Intrest on a hospital bill turned over to collections

by Cathy
(Mooresville NC)

I was put in the ICU Dec.16th of 2010. When the hospital starting sending me bills I would send in payments. They kept me confused by sending several different bills and my payments were not reflected. I called the hospital and asked them could they send me one bill instead of 3 since it was all from the same hospital. They turned it over to a collection agency. I didn't realize this was a collection agency until about 3 payments later. I called the collection agency and asked them could they put my bill on a medkey account and was told No. They are charging me intrest that I was not aware of. I also asked the collection agency could I have a copy of the letter stating I would owe 6% intrest every month since I never recieved such a letter. They are rude to me and also tell me they sent me one in July and they do not have to send me another one. Is this legal? At the time I was living In Roanoke Va. I now live in NC and I am paying this bill every month. I would just like all the copys they say they have sent to me ( which I have not recieved) Thank you

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Apr 22, 2012
Thank You
by: Anonymous

Thank you for your information. IT was helpful. I have worked out a payment plan with the collection agency. I just did not feel it needed to turned over to a collection. This does show as a bad reflection on my credit. I think that people, like myself who try thier very best to take care of obligations are being taken advantage of. It is a shame there is no law to protect us. I do understand alot of people do not pay there bills. Again thank you for answering me.

Apr 21, 2012
Intrest on a hospital bill turned over to collections


Interest is usually added to any debt when you do not pay the balance due in full right away. So it is no surprise that the collection agency is charging you interest. Furthermore,the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) says that a collector can charge whatever interest and fees you agreed to pay the original creditor -- the hospital. So, I recommend you review the billing paperwork you received from the hospital to determine what it says. If the paperwork does not provide for interest and penalties or provides for a lower rate of interest than the 6% you are being charged then the collection agency is breaking the law and you should contact a consumer law attorney in your area.

I also recommend that you send the collection agency a letter asking for a complete accounting of your debt. Send the letter via certified mail with a return receipt requested. Putting a request in writing is better than conveying it over the phone.

I need to caution you that you are at risk for being sued for the money you owe given that as far as I can tell you have not negotiated any sort of payment plan with the collection agency. Your debt is due in full and you cannot decide for yourself how you will pay it off if you cannot come up with the total amount. To minimize the risk of a lawsuit therefore, you should work out a written payment plan with the collection agency and then stick to the plan.

If you and the collection agency cannot agree on the terms of a plan, you may want to try settling your medical debt, which would involve paying it off for less than what you owe on it, but you will have to pay the settlement amount in one lump sum. Go here to learn how to negotiate a settlement with the collection agency. If you want professional negotiating help, I recommend that you check out Consumer Recovery Network.

Another option to consider is bankruptcy. Depending on the kind of bankruptcy you file, your medical debt will either be wiped out or you will get 3-5 years to pay it off (usually for less than the full amount) during which you will be under the protection of the bankruptcy court, which means that you will not be subject to collection-related lawsuits during that time. If you are interested in learning more about this option, I recommend that you schedule a a free initial evaluation with a bankruptcy attorney.

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