I went to the hospital a few years back with no health insurance. The Billing lady said she would contact me. When she never did i tried getting in touch several times but was given the run around and flat out ignored. Here almost 4 years later i find out that i have been in collections for 3 and a half years and never knew about it. I have never heard 1 word from them. Now i plan on enlisting in the army and want to clear this first. How do i handle this? I'm tempted to just pay since it isn't much at all but i don't know how to go about it and who to contact. Id rather not deal with the hospital since they are the reason for this in the first place.
Any help is appreciated.
- Posts: 376
- Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2011 9:36 pm
You pay the collection agency. Not the hospital.
1. You can tell them your story and negotitate a settlement.
Ask here how to do it right.
Ex: The bill is $1,000, you might get away with paying only $500.
It will be on your reports, but it will show as paid (which is what is important).
2. You can pay in full and request a pay on delete.
It's not easy to do. Also ask here how to do this right.
The collection agency will be showing on your credit reports.
All 3 are free once a year at
Annual Credit Report.com https://www.annualcreditreport.com/cra/index.jsp
No credit/ debit card required. Don't pay for the score. It will be useless for you.
- Posts: 365
- Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2011 4:17 am
This happened to a family member of mine more than once. Hospitals will just throw it to a collection agency instead of trying to contact you first. I would recommend to just pay the hospital if you can so it will be handled. If not, you need to visit the hospital in person and have them give you the contact information of the collection agency they sold the debt to.
Good luck in the military and hopefully this will be the only debt collection you will ever have. Debt collection is killing our country and there is no end or government help in sight!
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- Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2011 6:32 am
Contact the collection agency showing on your credit report and negotiate a settlement. You should be able to settle this 4 year old debt for about 25% in a lump sum, maybe less. Forget any payment plan.
Get any settlement agreement in writing before you pay and do not give the collector direct access to your bank account.
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- Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2011 4:49 am
Offer 25% and get all terms in writing before you pay. Don't tell them you need to clear your credit to get into the Army, if you do they'll hold your credit rating hostage to get a big settlement.
- How to pay collection accounts: http://tinyurl.com/4y9fv2y
- Posts: 391
- Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2011 6:40 am
Until (or if) H.R. 2086 passes then paying a collector won't guarantee that it will be removed from your credit reports. If it does pass then the collector must remove the debt from your credit reports upon payment. But don't hold your breath since it seems to be stalled in the House at this time.
Paying the debt 'in full' to the HIPAA Compliance Office at the hospital would get it off of your reports because of HIPAA, the FACT Act, the HITECH Act, the FCRA, your states Privacy Act, etc. Once the original medical provider is paid in full then there is no longer any permissible business purpose for the debt to remain on your reports or to remain with the collection agency. The collector would be required to return the debt to the hospital, remove everything in their files concerning it and remove it from your credit reports.
You might go to the free site I've listed in the source box and do some reading in the Medical Forum. You'll be able to find a step by step guide, with sample letter templates, in paying the hospital and using your rights under the laws I'd stated above. The site is totally free to read, use anything you find on it and to ask any questions you may have. The step by step guide is also free to use.
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- Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2011 9:47 am
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