Diane123

Should I deal with the original creditor or the collection agency

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Three years ago I had dental surgery to remove my wisdom teeth, and paid my portion at the time of the procedure, as my insurance was supposedly covering most of it. Two years later I received both a bill from the dentist and the collection agency they had already sent it to, completely unbeknownst to me. Of course I called to try to figure out what the heck, and the informed my that my insurance did not cover as much as they had first estimated, and that I was now past due on the remainder of their fees. I do not have the funds to pay off the balance in full, and I do not want this negatively affecting my credit any more than it already has. Should I try to go through the dentist's office to arrange monthly payments, or do I need to deal directly with the collection agency now? If I start making payments to the dentist office, will the collection agency still keep trying to collect? This is the first time I've dealt with a collection agency, and I'd appreciate some advice!

Thanks,

 Diane

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Deal with the dentist.  (You cannot trust a CA...their business model is built on lies and threats).

 

Call the dentist and see what you can work out (sounds like the mistake was in their estimate...try not to use that against them...but, be clear that you're willing to work it out).

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Then what do I do about the collection agency? I don't picture the dentist's office taking the initiative to tell the CA that I am paying the debt. Is this something I should address with the dentist when I talk to them about making payments?

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Either work it out with the dentist or forget about it. You should be either close to or past the SOL. After 7 - 7.5 years it falls off your CR. If you pay anything it will reset the SOL and then you can be sued for sure.

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In your negotiations with the dentist, be nice..."so sorry, thought insurance took care of this, and after you took such good care of me...oh my...let me make payments...and oh, could you call off the CA..." 

 

Once you've paid the OC, you can dispute the CA on your reports if you have to.

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