Payment made, but still sent to collection agency

by Charles
(Plainfield, New Jersey)

Have heart disease and went to Plainfield, New Jersey emergency room fearing heart attack on July 18, 2011(have 2 stents). Doctor's bill came to $779.16. Called and explained to Akron Billing Center (doctor's billing collector) that been unemployed for over 4 years, no income, but will make every attempt to send in monthly a payment on the overdue balance til paid off. Statement on February 1, 2012 stated final notice. I sent in $79.16 to show good faith and begin paying down. Did not hear from them for the last 2 months and now have been contacted by a collection agency.(never notified that it was sent to a collection agency) Called collection agency and offered to make some kind of payment every month, I just don't know how much I can send and cannot commit to a fixed dollar amount payment schedule. I was told it was not acceptable and it was being put on my credit report. If all this is permissible, what incentive to I have to make any attempt to pay off this debt? I am sick, heart disease, cannot afford to see a doctor, stopped taking cholesteral and blood pressure meds over two years ago, and have had 3 major back operations. I am 59 years old and though I do not think I will live for many more years, doesn't a good faith effort to pay count for anything(I have always paid my bills and my credit score--up until now---has been 850.) If my bill is in collection, is my credit already been affected??

Comments for Payment made, but still sent to collection agency

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Oct 05, 2015
Ask for 7 items
by: Susan B

I find this response somewhat funny and incomplete. You seem to make it sound as if this person asks for these seven things the debt will magically go away. This is not the case. As a medical biller for emergency room physicians, it is very easy for me to produce the items you say should be requested. It is all part of the patient's visit and billing records.

Also, ignoring a bill or phone call is never a good thing. If you ignore the mail and phone and should this be brought to court and you are asked why did you not respond to their attempts to contact you and your answer is, "I just ignored the mailings and phone calls" that judge is pretty much going to say, too bad, so sad, you should have responded and rule in the provider's favor.

Apr 10, 2015
never deal with collection agencies.
by: Anonymous reader

Im sorry your that you have the debt. Collection agencies. are the worst and are inherently evil.

I going to give you some simple rules to deal with them with a medical bill. Never ever talk to a CA (collection agency). There is no way of supporting what you said vs what they said on a call. unless you record every call. Get a free google voice number and for anything or anyone other than immediate family give that number out. The call blocking features are awesome. Never answer a number you don't know. Google it first then decide to answer on next call or block

If a call gets through. Be polite and terminate the call. "I do not know you or who you represent. Any communication with me must be in writing." Then hang up and block the number.

Make very communication with a CA in writing. With proof of service - both ways.

Do not open mail that you don't know who its from. Unless its sent with proof if service - aka registered, certified, fedex. Just because someone send you something doesn't mean you have to open it.

Sign up for credit monitoring. and take action on anything that hits the report.

Never comfirm or deny your debt either written or verbally.

The key to get them to go away are technicalities in the law that over 99.9 percent of all fail to follow.

When a CA hits your credit reports you write a letter. IN this letter again never confirm or deny the debt.

You will ask for 7 things they are required to give you by law with in 30 days.

Basically they are :

name and contact of the original creditor and it must be the name of the person responsible who sold the debt to them

proof of service that they have ever contacted you with an assignment of debt letter.

The amount you say they owe and how they arrived at it. In the case of medical bills an itemized bill down the gauze pads they billed for

signed copy of any contract to pay them.

complete history of any all payments made to the original creditor and them.

and a copy of their license to operate in your state (if required).

send it fedex and then watch your credit report for 31 days.

This isn't everything but it should get you in the right direction.

May 31, 2012
Payment made, but still sent to collection agency


So sorry to learn about all of your problems. Unfortunately, I do not have good news for you. When you cannot pay the full amount of a medical bill, you should protect yourself by working out a WRITTEN payment plan agreement with the medical provider. Simply sending money in as you can afford to puts you at risk for exactly what happened to you -- having your bill get turned over to a collection agency. When you have a written agreement, unless you violate the terms of the agreement in some way, your bill won't be sent to collections. Of course you should also know that a hospital or other medical provider does not have to agree to let you pay off what you owe over time.

The same is true for a collection agency. If you want to pay off your debt over time, it's essential that you try to negotiate an affordable plan and that you get the terms of the plan IN WRITING. And, the agency will want you to commit to paying a specific amount every month. As you discovered, it will not agree to let you pay whatever you think you can afford from month to month. Note: If you go back to the agency and are able to negotiate a payment plan with it, do not pay any money on the plan until all of the terms of the plan are in writing.

Your credit history was affected by your unpaid medical debt as soon as the fact that you had not paid it was reported to one or more of the credit reporting agencies. That may have happened before it was turned over to collections. Now that the debt is in collections, your credit reports will be harmed even more. However, negative information can't stay there in your credit report forever. Federal law says that it can stick around for only 7 years from the date that you missed your first payment.

One possible solution to your problem is to try to settle your debt with the collection agency. When you settle a debt, you pay it in full for a fraction of what you actually owe. You must pay the settlement amount in a lump sum however. If this is an option you would like to pursue, contact the collection agency to find out if it is willing to negotiate a settlement with you. Before you do however, figure out what you can afford to settle for. During your negotiations, do not start off by offering that amount though. Offer something less so that if the collector counters with a higher amount, which it probably will, you can offer something higher too, which will make it appear that you really want to take care of your debt. It may take several rounds of back and forth offers to come to an agreement, or the collector may insist that you pay an amount you cannot afford. If you are able to work out an agreement, get the terms in writing before you pay the amount you settle for. Read this for more information on how to negotiate a settlement with a collection agency.

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