Debt Collection Agency didn't accurately report payments
In July of 2011 my medical debt (from April 1, 2011) was sent to a collection agency. I spoke with a representative who agreed to $100 monthly payments debited automatically from my account starting in August. The representative said he would check back with me in 3 months, Im'guessing to see if I could pay more. On August 9th (dated on invoice) a statement was sent from the collection agency stating that they had not received my payment even though they were supposed to be automatically debiting it. At the same time, I started receiving calls from the hospital's collections attorney threatening legal action. I called and spoke to the same representative who claimed that it was a computer error and that the situation would be fixed. I asked if he could send me the agreement in writing. I assumed the automatic payments would just continue monthly until the debt was paid. 3 payments were automatically deducted and then they stopped.
From that point on, there was NO contact from the collection agency by phone, statements, nothing...until I was served a Complaint on April 3 with an affidavit dated from August 26th, 2011.
When I once again called the collection agency, the representative asked if I could pay $350 for 3 months, then I would be done paying which is about right because the debt on the complaint was for $1066.99. When I asked her what else I needed to do about the Complaint like contact the listed attorney, she said nothing because they would alert them.
In other words, she alluded to the fact that I didn't need to Answer the Complaint.
I asked her to please send me the agreement in writing.
When I received the statement alerting me that they would be taking my money for payment, I noticed that the balance had suddenly gone up $400. When I called the Collection Agency once again to ask for an explanation, the representative told me that I was being charged for the attorney's fees for settling my debt.
I tried to explain to her that I didn't settle, I was simply paying the debt off totally. My final statement to her was that I knew I could not be charged until a Judgement was made and since the 30 days had not passed for me to answer the Complaint, I would be sure to put that in my Answer. She called back 5 min. later wanting to apologize and said something about my account being sent to the attorney back in September!
After all of that my question is: SHOULD I SUE THE COLLECTION AGENCY?
Reply from DebtCollectionAnswers.com:
We absolutely think you should get a free consult with a consumer law attorney to find out if the collection agency has broken the law in its attempts to collect the debt. It sounds like you are doing your best to resolve this bill and they just keep messing up, possibly causing you time, money and aggravation.
You can call 855-206-5310 (toll-free)to talk with a consumer law attorney to find out if you have a good case. If you do, the attorney will help you at no cost to you. It doesn't hurt to find out.
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