¡HELP¡ Corrupt US collection agency

sergio

Registered
I´ve posted here about an ER visit in the US back in February. The bill, for a mere ultrasound that took 10 minutes, came to nearly $3,000 USD. My Argentine insurer paid all but a $200 bill which was mistakenly sent to my mother´s address in the US. At least the hospital SAID that they sent the $200 bill to her address. Recently I returned for a short visit to the US and by coincidence I was there when a collection agency bill came for the $200. Maybe the original bill went astray. Who knows? The Argentine health insurer agree to pay the bill but they insist on an itemization. The US collection agency will NOT cooperate. They say that they will send a fax of the bill but they don´t do it. They are rude and aggrssive on the phone. I have called numerous times but I get nowhere. Seems they want me to pay with a credit card and ask the Argentine insurar for reimbursement. I refuse. I really don´t know how to handle this. To be honest, their attitude and dishonest behavior is worse than I have encountered in Argentina. ANY SUGGESTIONS?
 

elhombresinnombre

Registered
misc.legal.moderated is a US-oriented newsgroup where you could ask a lot of questions and get some sensible answers for free. Depending on the services supplied by your ISP, contacting the group may be as easy as opening up the 'news' feature of Outlook Express; alternatively, go to google, select 'groups' enter misc.legal.moderated in the search box and take it from there
 

nikad

Registered
elhombresinnombre said:
misc.legal.moderated is a US-oriented newsgroup where you could ask a lot of questions and get some sensible answers for free. Depending on the services supplied by your ISP, contacting the group may be as easy as opening up the 'news' feature of Outlook Express; alternatively, go to google, select 'groups' enter misc.legal.moderated in the search box and take it from there
wtf?????????
 
sergio said:
I´ve posted here about an ER visit in the US back in February. The bill, for a mere ultrasound that took 10 minutes, came to nearly $3,000 USD. My Argentine insurer paid all but a $200 bill which was mistakenly sent to my mother´s address in the US. At least the hospital SAID that they sent the $200 bill to her address. Recently I returned for a short visit to the US and by coincidence I was there when a collection agency bill came for the $200. Maybe the original bill went astray. Who knows? The Argentine health insurer agree to pay the bill but they insist on an itemization. The US collection agency will NOT cooperate. They say that they will send a fax of the bill but they don´t do it. They are rude and aggrssive on the phone. I have called numerous times but I get nowhere. Seems they want me to pay with a credit card and ask the Argentine insurar for reimbursement. I refuse. I really don´t know how to handle this. To be honest, their attitude and dishonest behavior is worse than I have encountered in Argentina. ANY SUGGESTIONS?

If I were you I would pay the $200.00 collection bill. I know that it is ridiculous but it is a very small amount. If, in the future, you ever decide to apply for a credit card or mortgage in the US, you really do not want a bad credit report. It's not worth it.
 

EvergreenGal

Registered
Sergio, I would contact the hospital, ask for an itemized bill for your insurance here...that is not a difficult thing to get. Have your Mom email you the invoice and go from there.

Once you've been turned over to a collection agency it's hell! But, you can reason with them. Tell them you are working on getting the itemized bill, that your insurance company will be paying the bill. If worse comes to worse, just pay them the 200 and have your insurance company pay you, is that possible? If you can't pay it all at once set up a payment program with them...have your Mother send them the money for you and just pay her back. If you do set up a payment schedule with them never miss a payment date or everything starts over and they will ask for payment in full.

When you call and talk to someone, and if you are getting no where, as for their manager...and then get that persons name and extension number so that's the only person you deal with..makes it much easier. Keep track of when you call, date and time and person you are talking to and outcome of call, for your records.

Best of luck!


**had this happen when part of a college loan was sold off and was not made aware of it...took time but did get things worked out to my advantage.
 

Grazie

Registered
Sergio, hi. What a timely question you posted. A couple of days ago there was a feature story on TV that presented the "bully" tactics that some (NOT ALL) collection agencies use to get their money - these people work off a commission from the $ they get from whomever they are collecting from, needless to say - these terror tactics are illegal. Take down names like Evergreen Gal said. Be meticulous about your record keeping of these conversations, if things can be done via email - so much the better. If you have records of the actual ER visit - try to contact the hospital directly and ask so ever nicely if they can deal with you directly and not with the collection agency - you will be surprised sometimes how often they will say "yes". It never hurts to ask. And send an email to the Hospital telling them that the collection agency is bordering on harrassment. As long as you are willing to pay - the hospital will work with you. They need the money with least or no aggravasion to you. Recoleta Carolina is right on this - you do not want a smear on your credit report whatsoever. Good luck.
 

elhombresinnombre

Registered
nikad said:
wtf?????????
Unless I've misunderstood something, the OP's problem is in the USA and the OP is in Argentina. Misc.legal.moderated is a USENET newsgroup ('newsgroups' are an early ancestor of this web-based forum) where lawyers, academics, law students and ordinary people who are interested in law - particularly as it works in the USA - discuss legal matters and individual problems. These are the sort of people who can advise on what's legal in the USA and what's not and how the matter can be dealt with effectively by the OP from his present situation.
 

nikad

Registered
elhombresinnombre said:
Unless I've misunderstood something, the OP's problem is in the USA and the OP is in Argentina. Misc.legal.moderated is a USENET newsgroup ('newsgroups' are an early ancestor of this web-based forum) where lawyers, academics, law students and ordinary people who are interested in law - particularly as it works in the USA - discuss legal matters and individual problems. These are the sort of people who can advise on what's legal in the USA and what's not and how the matter can be dealt with effectively by the OP from his present situation.
Geez, I am sorry for that, but it just sounded like Chinese to me :p I should have refrained from posting, again, I apologize :)
 

citygirl

Registered
I highly doubt the collection agency will forward you an itemized bill - they probably don't even have it. And once a hospital sends it to collections, I don't believe you can pay them directly anymore.

For 200, I might just pay it and then work with your insurance provider here to get reimbursed directly.

If you dispute it, you have to submit within 30 days in writing of receiving the first letter.
 

jeane

Registered
I agree. Pay the bill with a credit card which is probably insured, and, frankly, get on with making money elsewhere. Life's too short.
 
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