Currently Paying on Medical Bill

by Sara
(Warren, MI, USA)

I am currently paying on a medical bill from 2009. It used to be $2500 and now its down to $1000. For the past year, all I can afford to do is about $25-50 a month. I got a call today from the hospital saying that becuz of my low payments, my account COULD go into collections.

I used to be a debt collector. I know their scare tactics. That was years ago. But as far as I remember, they cant move my account into collections if im paying on it.
Is this correct?

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Dec 27, 2011
Currently Paying on Medical Bill


Unfortunately, the hospital can send your debt to collections if it decides that you are not paying down your outstanding balance fast enough. The exception to this would be if you and the hospital had a written agreement requiring you to pay a specific amount and you were living up to that agreement. In that case, if the hospital sent your account to collections, it would be violating your agreement and you would probably have grounds for legal action.

From your question however, I gather that you do not have a written agreement and that you decided what you could afford to pay on your medical debt each month and up until recently the hospital was fine with the arrangement. Therefore, if I were you, I would contact the hospital to find out how much it needs from you each month to avoid having your account end up in collections. Point out that you have slowly but surely whittled down your debt and that you now owe less than half of what you did in 2009. Also, point out that you really do not want your debt to end up in collections and that you intend to continue paying it off, but that your resources are limited. Then examine your budget carefully to determine if you can afford to pay the higher amount that the hospital wants you to pay and keep up with all of your essential monthly obligations too. If you can pay more than you are paying more but not as much as the hospital is asking for, contact the hospital again and offer the amount you can afford. Hopefully, the hospital and you can reach an agreement. If you do, be sure to get everything in writing.

I also recommend that you read our information about, which includes options for dealing debts that are past due or in collection

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