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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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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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
The credit card bill tells you the minimum that you have to pay. Depending on 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.
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.
Dave Ramsey's book and website offer counseling on this issue.
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!