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Ranger50
Ranger50 UltimaDork
9/22/20 3:50 p.m.

Got a credit notification a couple days ago... look and score has dropped 37 points. Oooook. Just says MBA Law put it on there. I wait a bit like today and find out it's from a superiorly botched ED visit in bumberkeley Virginia when my oldest broke her arm. Spouse "politely" said f u because we had to go to another ER for "real" treatment which resulted in surgery to fix the break.

Sounds like I'm going to have to fix this as the first "hospital" was told to pound sand and now they are drumming up old debt to pay the bills....

Oh and I had to fork over $400 bucks to be seen, which is against the law. Plus a bunch of other issues within the visit that breaks the law.


TL:DR- medical debt sucks.

 

Trent (Generally supportive dude)
Trent (Generally supportive dude) PowerDork
9/22/20 4:24 p.m.

The way debt collectors resell the debts to lower and lower tier collection agencies until they wind up in the hands of the kind of people who think threatening physical harm is a valid solution is appalling.

You haven't really experienced late stage capitalism until you have 16 voicemails from an amped up dude (who you have never seen but you can instantly tell he is wearing a Hurley T shirt and wrap around sunglasses) ranging from "you better call me back" and escalating to "I'm calling the cops" and "I have your address and a glock, give me my money" for a debt from someone who died 6 years previously.

Here in Oregon the widow is responsible for medical debt only and everything else is not my problem.  I am sorry the $23 balance on her Lane Bryant card was overlooked Duder,  but after busting my ass to pay for the 25K in medical bills I am done!

 

stanger_mussle (Forum Supporter)
stanger_mussle (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
9/22/20 4:30 p.m.

I used to get calls from debt collectors looking for my ex wife. What kind of person would I be if I didn't give them her correct contact information including phone number and mailing address? I was just being helpful smiley.

stanger_mussle (Forum Supporter)
stanger_mussle (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
9/22/20 4:43 p.m.

On a serious note, I had an issue with medical debt collectors due to the company billing me directly instead of the VA. 

I made an appointment with my VA primary care doc. I was having very weird erratic heart beats. The VA doc prescribed a portable heart monitor that I had to wear for a week. I got fitted in the VA clinic.

The monitor was connected wirelessly to a cheap smart phone so I could be monitored remotely. I wore it the week and shipped it back.

About a month later I received a bill for $4000 from the monitoring company. Uh no. I spoke to the VA claims department and they said they would take care of it.

The next week, I received another bill. This one was $900. From the same company. Yet another call to the VA claims department.

This went on every 2 weeks for 9 months. I kept mailing the VA the bills that were showing up. I had the $900 bill go to collections and I started getting calls.

It took almost 1.5 years to get the erroneous debt removed from my credit report.

Thanks shiny happy people (the stupid medical company, not the VA).

Brett_Murphy (Ex-Patrón)
Brett_Murphy (Ex-Patrón) MegaDork
9/22/20 5:06 p.m.

There is an established method to get them to prove they own the debt.

Another link to the same sort of information.

In your case, there should probably be a signed agreement for treatment or an itemized bill. It should be removed from your report while you're contesting it. 

Ir's important to know that "We bought the debt from xxxx" doesn't mean jack or E36 M3- there has to be supporting documentation of the original debt. 

Also, paying even ONE PENNY on the debt means you agree that you own it. Don't do that until they can prove you do owe it.

RevRico
RevRico PowerDork
9/22/20 5:40 p.m.

My favorite is every time I fell behind with a debt collector, all the money I paid towards it disappeared when the new collectors bought it. 

And somehow the scumberkeley twatrockets always have people to call and threaten and never ever need more people to call, threaten, harass, or repo. Pretty berkeleying hard to pay you E36 M3bags off without a job, how about you hire me? Never seemed to go over well.

einy (Forum Supporter)
einy (Forum Supporter) Dork
9/22/20 6:58 p.m.

Somebody named Linda kindly gave the cellphone number that I have had for over 15 years to a business (or two or three) that she now owes money to.  I love taking collector calls for Linda.  Every day.

Ranger50
Ranger50 UltimaDork
9/22/20 10:14 p.m.

In reply to Brett_Murphy (Ex-Patrón) :

I owe it. But given I am an ER nurse for the past 6 yrs I know a thing or two on how to be treated in the ER. My dog at the vet gets better treatment than what I got for a clearly broken arm and needed to be set in the ER at that time. Or they should have transferred us to a hospital that could have handled our case.

I really don't want to be the ass here but I didn't get provided any stabilization care, that's an emtala violation. Not to mention the failure of nursing staff to be a patient advocate knowing their care was substandard to any reasonable lay person. The bones were broken, they needed to be set. If the provider wasn't comfortable in doing that service, we should have been transferred. It's not hard to read the EMTALA law. I have education on it every year. 
Yes, I'm pissed.

Edit: Emtala boils down to everyone willing to stay and be seen for their "emergency" condition is provided a medical screening exam, stabilization treatment within the bounds of the facility, and appropriate transfer WITHOUT regards to payment.

Ranger50
Ranger50 UltimaDork
9/22/20 10:21 p.m.

In reply to Trent (Generally supportive dude) :

You know, you can request by mail only correspondence. Eliminates the phone calls to every possible place. 
I learned that one the hard way years ago...

dxman92
dxman92 Dork
9/22/20 11:00 p.m.

A certain phone provider that will remain unnamed took a family member to a debt collector over a $50 past due bill.angry

Patrick (Forum Supporter)
Patrick (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
9/23/20 8:27 a.m.

My only one came from a medical bill.  I have history of bronchitis/pneumonia.  My doc was out of town so i went to urgicare.  Nurse:  upper respiratory infection.  Me:  yep it happens almost every year around this time.  Doctor:  let's do a strep test.  Strep test negative, you just have a cold take some tylenol.  Me:  no, i know my body, look at my history, pneumonia almost killed me when i was 5.  Doctor:  not prescribing antibiotics go home and rest.

of course what small infection was there turned into pneumonia and i was stuck in bed missing work with an unsympathetic angry customer.  My doctor came back and was angry with other doctor, and it took some pretty hardcore stuff to fix me. 
 

bill comes and i write them a nice letter about how their doctor would not listen to me or her nurse, and that her misdiagnosis led to me missing a couple weeks of work and i had to go pay to see my doctor to fix her berkeley up, so i requested they remove the charge from my account and not send me more bills.  6 months later i got collection agency letters and calls.  What's worse?  I paid them, got a receipt.  6 years later another agency is hounding me about the same amount.  First agency is of course gone.  And i couldn't find the receipt, i was sick of being harraased, so i paid.  THEN i found the receipt from the first place.

 

what berkeleyed up brain wiring makes someone go into debt collections is beyond me.  You basically have to be a dick to do the job 

Brett_Murphy (Ex-Patrón)
Brett_Murphy (Ex-Patrón) MegaDork
9/23/20 12:39 p.m.
Ranger50 said:

In reply to Brett_Murphy (Ex-Patrón) :

I owe it. But given I am an ER nurse for the past 6 yrs I know a thing or two on how to be treated in the ER.

You may owe the ER the original sum, but unless the debt collector can prove you owe THEM, then you don't owe them E36 M3. If they can prove it, any fees they tack onto it are negotiable and you should fight tooth and nail to get them waived. 

mtn (Forum Supporter)
mtn (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
9/23/20 1:06 p.m.

I have worked in a collection center, for a bank. I was never on the front lines, I was either working with the auctions and repo agencies, or the third party collection agencies after we charged the debt off. They get a bad rap. It is a deserved bad rap. It is also, unfortunately a necessary evil if you're going to live in a society that is credit based. Hard to hear, but when people don't pay on their credit, it makes it more expensive for everyone. Smaller companies will end up out of business over it. It is a E36 M3ty, E36 M3ty area, but it is necessary. 

 

And the people that work there? Man, they're just people. They can commiserate. And the job will turn them jaded, but they're still just people. These call center jobs are usually always hiring too. Go on their websites; don't ask a collector - that would be like asking a surgeon if he has a job for you while he's prepping you for surgery. How the hell would he know? He's not the one hiring. If you're in primary collections, it isn't that bad a job either, usally it is people who forgot to pay. Secondary and Tertiary is worse, for sure. But if you don't collect, why would anyone care to pay? Especially if they're not buying a house in the next 7 years? 

 

Those stories of threatening you? Well, if it is as you say it is, you need to start every call with "Hi Collector, what did you say your name was and what account is this for? What company are you representing? Oh, by the way, I need to inform you that my line is recorded" Most will end it there, whether or not it is actually recorded, because there is no benefit to them continuing the call - the consumer that records the call is hunting for the collection agency to make a mistake that they can jump on to get the debt excused, or worse, open themselves up to a finding. If they don't end it there, then you can go hunting for them to have made a mistake if you do record it. And if they're threatening violence? Big violation of the FDCPA. 

mtn (Forum Supporter)
mtn (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
9/23/20 1:07 p.m.
Brett_Murphy (Ex-Patrón) said:
Ranger50 said:

In reply to Brett_Murphy (Ex-Patrón) :

I owe it. But given I am an ER nurse for the past 6 yrs I know a thing or two on how to be treated in the ER.

You may owe the ER the original sum, but unless the debt collector can prove you owe THEM, then you don't owe them E36 M3. If they can prove it, any fees they tack onto it are negotiable and you should fight tooth and nail to get them waived. 

Yes, always, always, always ask for proof that the collection agency has legally and legitimately purchased the debt.

mtn (Forum Supporter)
mtn (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
9/23/20 1:13 p.m.

Oh - last thing on those recorded calls - we actually did use them for training and performance. After a debt was charged off and we sold it to a collection agency (it wasn't actually sold, we still owned it - but the agency would get 30% of whatever was collected, then the next level 50%, the next level 70%... or something like that). We still required they record all their calls, even though they were not representing us. We would select 10 random calls each month, for each agency, listen to them all, and mark off a checklist to make sure that they did everything that was required, marked them down if there was rudeness or ugliness - I actually had a few collectors removed from our accounts because I was not happy with them. I hope they didn't lose their job, but it was my job to make sure they were being respectful. 

I remember one particular month all 10 of my calls were over 20 minutes. That was a boring day. 

spitfirebill
spitfirebill MegaDork
9/23/20 1:52 p.m.

My wife got a collection notice for Bill we never received from the hospital.  It got cleared up easily enough, but we never checked our credit.  

Johnboyjjb
Johnboyjjb HalfDork
9/23/20 2:03 p.m.

There are specific limitations on how a collector can contact a debtor and failure to comply can and will be prosecuted against the collector. As a debtor, know your rights and learn the escalation process.

Steve_Jones
Steve_Jones HalfDork
9/23/20 6:58 p.m.
dxman92 said:

A certain phone provider that will remain unnamed took a family member to a debt collector over a $50 past due bill.angry

Well if they never paid the bill, they still owed the $50, so why is that unreasonable? How far past due was it?

Floating Doc (Forum Supporter)
Floating Doc (Forum Supporter) UberDork
9/23/20 7:29 p.m.

I bought a small veterinary practice that had $68,000 in outstanding debt.

I didn't pay anything for the debt, since it obviously wasn't an asset.

I also didn't extend credit to anybody. 

neverdone
neverdone New Reader
9/23/20 9:16 p.m.

Document everything and keep notes and all voicemails.. and then go to an attorney who knows the collection laws inside out.  I was power of attorney for an elderly relative who was wrongly accused of a debt; after dealing with schmucks at both the original hospital and their inept collection agency I finally took it to an attorney.  Needless to say, the ahem,"professionals" at the collection agency treated my attorney the same way.. ignoring calls, faxes, and certified mail.  ( which we ultimately learned they threw in the trash).  We finally got their attention when they were served with a class action lawsuit in federal court.   Then they wanted to talk.  Oh no not anymore.  And the beautiful thing is they paid..oh my did they pay..  almost 400 x the value of the debt they harassed my little old lady relative over.  And the best part?  When they had to pay the debt in installments we were able to collect interest on it.

Ranger50
Ranger50 UltimaDork
10/1/20 2:24 p.m.

Update on this fiasco...

Telephoned the original "hospital", and I use that term very loosely, and spoke with someone in the billing department of the parent hospital network. After talking to the nice lady, It was determined to be from the originating ED provider's company. I was given the name and number for them. Upon calling them, it was pound sand, don't care, but here is the "holder" now. The collector is actually a multiple layered LLC within another company, with multiple BBB and FDCPA complaints. The one listed on the credit report is just one arm of this company, based on google, and the one I originally listed above. 

Guess I better polish up on writing real letters and not forum posts....

Ranger50
Ranger50 UltimaDork
10/1/20 4:16 p.m.

Deleted previous post based on new information. crying

Ranger50
Ranger50 UltimaDork
3/16/21 1:41 p.m.

So, I figure I'd put closure on this topic...

After a few phone calls to the original debtor and to my insurance company, I found out the bills were sent out to a wrong address. I mean, it was the right house address, but it never receives mail and never would due to the PO being stupid. So, I never received the bill. Knowing this I filed a dispute through credit karma stating the same thing. I gave it a few weeks and presto, gone. Credit score restored to pre-delinquent level.

So, there ya go...

MadScientistMatt
MadScientistMatt UltimaDork
3/16/21 4:02 p.m.

Congrats!

CAinCA
CAinCA Reader
3/16/21 4:20 p.m.

That's great news Ranger.

 

I've been lucky enough to never get myself into any debt problems. I've also been unlucky enough to have a phone number that is JUST close enough to a couple others that I've gotten the phone calls. I tried to patiently explain that I've owned the number for 20 years and that I've never even heard of the person they were trying to contact. The last one that called I told them I wanted to speak to their supervisor. Then I proceeded to rip her a new @$$hole. I told them that I'd have my lawyer sue their asses for harassment if I ever heard from them again. That seems to have fixed it. Thankfully I haven't heard from them again. 

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