Author Topic: Debt collecting and your experiences  (Read 221 times)

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Online Chino

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Debt collecting and your experiences
« on: June 21, 2018, 01:47:55 PM »
So, I kind of fucked up. I apparently have had a medical bill showing up at my house for some time now, but based on the envelope it was arriving in, I assumed it was junk mail. I've been tossing them with the rest of the junk mail since they've been arriving.

The debt ($1800) is now in the hands of a debt collector. I received two voicemails over the last week from people I couldn't understand at all, but a letter showed up at my house yesterday from the agency and I connected the dots. Somehow my credit score is still 805.

How does debt collection work in terms of paying it off? I understand the agency probably bought that debt for under $100 and that sometimes you can negotiate, but I'd be more interested in just being able to pay installments. Paying it out pocket isn't something I'm thrilled about doing seeing as I just lost a car I still owe money on and had to buy a new one on top of that.

Offline gmillerdrake

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Re: Debt collecting and your experiences
« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2018, 01:52:48 PM »
I had a fairly hefty medical bill from the Rattlesnake Bite I had happen to me when I was 25. Ignored it for YEARS. Finally when I decided to grow up and clean up my credit and what not I worked out a payment plan with them and just make a monthly payment. It was in collection, but oddly.....like you mentioned.....never showed up on any credit report?

anyway, I know you can negotiate in some instances....for my situation I'm paying them such a small fee each month I just choose to pay it and not have them snoop into my finances at all and realize I could probably be paying 500% more each month than what they're getting.

With the amount they're trying to get from you I'd be willing to bet that you'd be able to one time pay $400 or $500 and they'd call it even.
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Offline cramx3

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Re: Debt collecting and your experiences
« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2018, 02:00:52 PM »
I had a similar experience but on a much smaller scale.  I apparently owed 100 bucks.  The debt collector came after me and I ignored it because I thought it was BS.  They then went to my parents.  So I just wrote a check and figured it was all correct and I just didn't realize I missed a payment.  But also, no hit to my credit score. 

Online lordxizor

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Re: Debt collecting and your experiences
« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2018, 02:17:31 PM »
You can likely negotiate. Ask about installments, but you're likely going to get a better deal if you offer to give them one lump sum. I settled something like this once in a home foreclosure for $12,000 in a lump sum instead of $20,000 over 10 years. That was painful, but thankfully I could do it. In my case they asked for a bunch of financial info, but it was a much bigger deal than a $1800 medical bill. They aren't going to stop calling or sending letters anytime soon, so you're better off getting it over with as soon as possible. Good luck!

Offline The Trooper

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Re: Debt collecting and your experiences
« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2018, 02:29:03 PM »
A few things regarding your situation and some points that others have mentioned.

First off........... medical debts do not show up on your credit report. It is illegal to have them from the creditor. In some cases the creditor will write it off and source it out to a third party collection agency..again illegal and report it to credit agencies when it comes to your credit report.

Also as someone pointed out, they may ask/give you a discount to pay. So if they offer a reduced plan and you do not pay the FULL original amount, it still could remain as settled on your credit report that will reduce the credit score.

Someone else also mentioned that their parents were called. Unless they were on the account it is illegal to call or mail them. You have legal recourse if you so wish,

If you need more help, my brother is a finance attorney


Offline cramx3

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Re: Debt collecting and your experiences
« Reply #5 on: June 21, 2018, 02:38:18 PM »
Someone else also mentioned that their parents were called. Unless they were on the account it is illegal to call or mail them. You have legal recourse if you so wish,

Interesting.  My father has the same name as me so I was thinking they somehow found him by the same name (although they sent the mail to him in Florida as thats where my parents live now, I am in NJ where the doctor and debt collector are).  Not interested in legal recourse though but good to know for a potential next time.

Offline El Barto

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Re: Debt collecting and your experiences
« Reply #6 on: June 21, 2018, 02:54:09 PM »
You can always just wait around until a British political satirist buys it and forgives it. Worked for my brother.

As for me, I settled something like $2200 in medical debt for something like $1700. What I learned from the experience is that you can expect the good cop/bad cop treatment. Oddly, it was the good cop that called me up, and the bad cop that answered when I called them looking to settle it. If you're talking to somebody and they're acting pissy just tell them to fuck off and have a good cop call you back.
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Offline The Trooper

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Re: Debt collecting and your experiences
« Reply #7 on: June 21, 2018, 04:05:13 PM »
Someone else also mentioned that their parents were called. Unless they were on the account it is illegal to call or mail them. You have legal recourse if you so wish,

Interesting.  My father has the same name as me so I was thinking they somehow found him by the same name (although they sent the mail to him in Florida as thats where my parents live now, I am in NJ where the doctor and debt collector are).  Not interested in legal recourse though but good to know for a potential next time.

My ex wife has the same name as her mother before we married (lol my ex not her mother). It is a shithole to get that stuff sorted out.

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Offline The Trooper

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Re: Debt collecting and your experiences
« Reply #8 on: June 21, 2018, 04:08:04 PM »
99.9% of debt collectors use illegal practices. If you owe the debt always go thru the original creditor.

Offline Stadler

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Re: Debt collecting and your experiences
« Reply #9 on: June 22, 2018, 07:59:26 AM »
Most of the advices here are accurate, in my experience.    Couple things:  GET ON THE PHONE NOW.   

Call the original creditor, and speak to someone who has juice.  If you pay them directly, then a) you're back in their good graces for next time, b) you don't pay any fees for the "collection" (which  are bullshit, but it's a practical consideration to pay them to be done with the whole thing), and c) you might even be able to use flex, and you might still have any tax benefits you had before it went to collection.

If they say that they've sold it, and it's out of their hands, call the collector.   el Barto is right about the "good cop/bad cop", but having done this three or four times (don't get divorced), I can tell you that they want their money cheaply and quickly more than they want to fuck with you.  The collectors CAN report you to the credit bureaus; it's my understanding that it's not "illegal" in and of itself, but there are rules.  They have to give you time to pay it, even after it goes to collections, and if it does get reported, it has to be removed once paid in full (not reported as "settled", but removed outright).   

Bottom line, CALL THEM.   I know it's money out of your pocket, but the best way to avoid hassles (illegal or not, try fixing your credit once it's wrongly reported...) is to be proactive about it.  They want, in this order, "lump sum", two or three equal payments over two or three months, or a monthly payment.   They'll take your word as to what you can pay, as long as you are paying it.   

Online Chino

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Re: Debt collecting and your experiences
« Reply #10 on: June 22, 2018, 08:05:27 AM »
I ended up calling last night when I got home from work. The two voicemails I received sounded like someone was calling me from the gates of hell. But the woman I spoke with directly last night was super pleasant and not even the slightest bit bitchy or threatening.   

I tried to get them to accept an $800 lump, but according to her, Waterbury hospital doesn't allow that to occur. I agreed to pay them $180 a month for the next 10 months. I could have probably gotten a better deal, but I royally suck at negotiating. I'm laughably bad at it.

Offline Stadler

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Re: Debt collecting and your experiences
« Reply #11 on: June 22, 2018, 08:38:20 AM »
I ended up calling last night when I got home from work. The two voicemails I received sounded like someone was calling me from the gates of hell. But the woman I spoke with directly last night was super pleasant and not even the slightest bit bitchy or threatening.   

I tried to get them to accept an $800 lump, but according to her, Waterbury hospital doesn't allow that to occur. I agreed to pay them $180 a month for the next 10 months. I could have probably gotten a better deal, but I royally suck at negotiating. I'm laughably bad at it.

Haha.  "No, I'll give you $2000 for your troubles!"   I'm kidding.   Look, you've frozen the fees, frozen the interest, and when you get the clearance letter, it'll be behind you.  I wouldn't beat yourself up much.   The only thing you might have could have done was perhaps call Waterbury Hospital, or tell her you need to see if you can afford that, and can she call back (to get her thinking)?  But I'm not going to second guess you here.   It is what it is.   Sometimes you hit gold, sometimes you don't.   Nice job. 

Offline Nick

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Re: Debt collecting and your experiences
« Reply #12 on: June 22, 2018, 03:47:16 PM »
You can always just wait around until a British political satirist buys it and forgives it. Worked for my brother.

That segment (as most are) was fucking amazing. It's so cool to know that actually had an impact on someone I know. :lol
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Offline cramx3

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Re: Debt collecting and your experiences
« Reply #13 on: June 23, 2018, 03:32:23 PM »
You can always just wait around until a British political satirist buys it and forgives it. Worked for my brother.

That segment (as most are) was fucking amazing. It's so cool to know that actually had an impact on someone I know. :lol

Yea, that's pretty cool that his segment on doing that made a real life impact (like I'm sure it wasn't staged, but someone actually says the nice gesture benefited them)

I ended up calling last night when I got home from work. The two voicemails I received sounded like someone was calling me from the gates of hell. But the woman I spoke with directly last night was super pleasant and not even the slightest bit bitchy or threatening.   

I tried to get them to accept an $800 lump, but according to her, Waterbury hospital doesn't allow that to occur. I agreed to pay them $180 a month for the next 10 months. I could have probably gotten a better deal, but I royally suck at negotiating. I'm laughably bad at it.

Sometimes you feel like you could have gotten something better after the fact, but I'm guessing the monthly payments are better than the whole lump sump, so it's still a positive you got to do it this way at the end of the day and now you got another learning experience under your belt in case something similar happens again.