Doctors Bills and Debt Collection

I am on disabilty and i have a bill with an office and they have turn to a collection agency. Are there any laws that keep them from putting this on my credit report? Can you still pay the orginal agency that turned it over?

Comments for Doctors Bills and Debt Collection

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Jan 24, 2010
Medical debt on credit report
by: Gerri

If the medical bill is a valid one (you do owe the money) and you don't pay, the medical office is allowed to turn it over to collections. And either the medical office or the debt collector is allowed to report the payment status to the credit reporting agencies. I am not aware of any way around that.

You can try to ask the medical office to take back the bill from the collector and allow you to make payments. They may not be set up to report it to the credit reporting agencies so you may prevent some damage to your credit reports that way. (You'd have to ask them what their policy is.)

But I assume that the reason it's been sent to collections is either because you can't afford to pay it, or you were just hoping they wouldn't try to collect. Either way, you are going to have to figure out what to do about this debt.

I don't know how large the amount is, and whether you are able to chip away at it at all, but put the credit report issue aside for a moment so you can decide how to deal with the debt.

If it's a very large amount or you are simply unable to pay it, then you need to talk with an attorney to find out whether they can successfully sue you to collect the debt. (If you are on disability and have no assets, you may be what is called "judgment proof" which means that even if they successfully sued you they wouldn't have any way to collect.)

Consider talking with the medical office and seeing whether they will negotiate a lower pay off with you. But do not promise to pay more than you can afford. If you can work something out, ask them to take it back from the collection agency, and also ask them not to report it as long as you make payments.

If you cannot work something out, you can try a similar negotiation with the collection agency (though it's going to be hard to get them not to report it, you can push for it).

If the amount is large and you are unsure whether you can pay it off, or if you are dealing with other debts as well, I'd recommend you meet with a bankruptcy attorney to explore your options.

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