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BoxingRed
02-02-2007, 01:57 PM
Since this is really the only message board I frequent I thought I'd see if anyone could give me some help.
In the past couple weeks, a debt collection agency has been calling me telling me I am in collections for $52 for an unpaid medical bill. They have already screemed at me once when I asked for proof, but have been fairly civil since then. They do call everyday though.
I did some research on this and found that I when I was hurt on the job in Utah in 1997, my company did not pay for all of the medical bill. The balance was $25. As far as I remember, I never received a bill from the hospital, but I moved around alot.
As far as I can tell, this bill is way beyond the statute of limitations. Is it worth it for me to stand on principle and fight this or should I just pay it and be done with it?
Thanks in advance for any advice.
Just wanted to add that my credit is impeccable at this point and I do not want to jepordize it. But I really want to stand up to these people.

Heath
02-02-2007, 02:02 PM
The job of a debt collector is to get your emotions up in a tizzy so you will pay it.

If you know you owe it, I'd go directly to the source. They'll be more apt to deal with you.

15fan
02-02-2007, 02:24 PM
Caller ID.

If I don't (a) recognize your name/number, or (b) want to talk to you, you get to talk to the machine. Life is so much simpler that way.

Unless I'm looking for some fun and my 3 year-old is in the middle of temper tantrum. In that case, I'll gladly pick up the phone, hold it close to my kid, and tell you that it's a wonderful time to talk.

BoxingRed
02-02-2007, 02:39 PM
The job of a debt collector is to get your emotions up in a tizzy so you will pay it.

If you know you owe it, I'd go directly to the source. They'll be more apt to deal with you.

My concern is that the collection agency has bought this debt. I talked to the hospital and they were quite resonable. They have sent me a copy of the original bill and I will pay that.
I am just worried that I will continue to be harrassed by these guys or that they will report it to the credit agencies.
On the other hand, I hate rolling over.

cumberlandreds
02-02-2007, 02:42 PM
I have attached an article I read some time back about zombie debts. It goes into detail about your rights and what to do and what not to do. Collection agency's are purchasing these old,written off debts and trying to collect when they are past all statute of limitations. These collection agency's are nothing but scumbags trying to get anything they can out of you. I hope this will help.


http://www.wtopnews.com/?nid=97&sid=926026

BoxingRed
02-02-2007, 02:56 PM
I have attached an article I read some time back about zombie debts. It goes into detail about your rights and what to do and what not to do. Collection agency's are purchasing these old,written off debts and trying to collect when they are past all statute of limitations. These collection agency's are nothing but scumbags trying to get anything they can out of you. I hope this will help.


http://www.wtopnews.com/?nid=97&sid=926026

Thanks that was some help. But it sounds like my best recourse is to do nothing. That is very counter-intuitive.
These guys are scumbags. I mean, jeez, it's $25. I guess that is what they are hoping I will think.

Heath
02-02-2007, 03:35 PM
My concern is that the collection agency has bought this debt. I talked to the hospital and they were quite resonable. They have sent me a copy of the original bill and I will pay that.
I am just worried that I will continue to be harrassed by these guys or that they will report it to the credit agencies.
On the other hand, I hate rolling over.

Nope. Just pay it to the hospital and then keep any mail from the collection agency. When you pay the bill ask for a paid in full receipt and then make a copy and send it to the collection agency.

(I was a debt collector at one point in my life. Felt like a scumbag, but people need to pay their bills).

Ltlabner
02-02-2007, 11:02 PM
Nope. Just pay it to the hospital and then keep any mail from the collection agency. When you pay the bill ask for a paid in full receipt and then make a copy and send it to the collection agency.

(I was a debt collector at one point in my life. Felt like a scumbag, but people need to pay their bills).

:thumbup:

I got myself in some debt and then worked myself out of it a while back. (debt free is the way to be!), This is exactly what I did and it worked like a charm. Don't be shy about asking for a reciept. What's also good is a written letter/statement saying the debt has been paid.

Those are handy to fax to bill collectors or to the credit reporting agencies as proof so they can clean up your credit report if needed.

If you decide to pay the bill collection agency directly, BE SURE to get clear documentation that you've paid off the account. Sometimes they "forget" or sell the account off again and suddenly you're getting calls from a new place.

Dom Heffner
02-02-2007, 11:30 PM
Just pay it to the hospital and then keep any mail from the collection agency.

Since the hospital has sold his account to the debt collector, can the hospital still collect the money? They would be both making money on the deal while preventing the debt collection agency from getting any money. Wouldn't that be a little unethical to take money from the debt collector and then accept money from their former patient? How would the debt collector feel about that?

Would be interesting to hear.

I had one of these situations a long time ago and I was advised to just let it go.

BoxingRed
02-03-2007, 12:06 AM
Since the hospital has sold his account to the debt collector, can the hospital still collect the money? They would be both making money on the deal while preventing the debt collection agency from getting any money. Wouldn't that be a little unethical to take money from the debt collector and then accept money from their former patient? How would the debt collector feel about that?

Would be interesting to hear.

I had one of these situations a long time ago and I was advised to just let it go.

Everything I read says you are right Dom. With the bill way past the statute of limitations, I could be opening a new can of worms if I pay the bill. Essentially, payment re-sets the clock and an unscupulous debt collector could say I owe them interest or fees. Supposedly, since it is past the SOL, they cannot pursue any action against my credit report etc. leagally.
Honestly, I am still torn as to what to do.
According to the the article someone mentioned above, they paid pennies on the dollar for that $25 bill, so anything they net is a big profit. Big enough that they may never go away.

Dom Heffner
02-03-2007, 12:18 AM
Honestly, I am still torn as to what to do.

To me, it's a no brainer: let it go.

While it's nice to pay every single deby you incur during life, your goodwill will pull your credit back down and potentially cost you even more money with interest rates on loans you take out.

You'd think that somebody would change the rules so nice people like yourself could pay without hurting yourself, but if they aren't willing to do that, who can blame anybody for not paying up?

I had the same thing happen to me and I wasn't going to lower my credit score so a hospital could get its $300.

And it wasnt like I just got a bill and didn't pay it. These guys showed up out of nowhere and were demanding money years later.

creek14
02-03-2007, 05:21 AM
I'd still pay it to the hospital. If you try to get a mortgage, it will come up on your credit report and if you can show that you paid it and don't have any other negs on your report, you'll get a lower interest rate.

Dom Heffner
02-04-2007, 10:34 AM
I'd still pay it to the hospital. If you try to get a mortgage, it will come up on your credit report and if you can show that you paid it and don't have any other negs on your report, you'll get a lower interest rate.


I thought this to, but sometimes it hurts you. If this were many years ago- like the one I had- it shows as unpaid but doesn't hurt you. If you pay it, then it shows up as a recent transaction, and even though you paid it, it can hurt your score. It then takes more years for it to fall off.

Someone should snopes this and see if it is true but my lender told me not to dare pay it off.

Strangest thing.

creek14
02-04-2007, 10:54 AM
I thought this to, but sometimes it hurts you. If this were many years ago- like the one I had- it shows as unpaid but doesn't hurt you. If you pay it, then it shows up as a recent transaction, and even though you paid it, it can hurt your score. It then takes more years for it to fall off.

Someone should snopes this and see if it is true but my lender told me not to dare pay it off.

Strangest thing.

I'll go with what Dom says. And not just cause he's a snappy dresser. :mooner:

Don't things fall off your credit report after 7 years any way? If this was 1997, it shouldn't be showing up anymore. I'd get a copy from the Big 3 and see if it's even there.

Dom Heffner
02-04-2007, 12:58 PM
Don't things fall off your credit report after 7 years any way? If this was 1997, it shouldn't be showing up anymore. I'd get a copy from the Big 3 and see if it's even there.


Mine was in 2000 and I just bought a new house in October, so I am not sure.
They told me it was on there but that it wasn't affecting anything. I told her I'd pay it off and she about came through the phone. Again- this is completely strange to me.


I'll go with what Dom says. And not just cause he's a snappy dresser.

I'm going to wear my Hugo Boss black on black pinstripe suit in your honor Monday. :)

camisadelgolf
02-04-2007, 01:13 PM
For $20, I'll kill the debt collector--everyone wins.

KronoRed
02-04-2007, 01:15 PM
For $20, I'll kill the debt collector--everyone wins.

I may have some work for you :devil:

RedsBaron
02-04-2007, 01:15 PM
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) is a federal statute enacted more than twenty years ago that provides some protection to debtors, in addition to any state statutes that may apply. If a debt collector violates provisions of the FDCPA, the debtor can sue the debt collector for damages.

BoxingRed
02-04-2007, 01:19 PM
Mine was in 2000 and I just bought a new house in October, so I am not sure.
They told me it was on there but that it wasn't affecting anything. I told her I'd pay it off and she about came through the phone. Again- this is completely strange to me

Defintely 2 different tactics advocated here. I really appreciate all the advice.
I just bought my first house about a year and a half back and nothing came up on my report about this. My score was in the upper 700s. But I will keep a close eye on things.
I think I am going to ignore it for now.
During the last call, before I started the thread, I told him that anytime they called I was going to ask for permission to tape the phone call. This really clammed him up and said that was not ok with him. I said "Fine, but after you give me your address, this call ends." His voice got really shakey and he spat out their address and hung up.

kaldaniels
02-04-2007, 01:54 PM
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) is a federal statute enacted more than twenty years ago that provides some protection to debtors, in addition to any state statutes that may apply. If a debt collector violates provisions of the FDCPA, the debtor can sue the debt collector for damages.

I believe you just have to write a letter to the debt collector telling them not to contact you. If they do again...1000 fine.

Check out clarkhoward.com , he's got some good info on there.

http://clarkhoward.com/shownotes/category/12/103/358/399/

(Send it certified w/return reciept.)

Heath...is that good advice being you were a debt collector?

deltachi8
02-04-2007, 05:26 PM
check out www.creditboards.com

and stay off the phone with those folks.