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I am in Collection! What would you do?
Old 03-06-2019, 03:55 PM   #1
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I am in Collection! What would you do?

I got an email from Capital One saying there was a change in my credit report. I get these periodically, and usually nothing big or unexpected.

So I checked, and it was a 24 point ding to my score, so I checked Experian. A $269 late payment, now in collection with ARS (they are a collection company).

After a few other calls, I called ARS and found out the bill was from my stay in the hospital for a hip replacement in 2017. From a third party biller (Southeastern Physician services).

I never got a bill for this charge. It was never submitted to insurance, as far as I can tell (sometimes you don't get all the details). They gave me the doctor's name, but I can't find him anywhere online.

So far, there has been no attempt to collect by ARS (though there may be now that I called), and I suspect they bought this in a package of other collections for pennies on the dollar.

I have entered a dispute with Experian.

So, what else would you do? I am tempted to do nothing. FICO score is still above 780, with no intent to finance anything in the near future.
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Old 03-06-2019, 04:04 PM   #2
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In your case I would probably check the other credit bureaus as well, and file similar disputes, but little else.
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Old 03-06-2019, 04:09 PM   #3
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In your case I would probably check the other credit bureaus as well, and file similar disputes, but little else.
Thanks, I thought about that, but since you only get one free report per year, per bureau, I thought I would see where this goes, and then check the others.
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Old 03-06-2019, 04:12 PM   #4
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Thanks, I thought about that, but since you only get one free report per year, per bureau, I thought I would see where this goes, and then check the others.
Credit Karma is a free service, they pull and monitor equifax and transunion.

I have them, as well as the Cap1 service, and Amex doing a monthly scan as well. Just because they are all free and why not.
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Old 03-06-2019, 04:19 PM   #5
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That's a bummer, especially if you forgot about it or never even knew it was there.

Unless you have moved around a lot it doesn't sound like they made a great effort to locate you and bill/remind you. Anyway, here's something I found which may or may not to be of use. How much you do, of course, depends on how much you value the principle of it all (since it sounds like it won't directly impact you).

https://www.creditkarma.com/advice/i...redit-reports/

Note in particular that in newer FICO calculations ("FICO 9"), medical debt has a lower weight and should be removed once they are paid off. Alternatively, you could ask ARS (in writing) to remove the derogatory information if you pay it in full. (May not work, but it couldn't hurt to ask.) Not all lenders are using FICO 9 yet, but it is a new standard.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/robertb.../#787c3e9e6de2
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Old 03-06-2019, 04:28 PM   #6
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That's a bummer, especially if you forgot about it or never even knew it was there.

Unless you have moved around a lot it doesn't sound like they made a great effort to locate you and bill/remind you. Anyway, here's something I found which may or may not to be of use. How much you do, of course, depends on how much you value the principle of it all (since it sounds like it won't directly impact you).

https://www.creditkarma.com/advice/i...redit-reports/

Note in particular that in newer FICO calculations ("FICO 9"), medical debt has a lower weight and should be removed once they are paid off. Alternatively, you could ask ARS (in writing) to remove the derogatory information if you pay it in full. (May not work, but it couldn't hurt to ask.) Not all lenders are using FICO 9 yet, but it is the current standard.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/robertb.../#787c3e9e6de2
I appreciate the comments,and have looked at your link, but I NEVER received a bill for this, from the hospital, from Southeastern Physician Services, or from ARS. I would never pay any medical bill that has not been submitted to my insurance company. If they submit, insurance says it is legit, but they don't cover, I would pay. Never happened.

I guess I will wait for ARS to try to collect, and then request detail billing information from them.
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Old 03-06-2019, 04:29 PM   #7
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Ponyboy wouldnt pay it. You never received a bill...how do you know its even legit? Just screen your calls, they arent going to do anything about it.
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Old 03-06-2019, 04:33 PM   #8
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Well, it sounds to me like your approach to it has been sensible and also, your credit is still good.

As to what I would do? You probably will not feel better knowing this, but I haven't checked my credit since the first month we were allowed to do that, maybe a decade or two ago. So, I probably wouldn't even know about it, and wouldn't have done anything about it. I should probably change my ways but my credit is apparently good enough that it hasn't had any negative impact on my life.
+1

I don't give a sh*t what my credit report says though it's just dandy right now. I guess if I was in the market for a new car insurance carrier it might mean something then. Otherwise there's no need.

I got a call from a company's A/P department in Florida. They said "you owe us $47 for your co-pay from 15 months ago. I said "well darn it, I never got a bill or I would have paid it". She said "why don't you give me your CC number and we can take care of it". I said "I think not. Why don't you send me a bill and I'll pay it". They did. I did. End of story.
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Old 03-06-2019, 04:34 PM   #9
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I would never be as seemingly calm as you are about this, but that's me. To start, I'd demand information from ARS as to who on earth this supposed doctor is and demand copy of original bill, AND demand they remove this from collections. As already suggested, Credit Karma gets you access to the other credit reports and you can file your dispute with them.
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Old 03-06-2019, 04:37 PM   #10
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I do check Credit Karma once a month. Even if not going into debt, one's credit score can matter. For example, my new Home Insurance policy lowered my premium due to >800 credit score.
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Old 03-06-2019, 04:40 PM   #11
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I would never be as seemingly calm as you are about this, but that's me. To start, I'd demand information from ARS as to who on earth this supposed doctor is and demand copy of original bill, AND demand they remove this from collections. As already suggested, Credit Karma gets you access to the other credit reports and you can file your dispute with them.
Trust me, I was not calm when I read it and made some calls, but I just can't see putting a lot of effort into this until someone really tries to collect. Like W2R commented, if I didn't checked the credit report, I would know nothing about this.
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Old 03-06-2019, 04:43 PM   #12
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I appreciate the comments,and have looked at your link, but I NEVER received a bill for this, from the hospital, from Southeastern Physician Services, or from ARS. I would never pay any medical bill that has not been submitted to my insurance company. If they submit, insurance says it is legit, but they don't cover, I would pay. Never happened.

I guess I will wait for ARS to try to collect, and then request detail billing information from them.
Yeah, before I'd pay anything I would ask for proof that I owe it. If I owed it, I would pay it, but not without proof and not unless they agreed in writing to remove the derogatory info from my file if I paid in full within (say) 30 days of receipt.

Here's another thought -- Have you checked with your insurance company to see if they have any claims history for this provider relative to this procedure? If not.... was the provider in network for your insurance? I ask because in many insurance plans, the provider has a limited amount of time (usually a year, IIRC) to submit a claim to insurance, and if they do not..... insurance won't pay it AND the provider (as part of the network agreement) can't come after you for it. That happened to me once, a couple years ago.

Ultimately, if you aren't at all worried about the credit score, it's the path of least resistance to let it go unless and until you receive a bill from the collection agency.
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Old 03-06-2019, 04:48 PM   #13
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That's a regular everyday occurrence. You can put a short message in the CBR's to state you were insured and no bill was ever submitted.
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Old 03-06-2019, 04:52 PM   #14
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That's a regular everyday occurrence. You can put a short message in the CBR's to state you were insured and no bill was ever submitted.
CBR's? Not sure what that is. Credit Bureau Report?
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Old 03-06-2019, 05:14 PM   #15
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Ponyboy wouldnt pay it. You never received a bill...how do you know its even legit? Just screen your calls, they arent going to do anything about it.
This is what I’m thinking, how do you know this isn’t a scam? Ask for a bill from the original provider. At least get something so you can call that provider and make sure they even provided any service. This doesn’t smell right. I’ve got bills from providers when I didn’t even know they were involved in my care, think some in the OR like the an anesthesiologist. But I did get a bill. I’d do a little research on that side before paying anything.
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Old 03-06-2019, 05:23 PM   #16
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Ponyboy wouldnt pay it. You never received a bill...how do you know its even legit? Just screen your calls, they arent going to do anything about it.
This is what I’m thinking, how do you know this isn’t a scam? Ask for a bill from the original provider. At least get something so you can call that provider and make sure they even provided any service. This doesn’t smell right. I’ve got bills from providers when I didn’t even know they were involved in my care, think someone in the OR like the an anesthesiologist. But I did get a bill. I’d do a little research on that side before paying anything.
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Old 03-06-2019, 05:40 PM   #17
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Ponyboy wouldnt pay it. You never received a bill...how do you know its even legit? Just screen your calls, they arent going to do anything about it.


Exactly. There is a procedure to follow, especially when a 3rd party is trying to collect. They have to validate the debt. How do you know the right to collect the debt wasn’t “sold” to multiple parties. Look for info on sending a “demand letter” that meets FDCPA requirements to protect yourself. Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
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Old 03-06-2019, 06:24 PM   #18
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So I checked, and it was a 24 point ding to my score, so I checked Experian. A $269 late payment, now in collection with ARS (they are a collection company).

I paid for a $20 Grand Travel Fee on my Credit Card a couple months ago and my Credit Score dropped 40 points down to 795.... Just for using my credit! Then, I paid it back last month in full (I always do) and my credit score jumped up 35 points.... Never incurred a penny of interest! -- Just using some of my Credit. --- So, this 'cost me 5 points'... WTF!



I would have figured a late payment would have been more severe than 24 points.
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Old 03-06-2019, 06:24 PM   #19
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Here is the link to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act https://www.ftc.gov/enforcement/rule...tices-act-text

Look at section 809 regarding validation of the debt, your right to challenge it and their obligation to provide proof that you actually owe it.
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Old 03-06-2019, 07:07 PM   #20
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I had the same thing happen, got a bill from a collection agency for a medical bill I never received. I contested it with the collection agency and asked for proof of the charges. They provided it and once I verified it was legit I paid it. Apparently the doctors office was changing billing companies and things got screwed up.
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