Minimum Payments to Avoid Collections

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



April 17, 20111 found this helpful
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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.

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May 2, 20110 found this helpful
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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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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

January 26, 2012

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?

By Michelle


January 27, 20120 found this helpful
Best Answer

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.

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January 28, 20120 found this helpful
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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 you have recourse.

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January 28, 20122 found this helpful
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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 with the agreement. If you can't make a full monthly payment 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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March 23, 2019

On a 13,000 dollar debt at a hospital, what is the minimum that has to be paid per month to keep it from collections in state of Georgia?


March 23, 20190 found this helpful

Call the billing department of the hospital. Many times you can negotiate it down considerably and stretch out the payment.

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March 23, 20190 found this helpful


I agree it would be a good idea to call the hospital billing office and set up payment if you can. Many of us cannot afford to pay off huge medical bills before they go to collections.

At that point I would dispute the amounts that are in collections because they may have been over-billed.

This means that you need to dispute the bill in writing, when you get a notice that a bill will go into collections. This will stop the process until the bills can be proved to be correct.

I hope this helps!



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March 24, 20191 found this helpful

I was not able to find the minimum that needs to be I would think the hospital would be able to tell you that.

Having worked in healthcare for many years, I know the following:

Talk to the hospital billing departement and if they are not responsilve, the social worker deparment at the facility and ask for information on 2 things...a payment plan and how much of the costs can be paid through a free care or charity fun.

As far as I know every facility should have both options available to you and it (the free care part) is most likely defined by your income so they often want to see a copy of your taxes.

Also, if you have a health insurance plan, be sure that insurance has paid correctly and that you are not being charged for things that should have been covered by insurance--I go over health insurance bills with a fine tooth comb to make sure every dollar is paid correctly and that you are paying the correct after coverage amount.

Lastly, if you do have insurance, but it did NOT cover items, ask if the facility will allow you to pay something called the reasonable and customary amount--which is the amount they would have got IF it was covered by insurance, which is a lot less than the price they charge.

Post back how it goes! Prayers and healing wishes!

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March 24, 20190 found this helpful

Hospital bills can be overwhelming but hospitals had rather have money paid to them directly as collection agencies keep a large portion of what you pay on your bill.

  • Many people do not know that most hospitals have contracts with collection agencies and generally have no choice but to turn debts over to them after so many days of nonpayment.
  • Hospitals set up these contracts so they can retain a larger share of money paid and also because nonpayment after ?? number of days usually means it will be difficult to obtain payment and collection agencies are much more knowledgeable in how to deal with nonpayment of a debt.
  • Once a debt is turned over to a collection agency it usually cannot be returned to the original agency.
  • Your first step should be to talk to the hospital financial department to see if they can reduce your bill and also set up a payment plan.
  • You should have all personal information about size of family, all household income, copy of your last IRS income return, as this is what they will need to discuss your bill.
  • If you need help in understanding what you can do and what to expect from your meeting there are several good websites that have a lot of useful information.
  • You might want to check these out:
  • Here is a sight that may have information about types of help may be available.
  • If you have special circumstances as to why you owe this money or why you are having a difficult time paying you might want to check out this site. Sometimes people are wonderful about helping others in need.
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March 25, 20190 found this helpful

always call the biller. they are sending you the bill and can tell you what you need to know. you can also ask if there is anyway of reducing your total bill amount.

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March 25, 20190 found this helpful

Definitely contact the hospital but they may send you to collections anyway.

I went to the hospital (Kaiser) to pay off one of my bills, only a couple of hundred dollars. There was no record of the debt in the system so I guessed that I had gotten confused and had already paid it off. Nope! They sent it to collections and washed their hands of the whole thing.

I got a call the next day and figured out what happened. I paid it immediately with no penalty but it was still disappointing. I think so many people can't afford their medical bills that it's just a cost of doing business for them.

Good luck and let us know what you find out.

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

April 17, 2011

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?

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