Must a debt collector try to resolve a disputed bill between a doctor and patient before making a negative report to Credit Report companies?

by Ed

I live in Texas. I am currently in a dispute with our doctor over a bill. Can my doctor go directly to a Credit Reporting service with a negative report on my while we are in dispute on the bill? If not, must my doctor first go to a Debt Collector, who must then try to resolve the dispute before they go to a Credit Reporting service?

Thank you.

Reply from

We don't know if there is a state law that applies here, but there is no federal law that we are aware of that prevents a doctor's office from reporting an unpaid bill to the credit reporting agencies.

Most doctors aren't set up to report directly to the credit reporting agencies so these bills usually don't get reported until they are collection accounts. But there may be nothing to stop them from sending the bill to collections if they decide they don't want to deal with it.

However, if the item does appear on your credit reports, you have the right to dispute them with the credit reporting agencies and the furnisher. While the bills are in dispute, they won't affect your credit scores. But if the medical providers decide they are "legitimate," you may be notified that the items are correct and they will again hurt your credit scores.

There is no federal "medical truth in billing act," though we think there should be!

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