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How should i pay these DAMN collections?


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2 medical collections I had no idea were on my report.

1)99.00

2)35.00

From what I have found out, insurance simply didn't cover these amounts. No biggie to pay them off, but how do I go about doing it.

-Call and pay over the phone?

-Send something in writing 1st requesting that they delete upon payment?

-Pay by check and then dispute?

BTW, talked to the guy on the phone and he explained that he wasn't going to delete, only "update my acct as PAID."

Any suggestions?

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First off...never talk to a CA on the phone...and second, never pay a CA.

I'd suggest you call the original creditor...the medical provider...and give them the old "oh gee, forgot all about this, I thought the insurance took care of it, I'm really sorry, and after you took such good care of me...can I just send you a check...and, oh, by the way, would you call off the CA?"

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First off...never talk to a CA on the phone...and second, never pay a CA.

I'd suggest you call the original creditor...the medical provider...and give them the old "oh gee, forgot all about this, I thought the insurance took care of it, I'm really sorry, and after you took such good care of me...can I just send you a check...and, oh, by the way, would you call off the CA?"

Agree! If the OC will not agree I would send the CA a DV with an offer to "bring swift closure to this matter" by offering to settle the debt for full balance in exchange for a delete. If they don't agree DON'T PAY. A paid CA is just as bad as an unpaid one.

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Willing…

I respectfully disagree.

The OP didn’t say the debts were with a CA but if they are, telling someone to “never pay a CA” is dangerous” advice IMHO.

I agree that it is better to work with the original creditor if the OC is willing but they have no obligation to do so; especially if they have engaged a CA as it may well violate their contract with the CA.

If the is no CA involved then obviously the OP needs to work with the OC.

If there is a CA involved, then the OP can try to work with the OC but should also go through the DV process to both protect his/her rights and to properly vet the CA so that if/when the time comes to pay, they OP knows they are paying a legitimate CA and will get the matter settled.

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Robert could be right. I guess I would restate myself to say that I would never willingly pay a CA. If I had the money, I would call the OC and offer to pay them directly. If they refuse, I would say "it is my personal policy to never work with a collection agency. If you won't accept my money directly, we'll let a judge decide whether your contract with a CA over rules my rights as a consumer".

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Thanks for the advice. You guys are great!

Just spoke with the OC. She stated that it's been assigned to a CA and I can no longer pay the OC.

In short...just need to know the best way to eliminate this from my credit reports. Hell, it's only pennies (less than $150 total).

OC says talk to CA.

CA says, "You can pay us, but it will only appear as PAID. Won't be deleted."

Is my only option now to PAY and DISPUTE, hoping it gets removed?

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You can attempt to negotiate their deleting the entries completely if you pay in full; the problem is with amounts this small you have very little leverage (if you owed a significant amount they would be more likely to agree because of their greed).

On the other hand, once paid, they may well stop reporting or responding to the bureaus if you dispute; once they have your money they have other things to spend their time on then reporting for the sake of reporting.

At the end of the day, if they stay (assuming the data is accurate) it's not the end of the world.

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You can attempt to negotiate their deleting the entries completely if you pay in full; the problem is with amounts this small you have very little leverage (if you owed a significant amount they would be more likely to agree because of their greed).

On the other hand, once paid, they may well stop reporting or responding to the bureaus if you dispute; once they have your money they have other things to spend their time on then reporting for the sake of reporting.

At the end of the day, if they stay (assuming the data is accurate) it's not the end of the world.

Thanks...pretty sure I'll just pay and dispute. Question is, does this increase my FICO? Is a PAID collection better than an UNPAID one? In short, is it worth paying the $135?

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CA says, "You can pay us, but it will only appear as PAID. Won't be deleted."

Is my only option now to PAY and DISPUTE, hoping it gets removed?

My opinion may differ from others here, but I would write up a PFD and send it to the CA regardless of what they told you over the phone. You don't have their refusal in writing, so you might as well push from that angle.

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Thanks...pretty sure I'll just pay and dispute. Question is, does this increase my FICO? Is a PAID collection better than an UNPAID one? In short, is it worth paying the $135?

PAID are JUST as bad as UNPAID. Your overall debt will decrease but it's not going to make your score increase. As a matter of fact, my bet is that your score will drop. It going to drop b/c that collection that's been sitting there for X amount of time will get a new "Update date" and make it look more recent.

:goodluck:

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My opinion may differ from others here, but I would write up a PFD and send it to the CA regardless of what they told you over the phone. You don't have their refusal in writing, so you might as well push from that angle.

Yeah, seems like a better idea than paying w/o knowing...Worst case, i can dispute it if it's not removed.

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Yeah, seems like a better idea than paying w/o knowing...Worst case, i can dispute it if it's not removed.

I agree with BJS on the entire situation. I would never, personally, pay a CA unless I had a PFD agreement sitting in front of me. Some CA's are notorious for accepting payment and refusing to delete, which is where the papertrail comes in handy.

:)

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Thanks for the advice. You guys are great!

Just spoke with the OC. She stated that it's been assigned to a CA and I can no longer pay the OC.

Actually, I bet if you sent the OC a payment, they would accept it, they will just have to either forward the payment to the CA and let them cash it, take out their part and then send the OC a check for their due, or the OC will cash it and send the CA their due.

you would still be stuck with a paid collection either way, unless you get one of them to accept a PFD.

no chance the SOL has ran, is there? Sometimes if the SOL has expired, they would be more willing to do the PFD.

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xdeadhorsex Just my $0.02 but it’s disconcerting to hear people make blanket statements such as “never pay a CA” - to me that’s a dangerous mindset.

Let’s not forget that unpaid debts cost ALL of us more money.

If a consumer actually owes a debt then it needs to be paid whether it’s paid directly to the original creditor or a collection agency acting on behalf of the original creditor. I’m not advising that consumers just “send money” blindly to a CA hoping for the best…the CA must be properly vetted and if the CA is breaking the law then by all means, take them to task but that doesn’t mean the debt shouldn’t be paid; whether to that CA or to a subsequent CA that does play by the rules.

The FDCPA and related law doesn’t exist to help people avoid paying their debts; it exists to protect people from unethical and immoral collection practices.

I have no warm and fuzzy feelings for junk debt buyers who buy paper for a tiny percentage of the face value but let’s not forget that the paper only exists because consumers walked away from their obligations and didn’t pay…the fact that a JDB paid pennies is often used as an excuse to not pay at all and while that may seem reasonable (and certainly is a reasonable negotiating point), I suspect many of those who say that wouldn’t be any more happy dealing with or paying a JDB if it has paid full or nearly full face value for the debt.

If you signed up for the trip, complaints about where the trip takes you ring a bit hollow.

It’s important that consumers know and protect their rights and there is nothing wrong with fairly negotiating settlements with OCs/CAs/JDBs but I suggest we not start thinking that we are somehow not obligated to pay up just because we don’t like dealing with a CA/JDB.

Okay…soapbox put away.

::leaving::

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xdeadhorsex Just my $0.02 but it’s disconcerting to hear people make blanket statements such as “never pay a CA” - to me that’s a dangerous mindset.

Let’s not forget that unpaid debts cost ALL of us more money.

If a consumer actually owes a debt then it needs to be paid whether it’s paid directly to the original creditor or a collection agency acting on behalf of the original creditor. I’m not advising that consumers just “send money” blindly to a CA hoping for the best…the CA must be properly vetted and if the CA is breaking the law then by all means, take them to task but that doesn’t mean the debt shouldn’t be paid; whether to that CA or to a subsequent CA that does play by the rules.

The FDCPA and related law doesn’t exist to help people avoid paying their debts; it exists to protect people from unethical and immoral collection practices.

I have no warm and fuzzy feelings for junk debt buyers who buy paper for a tiny percentage of the face value but let’s not forget that the paper only exists because consumers walked away from their obligations and didn’t pay…the fact that a JDB paid pennies is often used as an excuse to not pay at all and while that may seem reasonable (and certainly is a reasonable negotiating point), I suspect many of those who say that wouldn’t be any more happy dealing with or paying a JDB if it has paid full or nearly full face value for the debt.

If you signed up for the trip, complaints about where the trip takes you ring a bit hollow.

It’s important that consumers know and protect their rights and there is nothing wrong with fairly negotiating settlements with OCs/CAs/JDBs but I suggest we not start thinking that we are somehow not obligated to pay up just because we don’t like dealing with a CA/JDB.

Okay…soapbox put away.

::leaving::

I agree with you, saying "never pay a CA" (especially when you owe the debt) is/could be a dangerous mindset. What I don't agree with is the fact that paying a bad debt that you are clearly trying to make amends on doesn't help you one bit. The OC or CA's are reimbursed as they should be, but the consumer receives no additional credit for realizing their mistakes and making amends on them. For every one of my debts I have offered PFD in full on debts that are beyond the SOL and near being deleted from my CR even when the CA's are clearly giving me the shaft (One CA listed me 7 separate times on my CR for a medical visit I had for one day. They listed my co-pay, and each procedure separately on my CR's). When they are sticking to harse tactics to collect and are offered a full settle for a simple delete they should jump on it! If they refuse and continue to attack me more than what is due is when I attack them by taking advantages of laws provided to debtors.

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Also, Robert, I think you're putting words in my mouth and mixiing metaphors.

I firmly beleive that, if at all possible, we should all pay our debts...to the original creditors...the people we actually borrowed money from in the first place. And, if at all possible, that repayment should include a reasonable interest rate for the use of their money.

But...a collection agency is NOT the original creditor. Paying money to a CA does not gurantee that money will even get to the OC, let alone have any positive effect on your credit situation. All it does is reward the CA for being more belligerent and abusive than the OC (who is, after somewhat concerned with their public image) would ever dream of being.

And, a junk debt buyer is certainly not the original creditor. Paying money to them cannot even be morally justified as "paying your debts". Giving a JDB money is like giving the school bully your lunch money. The only conceivable reason to do that is to avoid getting beat up (i.e., taken to court) but, if enough of us stand up to them, the bully will soon move on to hihacking trucks or some equally noble profession.

As I said...call the OC. Make your payment arrangement with them. Put it in writing. If they refuse to take your money, let them explain to a judge why.

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::jacked::

Willing/Bigjohn (and others)…I’m not trying to put words into anyone's mouth and if I've done that I apologize. I also don't want to start a war here and I very well know that a lot of people won’t agree with me and that’s Okay.

Perhaps I should explain “where I’m coming from” – I believe debtors should pay their debts because they should pay their debts. Period.

Paying our debts is part of being a productive citizen in society and not a “user”. When I borrow (I don’t anymore) money or receive something of value in return for promising to pay later; it’s my word on the line and either my word means something or it doesn’t and my word; my promise to pay, doesn’t change just because the debt holder has or how old it is.

Moving on…

There is nothing illegal, immoral or unethical about a business engaging a collection agency to collect a debt; in fact, such services are absolutely necessary for our economy. My company uses collectors when people don’t pay us and there is a very high probability that the company you work for does as well. It’s not a fun thing to do…my company doesn’t do it because they want to do it; they do it because my company isn’t a charitable organization…we exist to make a profit for our shareholders and to pay our employees…when people don’t pay us we have no choice but to try to collect and that means using collection agencies and sometimes that means selling old, bad debts for whatever we can get for them.

There is equally nothing illegal, immoral or unethical about a business eventually selling a debt to a JDB…getting something for the debt someone has refused to pay is a lot better than getting nothing and that “getting something” does not and should not release us from paying our debts…the debt we promised to pay. That said, I in no way support or would stand for illegal, immoral or unethical tactics used by many CAs/JDBs – I believe in taking them to task and making them play by the rules and making them pay when they don’t. I’m also all for negotiating the settlement of a debt that is fair but “fair” doesn’t mean “not paying at all”.

Frankly, and I don’t mean to offend here, but saying we should not have to pay because the OC isn’t/may not get the money (if the OC is out of the picture) rings a bit hollow…it seems to me that if a consumer is really concerned about the Original Creditor getting paid then why didn’t the consumer pay him before the matter got to a CA or JDB?

One final word - notice that in all the above I did not say anything about improving a credit score…a great credit score only accomplishes one thing and that’s to make it very easy to go quickly and deeply in debt…a lot of people think that’s a good plan…I don’t. Debt is something none of us really need and that is especially true for people who have already proved they haven’t been able to handle the debt they’ve had.

One more final word – I realize that bad things happen to people and most people don’t go into debt expecting not to pay…I’m not trying to beat up on anybody. However, I’ve had enough experience to convince me that for most of us, our financial mess is caused by the guy (or girl) we see in the mirror every morning.

:tempted:

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And, a junk debt buyer is certainly not the original creditor. Paying money to them cannot even be morally justified as "paying your debts". Giving a JDB money is like giving the school bully your lunch money. The only conceivable reason to do that is to avoid getting beat up (i.e., taken to court) but, if enough of us stand up to them, the bully will soon move on to hihacking trucks or some equally noble profession.

As I said...call the OC. Make your payment arrangement with them. Put it in writing. If they refuse to take your money, let them explain to a judge why.

__________________

I agree with this, kinda like cavarly won't accept my payments and they think they can just garnish my wages because I am not paying the full 100 a month, Instead i was paying 50 a month, w BTW in my opinion is half and that should suffice. I doubt I will ever have a day in court with them!! They have racked up interest over 7g in the past 3 months, I wish I knew what i could do to get them to just take payment and drop that interest, it isn't right...

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all this ethical arguing over some medical collections.

Valid points everywhere. However, these are MEDICAL collections and for such small amounts. Hospitals and Doctors typically do not have ANY reason to tarnish your CR if you pay them- why would they, they are not actual CREDITORS. THey don't make money off of raising interest rate due to low FICO scores- they could care less.

Do exactly what Willing said- go by route of the OC- trust me- they will accept your money. In all my years of nursing- I have not seen any clinic or hospital not accept a payment.

Sounds like you didn't get the "right" person to speak with at the OC- Call them back and get this taken care of. Get an agreement to delete upon payment in writing.

If they still refuse to work with you- then let me argue with you in front of a judge- who will more than likely think these small debts are ridiculous, especially if you've tried to pay them- and you had no idea that insurance did not pay them.

They will look like the bad guys and you will look like the "poor unknowing consumer"

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"Never pay a CA" is sort of the default mentality for a number of reasons, but there are a few cases where it is a better strategy to go ahead and pay them.

I still say that in a case like this pay directly to the OC if you legitimately owe them, and if the OC wants to give the CA a percentage, that's their business. If they do, and the CA hits you with a "paid collection" or whatever, that's when having proof that you paid it to the OC will give you kind of a quasi cause of action that you can use as leverage to get them to delete their tradeline. You will claim that the CA has falsely indicated that you are a bad credit risk and do not pay your bills, which that is clearly not the case and that the OC should have been more dilligent about sending you a bill per FCBA.

The OC and CA would have to spend time and money on the intitial court costs when they have no hope of collecting anything else from you, since the debt is now paid. Since they are a business, they only care about their bottom line and will want you to go away as cheaply as possible. It costs them nothing to delete a tradeline and doing so will save them from having to pay legal fees.

It's guerilla tactics, but no worse than CA's use on you, even if they are legitimate. Naming more than one party in a cause of action (as in both the OC and the CA) is called a "shotgun suit" which is a "divide and conquor" type of strategy. Make them point fingers at one another in court.

The worst case scenario is that the CA suspects you are a member here and wants to make an example of you, and you lose the case and have to pay their court costs and lawayers fees.

It's still a risk, so make sure you remain calm and polite and play the part of the innocent consumer who is convinced that you have been wronged if you actually go through with the suit.

Most of us will just send copies of the pleadings with an ITS and hope that ll the bad guys will see that you are going to be much mroe trouble than you are worth.

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