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Pop-up Medical Collection, Verification or Pay for Delete?


marouts
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This November, 2011, I noticed a medical collection for $120 on my credit report. This, of course, was as I was looking to get a new mortgage; it was my mortgage broker who pointed this out to me.

After obtaining my full credit report I called the collection agency, Nationwide Credit Services, who informed me that the collection was for a hospital bill from July 2005. They said that they had bought the debt in 2008 (that was the "date assigned" on the credit report). The first thing I did after checking my records to see if I'd ever paid this (I had not) was call back and offer a pay for delete. They refused over the phone.

I then contacted the hospital and found out that they had actually previously sent it out for collections and had received two payments in April and May of 2006 ($97.41 and $280.00 respectively). I had no records of this, but knew that I was on my parent's insurance back then (I just turned 26 this year). So I asked my parents and of course they had no idea. But I asked if I could look at their bank statements and found the two payments: They had apparently seen the collection notice and paid it for me! Maybe... they threw out all the records (my mom's words were "I don't keep records of medical bills I paid"). So I actually have no idea why they paid.

I asked over the phone if the Nationwide could send me a copy of the bill. They said they were not required to do this because they had sent me a collection notice in 2009 (which I never received; perhaps my parents took this one as well; I was still receiving mail at their house).

Nationwide only reported to Equifax and Experian. My scores there are 672 and 669. At Transunion it's still 769, so obviously there's room for improvement if I can get this removed.

I also filed an online dispute with EQ and EX, but both were denied.

At this point, it was not clear what I should do. After I was refused by phone I sent a certified letter offering a pay for delete. This was just last week. I'm not sure if I should just wait to see if they respond, call them up and ask them again, write a dispute letter to the bureaus (what should I say), get more information from the hospital?

I'm at a loss here because I don't have the original collection notice (which they claim was sent out in 2009), so I don't have the bill or the EOB or anything else.

I'm closing on the mortgage end of February. It seems silly to pay since that will just lower my credit score in that timeframe, and this will all age out next spring anyway. So unless I can do a pay for delete or somehow successfully dispute the collection...

Any advice on next course of action, or for a better way to approach Nationwide Credit for a pay for delete?

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(my mom's words were "I don't keep records of medical bills I paid").

Your mom needs a serious re-education on why records need to be kept. Anything and everything that is PAID needs to be recorded for at least the longer of 7.5 years or your state's SOL. The purpose of keeping such records is to counter any claim that it was not paid.

At this point, it was not clear what I should do. After I was refused by phone I sent a certified letter offering a pay for delete. This was just last week. I'm not sure if I should just wait to see if they respond, call them up and ask them again, write a dispute letter to the bureaus (what should I say), get more information from the hospital?

The CRAs are out of the loop at this point until the creditor agrees for PFD.

The letter you sent them SHOULD have (said something like) indicated that your research confirms that they were sending collection notices to the wrong address, and that since you were not aware of an outstanding debt and so had no reason to know you needed to provide them with an address.

For $120 they are probably not encouraged to do a PFD since that actually costs them some time and effort to do (not $120, but not $0 either).

One option is to explain to the bank you are getting the mortgage at why this went unpaid, and that the creditor is is unwilling to actually resolve the matter to where it should have been (e.g. that you would have paid the bill when due if the bill had been sent to you ... and that all you want is for everything to be set straight as if that had been done). Then tell the bank that you are willing to pay THE BANK that $120 in exchange for making the mortgage terms (e.g. points and percentage) as if the bill had been paid, and then they can pay off that debt for you. IOW, make it so very clear that you definitely are not the kind of person to skip out on debts.

So what is the mortgage closing situation? Does the bank actually want this off by closing, or are they just not giving you quite as good a deal?

Figure out what actual loss YOU incur by the original billing NOT having been sent to you. Then if you are the "sue 'em" type, you could threaten NCS with a lawsuit for mishandling the collection ... over which you then have more leverage to settle for a PFD.

But I think offering to give the $120 (plus interest) to the banks is the simplest way, if they will do that.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I recently pulled my credit report for the first time and found a 96.00 with I C Systems on each report. I disputed online (dumb I now know but I did get two other baddies deleted that way). It may or may not be my bill since I dont have any information on it other than its a medical bill. I received a letter from Experian saying they have verifed its mine but no further information except a partial account number. I was thinking of offering to do a pay for delete but have read several posts that I C Systems probably wont go along with that. It might be worth noting that IF it actually is my debt, it would have been incurred while I was living at an address I disputed (thanks to lurking on this forum :wink:)and that address was removed from all three reports within just a few days of dispute. The 96.00 I C Systems baddie is still showing up on all three reports:(. I need it gone to get a mortgage.

Any suggestions on what my best move would be?

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