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Medical Collections - OC Agreeing to Fix


mdv1975
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Great forum!

I received an alert on my credit report that I had been reported to collections, with a $0 balance for a medical visit.

I called the collections agency, and they told me that I had service in May 2008, and they have been sending bills to an address that was incorrect.

Obviously, there was nothing I could say, since they don't believe you anyway.

But here are the facts. I have a 795 credit score, and no late payments ever. I am fortunate. And this was an accident made my the doctors office - although I know at a very basic level its still my responsibility.

CA says they cant do anything, and I can't contact the OC.

Well I did contact the OC, and they did some research and found that it was their error, and even saw that I have been to their practice 4 times since this date, and paid all my bills.

The OC said that they can accept a payment from me, and then remove the item from my credit report as an error (by notifying the CA that my account was referred in error.) They also said they can issue a letter to me stating it was an error immediately, since the it would likely take a while for the CR to update. This would give me something to show creditors if I needed it.

They will not issue a letter prior to payment.

I feel good about the OC, and paying them. But since it has been referred to CA I am worried the OC won't honor the chnage, and once I pay I have no leverage.

Anyone have any expereince with this? SHould I pay the OC direct, and trust that they will do whats right? Since they say they cant issue a letter in advance, or do a pay for delete, the only options I see are:

1. Pay the OC and trust them to do whats they say.

2. Try to negotiate with CA for a pay for delete, which they say they wont do.

Any other ideas, experience, etc?

Michael

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Since they have already referred it to a CA, GET IT IN WRITING BEFORE PAYMENT. Creditors develop amnesia as soon as a check clears.

Can you please clarify. It has been referred to the CA and that is how I found out. It showed on my credit report from the CA.

The CA won't do a pay for delete, but when I call the OC - they said I can definitely pay them direct. If I pay them direct, they will provide me with a letter stating it was an error, and have the CA remove it from the credit reports.

The OC won't do a letter in advance.

Any additional thoughts?

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If they won't agree to it in writing before you pay, you have no assurance they will honor their agreement to delete after you pay. Creditors tend to remember an unpaid bill forever but develop amnesia concerning PFD's immediately upon payment.

Proceed at your own risk.

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I received an alert on my credit report that I had been reported to collections, with a $0 balance for a medical visit. ...

...Well I did contact the OC, and they did some research and found that it was their error, and even saw that I have been to their practice 4 times since this date, and paid all my bills....

...The OC said that they can accept a payment from me, and then remove the item from my credit report as an error (by notifying the CA that my account was referred in error.)

Zero balance on the credit report ... original creditor's error .. yet they want you to pay them before they correct it? Why would you pay them anything? According to your post, you don't owe them anything

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Zero balance on the credit report ... original creditor's error .. yet they want you to pay them before they correct it? Why would you pay them anything? According to your post, you don't owe them anything

Well, there is an unpaid bill for $400 or so, but for some reason, it shows on my credit report as $0. But in collections.

They admited they made a mistake on billing and sent it to the wrong address, and should have not sent to collections.

But I do in fact owe money. I don't want to get out of paying, just don't want it on my CR.

Update:

The OC and CA did a 3 way call for me...initiated by the creditor. The CA manager said she was updating the CR directly, and would show on the CR within 48 hours. And that she was mailing a letter to the same effect - but wont sign any "pay for delete" contract in advance.

It seems odd, but the CA is even fine with me paying the OC directly. From what I have read, usually once it gets to collections, you cant deal with OC. But that is not the case here - the OC is willing to accept payment.

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It seems odd, but the CA is even fine with me paying the OC directly. From what I have read, usually once it gets to collections, you cant deal with OC. But that is not the case here - the OC is willing to accept payment.

That might be because you are never legally obligated to deal with anyone other than the owner of the account.

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Good News!

As I mentioned, neither the CA or OC would issue a Pay for Delete, but promised me verbally. I was able to get them all on the phone as a three way call - speaking with a Supervisor at both.

They agreed to remove it from my report if I payed, but would not put it in writing. I taped the call (legal in NC) - not that I thought I could do anything legally with it. Just made me feel like if I had to pursue it - the powers that be at the OC would know what I was told.

I took a chance, and asked if they would enter it directly onto the Credit Reporting system. They agreed, and instead of it being updated in 30-45 days, it was uploaded to the CR that night. (I payed the OC, not the CA.)

Sure enough, I pulled my report today - and the item was gone. And, I received a letter in the mail from the CA stating the item was removed.

I spoke to them on Tuesday night - and today (Thursday) I received the letter, and my report was 100% clean.

I am sure I was lucky, but I also feel that they were a lot more willing to fix it because they did make an error on billing address of the original bill. It should have never gone to collections, but it did - and I was ultimately responsible. In addition, I really tried to be nice - and we all know - being nice, friendly, and calm gets you so much closer to the goal than being rude or argumentative.

Thanks for all the advice, in this post and others. It really helped me in a very stressful time.

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