Is it true that if I make payments to a hospital account on time every month they cannot sell the account to a collection agency?
By 101abn from Huntsville, AL
I've never heard of anyone selling accounts to collection agencies.
Please contact the hospital and talk with someone in the business office about a payment plan. If you make regular payments to pay off your bill they won't turn you over to collections.
Companies and hospitals do sell delinquent accounts to collections agencies. I knew a fellow who was in that business for a while. Your best recourse to visit the accounting dept of the hospital and make arrangements to pay what you can afford every month. A relative owed a very large sum to the local hospital and they worked out a payment plan. She did get one call from a collection agency about the bill but no other calls after the payment plan was agreed on.
It is a common practice for a creditor to sell a debt to another creditor, although I'm not sure about specifically collections agencies. When we've been paying well on our debt, we were sold to another creditor. It happens.
I live in WI and at one time years ago we had a substantial hospital bill. We did set up a payment plan with the hospital and even with paying on time, they still sent it to collections after 6 months I believe, and of course, went on our credit report.
I don't know what happens in your state though.
You obviously are not going to get away making $2.00 payment on a $5,000.00 bill. The arrangements must be reasonable and made according to schedule. I worked in a hospital office for 31 years and I've seen accounts turned where regular payments were being made. You can't go out an buy a new car and make tiny payments and expect the hospital to wait for their money.
Thanks to you all. I called the hospital and worked out a payment arrangement agreement. So everyone was right!
Sure hope they stay with agreement and not turn over to collections anyway.
I've always been told that.also,most hospitals don't charge a interest payment either-so you are better off to make payments than you are to put the bill on a credit card.
LisaE2, you should have called the hospital to inquire why they sent it to collections.sometimes the computer generated bills are sold off and no one looks to see if you are making payments on time, just that the 6 mo period is up. They did that to me once years ago and when I inquired why they had done it, they looked at the bill and said it shouldn't have gone to collections. They were able to reverse it out of collections and I was able to continue to pay the bill at the hospital.
Wanted to let you know something I learned not long ago. Some hospitals will give you up to 20% off the bill if you pay the bill in a lump sum. I know not everyone can do this, but those of you who can, maybe the bill is 200 or so. The savings can be quite a lot, 40.00 on a 200 dollar bill is good. Might check into it...;)
Here are questions related to Minimum Payments to Avoid Collections.
Is it true that if I make payments to an oil company on time every month they cannot sell the account to a collection agency?
Usually when you need to negotiate a price, ask them what would be acceptable and negotiate what you can afford. Then you have to comply to the agreement. If you can't make a full monthly paymant on the negotiated price at some point notify them. If you don't comply with the agreement the company can still turn your account over to a collection agency. Most companies will work with you but some will not.
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Is there any truth to if you pay just $5.00 on your credit card bills that they can not turn you into a collections agency?
Lynette from Ann Arbor, Michigan
No! There is no truth to that. You must pay the minimum amount set on your statement or an agreed to amount, get this in writing. (12/10/2008)
The credit card bill tells you the minimum that you have to pay. Depending how big your debt is and paying the minimum amount can stretch out your credit debt for years. For example, if you owe $15,000 the minimum payment is $375, it would take 423 months to pay off your debt providing you did not make any further charges. You can go to www.bankrate.com to figure out how long it would take to pay off your debt at minimum payments. (12/11/2008)
I would advise you to buy a book entitled "How to Settle Your Debts Without Committing Financial Suicide" by Norman H. Perlmutter. You can get it on Amazon for $12.89. (12/11/2008)
By Patty Lynn
Dave Ramsey's book and website offer counseling on this issue. (12/11/2008)
You definitely need to pay the minimum amount due on credit card or loan payments! Even doing that is going to affect your credit in a negative way if you have a high amount due.
The law about a five dollar minimum payment pertains/pertained only to medical bills and that law may have even changed over the past few year!
I was paying $100.00 a month on a hospital bill to Mayo and they turned me over to a credit agency, with no warning. (12/13/2008)
I pay at least 10% of my total current credit card balance every month. I see movement towards paying my debt. (01/31/2009)