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Response to 1st DV confusing me


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Good Morning,

We just began the daunting task of repairing our credit. I sent a DV to CA (First Federal Credit Control) for medical bills 11/13. I received a letter dated 11/17 that included a copy of a faxed "patient receipt" from the doctors office. This was faxed by the OC to the CA on 11/16. The numbers do not add up: insurance paid ($88.53) this leaving a balance of ($21.97), the CA is attempting to collect ($106.69) of the original $120.00 bill. They did not provide any other information and I'm not sure what the fax from the OC means....what information did the CA have to begin collection and why wasn't that included?

Should I do a 2nd DV? If so, any suggestions as to what I should include in the letter? Thanks in advance!

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The point (at least one of them) of debt verification is for the numbers to all make sense. Now they went back to the OC and obtained verification of the balance. According to that verification, you owe about $20. The fact that they are trying to collect an extra $80 without any proof of their authorization to do so via contract is a violation.

I would go through all your records and check to see if you signed any agreement to pay for collection fees. Also, do what nascar suggested and call the doctor. Make a big a deal out of these fees as possible. Without you agreeing to a contract to pay collection fees, the CA likely cannot collect them.

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From Fields v. Wilber Law Firm:

Even if attorneys’ fees are authorized by contract, as in this case, and even if the fees are reasonable, debt collectors must still clearly and fairly communicate information about the amount of the debt to debtors. This includes how the total amount due was determined if the demand for payment includes add-on expenses like attorneys’ fees or collection costs.

and this:

Or, an unsophisticated consumer may have lost the bill

and forgotten the amount of the debt completely. In this

circumstance, the debtor (or the debtor’s spouse, or someone else paying bills for the debtor) might logically assume that she simply incurred nearly $400 in charges. By leaving the door open for this assumption to be made, Wilber’s letter was misleading because it gave a false impression of the character of the debt. It is unfair to consumers under the FDCPA to hide the true character of the debt, thereby impairing their ability to knowledgeably assess the validity of the debt. One simple way to comply with § 1692e and § 1692f in this regard would be to itemize the various charges that comprise the total amount of the debt.

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...for medical bills 11/13. I received a letter dated 11/17 that included a copy of a faxed "patient receipt" from the doctors office. This was faxed by the OC to the CA on 11/16. The numbers do not add up: insurance paid ($88.53) this leaving a balance of ($21.97), the CA is attempting to collect ($106.69) of the original $120.00 bill.

You might want to do a search on medical "balance billing". I'm not an attorney and this is not legal advice, but I believe "balance billing" is unlawful in every state if you are covered under Medicare, and each state has it's own laws regarding "balance billing" when covered under insurance other than Medicare.

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  • 3 weeks later...

The faxed accounting from the physician was sent to the CA in response to my DV. But the CA already reported these debts to the CB's. Isn't that a violation? Should I include a comment about this in my 2nd DV.

PS-I believe the difference in the amounts is an accounting error and not a collection fee. The physician is calling the insurance companies "agreed amount" an "insurance write off", so the CA is including it in the debt.

Thanks, again, for your thoughts.

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