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...;)
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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?
I disagree. If the payment is not the agreed on amount I've seen accounts go to a collection agency. Some think they can pay $1.00 a month and avoid collection, and it doesn't work that way. If the amount is somewhere near the agreed amount the business will probably accept it, but if not don't count on it.
As long as you are sending something it won't go to collections. In the recent past I had a bill that I was having problems paying. I found out that as long as you are attempting to make payments it cannot go to collections. I could only make a $5 payment each month and it was accepted and did NOT go to collections. I am doing this now on a car accident that was the fault of the other driver. I'm having to make payments on the hospital bills until the lawsuit is over, I send $10 a month on a $40,000.00 bill.
Depends on the company. I have seen someone make a small payment each month and have no problem, and I have seen someone make a large payment but because it wasn't the minimum it was sent back and the account went to collections anyway. Call or write to make an arrangement, and get it in writing so if the account is sent to collections anyway you have recourse.
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.
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)