Medical Bills

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by pasajes4, Feb 10, 2015.

  1. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    :grrr:I broke my shoulder a couple of years ago. The bill was over 15,000 dollars. The ins. company paid their portion and it left me a balance of a couple of thousand dollars. I have been making payments ever since. They will periodically call me and ask me to pay more a month. I can't pay more. They waited until I was 400 dollars from paying off the balance and turned it over to a collections agency. It will now be on my credit report. I am furious.
  2. 2much2recover

    2much2recover Well-Known Member

    Did you ever make formal arrangements with the people you owed the money too. If you did you can use that to dispute the credit report. So sorry you are having to deal with this!
  3. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    I talked to them the minute I got the bill. I explained to them that this was all I could pay. Every other month they would ask me to pay more. I never could pay more. I am on a fixed income. I think it is plain @#$@@& to wait until it is almost paid off to send it to collections.
  4. 2much2recover

    2much2recover Well-Known Member

    Ask them if they can withdraw the credit information because you have continuously paid as agreed to and have so little left to pay. It's worth trying.
  5. nlj

    nlj Well-Known Member

    I broke my shoulder a few years ago. We take it for granted here that it's all free. We moan about the UK National Health Service a lot but, actually, we have no idea what we're moaning about.

    There are ways to come to arrangements with debt colection agencies here, by agreeing to pay a nominal amount, linked to income. I hope there are similar schemes where you are and you can sort this out. Money worries are so draining.
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Sometimes there is, but by the time it goes to collections, all they care about is getting your money and can be quite a nuisance. They work on commission.

    My sympathies. I won't talk to collection agencies.
  7. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    If you paid continuously, and did not miss a payment, write a letter and send it to the collection agency and the credit bureau. It may not take it off your credit, but it WILL make a difference. The next time someone harasses you by phone, threaten to go to a credit counseling service. Very few places want you to do this. They cannot, by law, continue to call you if you do this. You tell them that all calls are to be placed to the service and their calls are harassment and illegal. I had a $2000 debt legally discharged by a judge because we were in credit counseling and the company kept calling us instead of the service and instead of just abiding by the legally binding agreement. The judge told them that they were lucky because if I had asked, he would have ordered them to pay ME up to the $2000 in punitive fines for harassing me and an additional $100 for each curse word in each call that they made that I recorded. Of course I had to record all calls on my answering machine, remain polite to them, NEVER pay them outside the service and NEVER agree to pay them outside the service. They tried to say they never cursed or even called me, and they fired four people who called me and tried to say those people were not their employees when they called us, but the judge finally told them that one more word and they were getting a contempt citation and so was their attorney. It was ugly, but it was ugly for THEM and not me. I didn't ask for punitive money because it never occurred to me and because it wouldn't fix anything.

    Most people don't know that you don't need a lot of debt to get credit counseling. You do have to agree to not have any credit cards or accrue any credit debt while you are in counseling. You agree to not talk to your creditors but to let the service do that. The service will negotiate with each of your creditors to find a min payment. Usually credit cards, major creditors like banks and hospitals, etc.... will agree to a lower total sum and manageable payments. When we went into it, we were paying over half our monthly income in payments and struggling even with both of us working. We did get some medical debt, but that was okay with the service because they knew about it and that it was due to Wiz' problems and some medical problems J had (primarily upcoming surgery). The hospitals and some of the doctors wrote off over HALF of the cash amount we still owed! Just because the service asked them too.

    Our payments went from over $900 a month to various places to under $300 a month. That went to the service and they paid the creditors from that. We were debt free in under 4 years! It took making husband understand that if he ever got a credit card again with-o telling me (he had done this several times, maxed them all out and not had a clue what he bought with the $$ each time), that I would leave. I just couldn't take it. It is the ONLY thing I ever threatened divorce over, but he didn't seem to be able to stop doing it over and over until then. It made a HUGE difference in our marriage to do this, and we have been stronger than ever since then.

    I urge you to at least think about credit counseling. It can make a big difference, and it actually does not harm your credit. Ours was better when we were done than when we started. We even qualified for a house without any trouble. Of course that turned into a nightmare when the market crashed, but that was a whole other thing.

    If you are making the regular monthly payment, even as little as $10 per month, they can turn it to collections but it cannot do a whole lot to your credit score because they cannot say you have defaulted. But you must make that payment each month. We had one place try to not cash the checks, holding them for months, but then we paid with money orders and kept photocopies of each one before we sent it. That is the one that went to court. The judge said that because they were STILL holding our checks 2 yrs later, and it was doing business in bad faith, that they lost the right to ANY payment after that date. We had actually paid most of the debt off by the time it went to court but the judge made them repay every payment after the first check that they refused to cash. So that $2000 that the judge nullified went to pay off our other debts, which was a huge help.

    From this point forward, get a notebook to keep by the phone. Each time they call, write the date, time, name, any cursing or abusive words, don't EVER promise to pay, say you will continue to pay the amount agreed upon that you have been paying (whatever it is), and that you would like all further communication to be in writing. Keep track of all the letters they send, and be SURE you have a copy of each check or money order. Keep a bank statement (even a printout from the computer) to show when each check clears. That way you will have documentation if you end up having to go to court.

    You do NOT have to take their calls. You CAN insist they only contact you in writing. YOU HAVE RIGHTS! One of them is to not be harassed by these people, esp after you have an agreement.

    Please be aware that each person who calls you gets a bonus if you pay above the agreement. They will do and say ANYTHING to scare you or abuse you or cajole you into paying more. Once you pay more, they will keep doing it. Judges are getting very sick of this awful and abusive behavior, so if you prove a pattern of harassment, judges will do what they can to rule in your favor. That is what happened to us. We were about the 12th case that DAY for this one medical center's collections dept and the judge was just fed up with hearing about all they had done. We played the tape of some of the calls and their language was atrocious (called me a m####@-F&^&%%^ crack ho who was just smoking crack all day while on welfare, just having welfare babies so tax paying people like them could support us. We were NOT doing ANY of that, and never had, and they just wanted to scare us. We only resorted to court because three of their people threatened to come to our home in the middle of the night with guns to get their money and said if we couldn't pay with cash then we could pay with other means!!! They implied assault and rape and that is what the judge thought they meant too, not just what I thought they meant. The collection agency lost every case after ours that day just because of their 'pattern of behavior'! Apparently it was a record day of losses and those top collectors that threatened us got fired because time and again they were shown to be bullies who ignored the law.

    Stop taking calls from these people. When they call, tell them you will pay the agreed upon amount on the agreed upon date, period. Tell them to communicate in writing or not at all. If they won't listen to you, find a good credit counseling agency and let them deal with the nonsense for you.
  8. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    My doctor's office did this to me over $25.10 on a $400 bill that I had made payment arrangements on with them. I called the doctor's billing office and confirmed that we had an arrangement that would be met in full this month, and that they needed to get it out of collections. They did. They won't if you don't ask.

    I think it's something that automatically kicks in after two years of billing. You should call the doctor's office' billing department and ask if they can get back on track with you.
  9. Confused

    Confused Active Member

    Im sorry pasajes4, they make no sense to do this as Ive had it done to me and so has my dad. Its a shame, at least they were getting their money where some people dont even try to pay! My dad told his if they send it to collections he will pay $5 or less a month instead of the higher amount they were getting!( I did to) Some people give in, and some dont care and send it to collection anyways. Well he paid then the $5! Hang in there!
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