multiple hospital bills are now in the hands of collection agencies

by andrew
(north carolina)

i have almost 3 thousand dollars in medical bills from when i hurts my back and other things.. there all seperate bills that have accumulated when i got laid off and had no insurance.. but my question is how should i handle my aboundant debt.. to get my credit repot straightened out.

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Nov 28, 2011
Multiple hospital bills are now in the hands of collection agencies

So sorry about your situation. We hear from many consumers with your same problem.

You have a number of options for dealing with your unpaid medical bills. First, you can contact the debt collectors to see if you can pay the money you owe over time. If you pursue this option be sure to study your monthly budget first to determine exactly how much you can afford to pay on your medical debts each month. You do not want to agree to pay too much. If you are able to negotiate payment plans with any of the agencies, get the terms of each plan in writing before you begin paying on it.

Another option is to try to settle each debt for less than the full amount that you owe on it. Again, doing this will require that you contact each agency to find out if it will agree to this. If an agency is open to settlement, it may take some back and forth negotiating before you are able to arrive at a settlement amount you both agree on. Again, get the terms of the agreement in writing before you pay any money. Also, be prepared to pay the amount of a settlement in full as soon as you have the written agreement.

A third option is to talk with a consumer bankruptcy attorney. The attorney will evaluate the state of your finances to determine if filing for bankruptcy is a good option for you. Depending on the kind of bankruptcy you file, it will wipe out all of your unpaid medical debt; otherwise, you will get 3 to 5 years to pay the debt (and any other unsecured debt you may owe) under the protection of the bankruptcy court. Go here to schedule a consultation with a bankruptcy attorney.

Go here to learn more about options for paying your medical debts and about medical debt collection:
medical debt collection.

As for your credit report, the fact that your medical debts have been turned over to collection agencies is likely to show up in your credit histories. Legally, such negative information can remain there for 7 years and 6 months after the date that an account first becomes delinquent. Also, if you file for bankruptcy, that fact can be reported for up to 10 years after the date that the bankruptcy begins. Over time however, such negative information will become less and less important to potential creditors assuming that you manage responsibly any new or existing credit you may have.

It's possible that a collection agency may be willing to remove any negative information it reported to the credit bureaus about the debt it is trying to collect from you if you agree to pay the money you owe in full over time or in exchange for settling the debt. This possibility is always worth asking about although an agency may not agree to it. However, the agency cannot do anything about any negative information your medical providers may have already been reported to the credit reporting agencies.

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