- 3 years ago
- Wedding: December 2012
Yes, I know that accounts that are not current can be sent to collections. But that is not the situaiton I am in. If you want the full story, keep reading, If you want only the important details, they are listed at the end.
Back in 2010, I had surgery, For me, it wasn’t an option. Without the surgery, I would have died. The thing that sucks is I did not have health insurance at the time, so all the financial responsibilities fell on me. After all was said and done, I collected all the medical bills I owed and the total amount of it all shocked me. I drained my savings account paying off some of the bills and everything that was left over, I set up payment plans for. The largest of these bills was for the hosptial itself, that bill alone was over $25000.
At the time I was not making alot of money and taking on this new financial responsibility was extremely hard. I went from being comofortable to living paycheck to paycheck. There were times where I felt like I was drowing and that I would never make it financially, but I kept going and made sure all of my bills were paid on time.
In 2011 things got so much better for me. By that time, some of the smaller bills that I had set up payment plans for had been paid off. Also, I got a new job that was paying me twice as much as I made before (I became a certified teacher). So, In 2011 I contacted the hospital and asked if I could increase the amount of my monthly payment and the happily obliged. I would even take summer jobs (since I had the summers off now) and all that extra income would be sent to the hopsital.
It is now 2013 and I have paid my hospital bill down to just under $7000. I am not sure if this is good or bad progress, it is just the progress I have been able to make in that time. Towards the beginning of all this, I also noticed that the hospital was not the best at sending me montly statements. I would get one maybe every 3 months. So, at the advice of others, I saved everything the hopsital sent me or I sent them. In my house I have a folder with all the hospital statements I have ever received, all the cancled checks from the payments I have sent them (and they have cashed) as well as dated notes from every time I have called the hospital.
Now comes the problem. Last night I open my mail and there is a letter from a collecctions agency. The hospital sent my account to collections. In the letter I received is does say “Please understand this letter is not intended to serve as notice that your account has been placed with us as a delinquent account.” But they are demanding I pay the remainig balance in full. That is not possible for me.
I am just so confused. The hospital never called me to tell me they were doing this. In fact over the last 3 years, I feel like I am the one initiating contact with them. I have never missed a payment. I have met all the arrangements of the payment agreement they have sent me. So, how can they send my account to collections?
So, in summary:
3 years ago I had surgery that I was finacially responsible for
I set up a payment plan with the hospital to cover my bill
I have made all my payments on time and can prove it
They sent my account to collections and the collection agency is demanding I pay it in full
The hospital never contacted me to tell me this was going to happen or that they were having a prboblem with my account
Is this allowed or even legal?
What should I do?