Bills going to collections – is this even possible?

posted 3 years ago in Money
Post # 3
Member
9226 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2018

Contact an attorney, you did nothing wrong. I don’t think they can do this.

Post # 4
Member
270 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

I would either contact the hospital or the collection agency and ask them whats going on first before lawyering up.

Post # 6
Member
579 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2011

@odynsmom:  As far as I know (This is the case in South Africa), if you agree to a payment plan, they can still legally hand you over as it is completely voluntary and kindness on their part at least according to the laws here…. It’s really sucky though… Hopefully there is just a misunderstanding

Post # 8
Member
11712 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

Eeep!  As long as you are making payments, they can’t send your stuff to collections (my mom does medical billing, and has always told me this!).  Call them, or better yet, go see them in person with all of your documentation.

By chance – is this at GW?  That hospital has messed up my billing so many times that I stopped going there.  If you have the choice (which obviously in an emergency you can’t!), I’ve had much better luck with Virginia Hospital Center!

Post # 9
Member
579 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2011

@odynsmom:  I’m sorry… I know that here they legally don’t have to as long you you have recieved a bill within the last 3 months because then you are aware of the debt, it is considered to be a current debt (if they don’t send a bill for a certain period of time it’s considered their error and its written off – well theorectically  it’s meant to be anyway) and they can change their mind at any time… It sounds terrible but in SA they regard it as the person you owe doing you a favour and they can call the debt in at any time they like… I would think they would phone though as a common courtesy but if the accounts person changed they mnight not know about the plan or they may have a different policy on them… I’d call the hospital first and just calmly enquire…

Post # 10
Member
11668 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

@odynsmom:  it’s likely an accident or they sent a statement you didn’t receive for some reason so are showing delinquent. Just call and ask them Before getting too upset. 

Post # 11
Member
4513 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

I work on high level security clearance investigations and part of my job involves going over a subject’s credit report and all large transactions. It is SUPER common for people to have accounts in collection status that they don’t even know about (or so they claim. Sometimes its obviously true, other times you know they’re lying). I don’t think that they are required to call you, it might just be a courtesy if they choose to do so. More likely I think they call because they expect to get paid faster if they are badgering you with calls, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that they will call.

I definitely think that you can dispute the status since you have been making your monthly payments on time, unless there was some type of asterik and you were supposed to have the account paid off within so many months.

Post # 12
Member
3718 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

Did you make payments every month, or only when they sent you a bill?? That could be part of the problem. If you agreed to monthly payments, but only sent in money when they sent you a bill, they could consider you dilinquent

Post # 13
Member
2783 posts
Sugar bee

Contact the hospital before you get an attorney, it could be a mistake. I actually read a story about these people one time who had a baby without health insurance and there were complications, the bill ended up being like 30k. They obv didn’t have the money so they set up a payment plan to pay $20 a month. Well, the ended up winning the lottery and STILL pay $20 a month.

Long story short, you can make payments forever to a hospital. They can’t send you to collections because you don’t have 7k lying around. Just call and be nice, they will help you.

Post # 14
Member
3598 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: December 2011

Since the letter said it’s not supposed to be informing you that the account is delinquent, I wonder if the hospital just sold the debt and the collections agency just wants you to re-negotiate with them.

Post # 15
Member
6021 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2014

Anyone can hand a debt over to a collections agency at any time; the hospital may have decided your debt is at the point where it will cost more to do the accounting than they will collect from the remaining balance. The collections agency will almost surely allow you to continue on a payment plan.

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