attempt to employ the collection agency you have threatened to, you should know that my firm and our associates in your jurisdiction would take legal action against you.
Specifically, and you should make no mistake about the same, we consider your therapy and practices fraudulent. We have concluded your services are dubious and questionable, not worthy of any billing at all. We consider your fees and charges part of a larger civil conspiracy to defraud vulnerable individuals.
As you know, the American Psychiatric Association says that attempts to alter one’s sexual orientation can lead to “anxiety, depression, and self-destructive behavior.” Truth Wins Out has conclusively documented your office engaging in this discredited “therapy” while masquerading it as treatment.
If you go forward with your claim, we are prepared to show that your clinic’s presentations and practices are specious and surreptitious, unworthy of financial compensation. In furtherance of our assertion, we are going to ask the Office of the Minnesota Attorney General to investigate your policies, practices, and procedures. Specifically, we are going to ask them to evaluate the purported ‘scientific’ basis for your patently false representations that your clinic offers ‘therapeutic’ services.
Nevertheless, having timely canceled his appointments, it is apparent that Mr. Becker has received this billing as retaliation. Unlike your billing department, my client, in fact, did his due diligence and followed up with your office.
On November 2, your billing department informed Mr, Becker that the decision about whether to waive the no-show fees would be made by his therapist. My client was further informed that if he didn’t hear back from the therapist, Timothy Wiertzema, within the week, he should consider the fees waived, and the matter settled. No one from your ‘clinic’ contacted him.
Thus, one can reasonably conclude that Bachmann & Associates was derelict in its duty, as it failed to contact Becker in a reasonable and timely matter, giving him the false impression that the dispute had been resolved. Instead, you personally- and inexplicably- called on November 14th, leaving a voicemail demanding payment from my client.
To be quite frank, in reputable and ethical mental health practices, the billing department usually handles collections. We are gravely concerned that you contacted my client out of spite, because he disclosed the truth about the discredited and outmoded techniques practiced in your office, instead exposing the way you misled the public- by denying that this “therapy” was even taking place.
Accordingly, should you take any action against Mr. Becker, we will also allege that your actions constitute a purposeful and malicious prosecution, albeit for a ridiculously small stipend. We will be interested in the civil discovery process to find out from you in a deposition how often you personally call up clients to collect on an alleged $150 debt. Your answer under oath will be most probative.-
It appears that the goal of your unwarranted attacks is to publicly defame and discredit Mr. Becker and impugn his reputation by portraying him as a deadbeat unwilling to pay his bills.
Therefore, we hereby demand that you immediately cease and desist from your harassment and intimidation of my client and his employer. Please do not embarrass yourself or your firm further by attempting to collect a debt that you are not owed for a point you cannot make.
Please advise me that Bachmann & Associates will summarily dismiss this claim within 72 hours, or we will necessarily engage counsel and institute appropriate legal actions of our own against your firm, premised on the three legal arguments I have outlined above:
First, that my client was compliant with your business practices, albeit questionable though they are;
Second, that because your services involve a conspiracy to defraud otherwise innocent parties they constitute fraud in the inducement; and
Third, that your attempt to facilitate the collection of an unjustified debt constitutes a retaliatory and malicious prosecution, warranting attorney’s fees and court costs.
You decide the better way to proceed.
Norm Kent, Esq.
Kent & Cormican, P.A.
Attorney sat Law
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301