In California, how long before a medical bill you are paying on can go to collections?

by Inga
(Los Angeles, CA)

In California, after how long can a medical bill you are paying the monthly installments that you worked out with a facility be sent to collections. I was first billed for services in August -November in November, worked out a payment plan, have been paying monthly, and still am being referred to collections after 3 months. Is this legal? Can they charge interest and put this on your credit report when you have been paying the debt and not defaulted?

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Mar 09, 2012
In California, how long before a medical bill you are paying on can go to collections?


There is no law in CA that relates to your particular question. However, if you have an agreement with the medical facility and you have been living up to all of the terms of the agreement, then I am not clear why your account would be in collections and reported as past due to the credit bureaus. Was it already in collections when you negotiated the agreement and if it was, did the provider promise to take your account out of collections and remove the negative information in your credit files if you complied with the agreement? Or, has your account been sent to collections since you began paying on the agreement? If either of these scenarios are the case and you have not violated the terms of your agreement with the provider, then it seems to me that the provider is at fault.

I recommend that you review your agreement (I assume you have a copy of it.) to make sure that you have lived up to each of its terms. If you have, contact the medical facility and try to find out why your account is in collections and being reported to the credit reporting agencies. If you get no satisfaction, I suggest that you schedule an appointment with a consumer law attorney in your area who helps people resolve their debt collection problems. The first appointment should be free.

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