was not notified of a medical bill and turned into collections

by janet
(port orchard, wa)

My bill was sent to another party after i was in the hospital. I didn't know it existed. I was turned into to collection. Is their any way I can make the medical bill back out of collections and arrange payments?

Comments for was not notified of a medical bill and turned into collections

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Jun 01, 2010
medical bill in collections
by: Gerri

Janet,

Your situation is all too common. Unfortunately, there is no requirement that collectors notify you before sending your account to collections. After hearing many complaints like yours, we think that needs to change.

The first think I recommend you do is to go to AnnualCreditReport.com and get a free copy of your credit reports from each of the three major credit reporting agencies so you can find out if this account is on your credit reports. Either way, I would also suggest you go to Credit.com and use the (truly) free Credit Report Card to find out how this collection account may have affected your credit scores. If it's not been reported yet, then the Credit Report Card can be useful if it later is reported and hurts your credit scores. Keep a copy of all these documents for your records.

If this account has hit your credit, then I would encourage you to contact the original provider and insist that they help you resolve this so that there collection account is removed from your credit reports. Be polite, but persistent.

If the account is not being reported on your credit reports you may be able to work something out with a collection agency to agree not to report it as long as you pay the bill promptly. However, I wouldn't pay them unless they had that in writing. I also wouldn't pay them any more than the original bill since you didn't even know you owed it.

It would also be a good idea for you to contact a consumer law attorney to find out whether the debt collector has broken the law. You can contact a local consumer law attorney with experience in debt collection cases, or call the Collection Complaint Hotline at 888-711-5183 for a free, confidential case evaluation.

Finally, you may also be interested in the >Medical Debt Relief Act, proposed legislation that would require credit reporting agencies to remove medical debts from credit reports thirty days after they have been paid. If you do support that effort, let your elected officials know.

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