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Medical Collection with ARB


PupnCub
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Here is the scoop; I have a medical collection with ARB (Accounts Recovery Bureau, Inc.) they are out of Wyomissing. PA.

I am currently undegoing treatment for a terminal illness and my 2 medical bills cost me a total of $1,570.00. At the time I incurred the 2 bills I had applied for Medical Assistance thru the State of PA with the Social Worker at the Cancer Clinic. Well even though I had a payment agreement with the Hospital they still turned me over to ARB. Last month my medical assistance was finally approved and they agreed to pay (directly to the Hospital) $632.50 of the $1,570.00 balance. Due to my illness I was unable to respond in the 30day time window to dispute the bill with ARB. However the Hospital has never informed them that they received a payment of $632.50; Now ARB wants the full amount.

I have had 2 conversations with them and this is what they tell me; "Your conversation will be recorded." I agree and tell them that I am also going to record the conversation on my end and ask for their name for the record. The response I get from them is "As an employee of ARB I can not be recorded." Then they hang up. I live in PA so by Law I have to tell them that I am recording the conversation. Today Friday April 10, 2009 I received a letter in the mail on their nice letter head that reads;

"Our records indicate that you refuse to pay the above referenced balance"

that is it nothing more. However I have never once refused to pay anything, I have never been able to actually talk to a representative because they can not be recorded (but by recording me, aren't they essentially recording themselfs as well?).

What is my next course of action? Can I still send a letter of dispute even though the 30days has expired - and can I fight their statement of "I refuse to pay the bill?". I am not sure what FDCPA rule(s) would help me out here if there are any.

Thanks!!

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There is more going on here than meets the eye. You really should contact an attorney about this;

There's a pretty good chance that both the hospital and the CA is violating the law by attempting to collect more money than authorized by your state medical insurance. I'm not real familiar with this, so maybe someone can add more details, but I believe Title XIX prohibits billing patients for amounts over and above what state insurance pays. There's a term for it, but I can't remember what it is. In any case, I think there are some really stiff penalties for doing what they are doing.

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