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Requesting pay for delete on medical debt from collections after already make payments

New Member

Requesting pay for delete on medical debt from collections after already make payments

So here's the cliff-notes version

 

In 2015 I got an infection, had to go to the ER, was sick for weeks, lost my job, couldn't pay the ER bill, it went to collections. I ignored it for 2 years because I just couldn't pay it and I had no idea what I was doing financially at the time.

 

Fast forward to now, I'm much better financially, have a steady job, and am trying to clear my credit score up. For 2 years I never answered this collection agency's calls once, or responded to any letters. A few months ago I used the website to make a partial payment, and a month later I did it again. I called them up last week to ask what the current balance was so that I could pay the rest off at once.

 

The woman I spoke to said, without me even asking about it, that it's their policy to delete medical debt off of the debtor’s credit report once it's paid in full. When I asked about this on /r/personalfinance I was told this is a common tactic and that I needed to get that in writing. When I look up how to get a collections agency to do pay for delete, all the example letters are really combative and use phrases like "this is not a verification of the debt" and so on. I don't know if that's how I should approach them because by making partial payments, I've already verified the debt. When I spoke to the woman I stated clearly my intent to pay the debt off in full with a check before she brought up the deletion, so I'm not sure I have any leverage here.

 

Honestly I had just assumed pay for delete was off the table all together because I ignored them for 2 years. I was grudgingly ready to accept the mark on my report because I assumed there was no way to convince them to remove it. After reading up on it, and after the woman told me about it over the phone, I want to make absolutely sure I'm doing everything I can to get it before I make the full payment, but I'm not sure there's much I can do here except ask nicely.

So I'm planning on sending this goodwill letter with my payment in hopes it helps:

 

---------------
Dear [Agency]

 

I recently spoke with a representative on the phone in regards to a medical debt I was attempting to pay. The representative informed me that it’s [Agency]’s policy to contact the credit bureaus (Transunion, Equifax, and Experian) after medical debt has been settled to remove it from the debtor’s credit report.

 

While I’m certainly not doubting her honesty in stating this, I’m none the less compelled to make my case before finishing this payment.

 

In 2015 I contracted an infection resulting from a chronic medical condition that forced me to go to an emergency room. The sickness took weeks to clear up and resulted in me losing my job and being unable to get a new one for the entire summer. I was unable to repay the medical debts until recently. I did not take on this debt by choice or by irresponsibility, but through hardship and misfortune, and now that it is being resolved, I would greatly appreciate your assistance in clearing this negative mark from my credit report.

 

[Agency] has been professional and respectful in my dealings with them and I hope you will be empathetic in this situation.
-----------

 

Is there anything else I should or shouldn't do before sending this off? Thank you in advance for any assistance.

Message 1 of 10
9 REPLIES
Contributor

Re: Requesting pay for delete on medical debt from collections after already make payments


kerolo wrote:

So here's the cliff-notes version

 

In 2015 I got an infection, had to go to the ER, was sick for weeks, lost my job, couldn't pay the ER bill, it went to collections. I ignored it for 2 years because I just couldn't pay it and I had no idea what I was doing financially at the time.

 

Fast forward to now, I'm much better financially, have a steady job, and am trying to clear my credit score up. For 2 years I never answered this collection agency's calls once, or responded to any letters. A few months ago I used the website to make a partial payment, and a month later I did it again. I called them up last week to ask what the current balance was so that I could pay the rest off at once.

 

The woman I spoke to said, without me even asking about it, that it's their policy to delete medical debt off of the debtor’s credit report once it's paid in full. When I asked about this on /r/personalfinance I was told this is a common tactic and that I needed to get that in writing. When I look up how to get a collections agency to do pay for delete, all the example letters are really combative and use phrases like "this is not a verification of the debt" and so on. I don't know if that's how I should approach them because by making partial payments, I've already verified the debt. When I spoke to the woman I stated clearly my intent to pay the debt off in full with a check before she brought up the deletion, so I'm not sure I have any leverage here.

 

Honestly I had just assumed pay for delete was off the table all together because I ignored them for 2 years. I was grudgingly ready to accept the mark on my report because I assumed there was no way to convince them to remove it. After reading up on it, and after the woman told me about it over the phone, I want to make absolutely sure I'm doing everything I can to get it before I make the full payment, but I'm not sure there's much I can do here except ask nicely.

So I'm planning on sending this goodwill letter with my payment in hopes it helps:

 

---------------
Dear [Agency]

 

I recently spoke with a representative on the phone in regards to a medical debt I was attempting to pay. The representative informed me that it’s [Agency]’s policy to contact the credit bureaus (Transunion, Equifax, and Experian) after medical debt has been settled to remove it from the debtor’s credit report.

 

While I’m certainly not doubting her honesty in stating this, I’m none the less compelled to make my case before finishing this payment.

 

In 2015 I contracted an infection resulting from a chronic medical condition that forced me to go to an emergency room. The sickness took weeks to clear up and resulted in me losing my job and being unable to get a new one for the entire summer. I was unable to repay the medical debts until recently. I did not take on this debt by choice or by irresponsibility, but through hardship and misfortune, and now that it is being resolved, I would greatly appreciate your assistance in clearing this negative mark from my credit report.

 

[Agency] has been professional and respectful in my dealings with them and I hope you will be empathetic in this situation.
-----------

 

Is there anything else I should or shouldn't do before sending this off? Thank you in advance for any assistance.


 

 

Really i would just ask them to mail or fax you the agreement in writing that they will stop reporting it once PIF.. Do kinda like you have in your letter above and tell them that a customer rep told you this so Its to your understanding that they will in fact stop reporting once paid that you have no doubt they will do as they said they would but would still like to verify that what you was told is 100% and that it would put you more at ease by having this in writing just in case of any glitches.

 

~ Shawn

Starting scores
8/17/2017 - EX: 517 TU: 517 EQ: 512
~~~Credit lines~~~~
Discover it secured $200 / Fingerhut $130 / $500 Secured savings loan @ 24/mo

NONENONE
Message 2 of 10
Community Leader
Epic Contributor

Re: Requesting pay for delete on medical debt from collections after already make payments

The CRAs have a clear policy, which is stated in their common credit reporting manual and incorporated into their credit reporting agreements, that furnishers (creditors and debt collectors) are NOT to delete reporting based on payment of the debt.  The CRAs are in business to sell credit reports, and the value of those reports is lessened when otherwise accurate information is subjectively deleted.  It is a business policy, not a statutory provision.

 

Asking a CRA to delete based on payment of a debt is asking them to delete for a reason that is directly contrary to their own official policy, and additionally advises the CRA of potential violation of the furnisher of the information of their credit reporting agreement with the CRA.

 

Notwithstanding the CRA business policy, if a furnisher agrees in advance of payment that they will delete upon payment of the debt, it becomes a contract condition that the consumer can thereafter seek enforcement in civil court based on breach of contract.

Thus, the proper procudure, if the promise was made prior to payment of the debt, is to contact the furnisher (not the CRA) and inform of their breach of contract.

You can either send an intent to sue, or immediately bring civil action based on their breach of contract.

 

However, any issue of statement or promise to delete that is made after you have paid the debt is NOT a contract provision that is enforceable.

The statement or promise is not part of a contrct for payment of the debt, but rather an after-the =-fact, voluntary statement that had no impact upon the consumer's decision to pay the debt.  Stated differently, the creditor did not offer deletion as an incentive to pay, and thus it is not an enforceable contract provision that affected payment of the debt.

Message 3 of 10
New Member

Re: Requesting pay for delete on medical debt from collections after already make payments


RobertEG wrote:

 

Asking a CRA to delete based on payment of a debt is asking them to delete for a reason that is directly contrary to their own official policy, and additionally advises the CRA of potential violation of the furnisher of the information of their credit reporting agreement with the CRA.

 

Stated differently, the creditor did not offer deletion as an incentive to pay, and thus it is not an enforceable contract provision that affected payment of the debt.




I undestand all of that, I know it's a long shot, but I figured it couldn't hurt to try anyway. You miss a 100% of the shots you don't take and all that.

 

That's why I didn't bother with any of the genral PFD advice available on here and other places, becuase they all assume that the person has the ability to bargin with the furnisher. In my case I know I have nothing to bargin with, so my only option is to ask. I just wanted to see if there was anything at all I could say or do that might increase my chances of getting the deletion before I make the payment. I suppose I just hoped that because it was a medical debt, not a line of credit I made the decision to open,  that there may be some provisions or something that would help me out.

Message 4 of 10
Contributor

Re: Requesting pay for delete on medical debt from collections after already make payments


kerolo wrote:

RobertEG wrote:

 

Asking a CRA to delete based on payment of a debt is asking them to delete for a reason that is directly contrary to their own official policy, and additionally advises the CRA of potential violation of the furnisher of the information of their credit reporting agreement with the CRA.

 

Stated differently, the creditor did not offer deletion as an incentive to pay, and thus it is not an enforceable contract provision that affected payment of the debt.




I undestand all of that, I know it's a long shot, but I figured it couldn't hurt to try anyway. You miss a 100% of the shots you don't take and all that.

 

That's why I didn't bother with any of the genral PFD advice available on here and other places, becuase they all assume that the person has the ability to bargin with the furnisher. In my case I know I have nothing to bargin with, so my only option is to ask. I just wanted to see if there was anything at all I could say or do that might increase my chances of getting the deletion before I make the payment. I suppose I just hoped that because it was a medical debt, not a line of credit I made the decision to open,  that there may be some provisions or something that would help me out.


Do you have Medical Insurance with your new job?

Starting scores
8/17/2017 - EX: 517 TU: 517 EQ: 512
~~~Credit lines~~~~
Discover it secured $200 / Fingerhut $130 / $500 Secured savings loan @ 24/mo

NONENONE
Message 5 of 10
New Member

Re: Requesting pay for delete on medical debt from collections after already make payments

I'm on my mother's insurance until April (they barely covered the emergency room visit and even with them it was still $300 coinsurance for the ER room, around $150 for the collective doctor follow ups), at which point I'll have to take my job's insurance which is trash and only slightly better than nothing. My Crohn's disease, depression, ADHD and anxiety can still be treated but it's going to cost so SOOOOOO much in copays and coinsurance for my medicine and doctors. I might have to stop taking some of them and just try to function without  them or risk falling into this dept again. I don't really have any idea what I'm going to do when that happens but for right now I want to clear my debt as much as possible to lighten the load when that dark day comes.

Message 6 of 10
Regular Contributor

Re: Requesting pay for delete on medical debt from collections after already make payments

You should not just stop taking medications, for a variety of reasons. (I am not a doctor or lawyer, but I'm married to an RN.)

 

Look up the manufacturers of each of your medications. Several of them have assistance programs for people with low incomes. (It looks like we may qualify with Pfizer with about 100k of income and 3 babies.)

 

And I'm feeling you on the trash insurance. I hate my insurance. Every time my wife has to use it, I get an ear full about it.

2017-09-09 FICO 08: EQ 677, TU 640, EX 705
2017-11 FICO 08: TU 700, EX 716
2017-12 FICO 08: EX 722
Gardening until Jan 1, 2018
Approvals Data Dump: https://pastebin.com/Lz7yZZvv
Message 7 of 10
Contributor

Re: Requesting pay for delete on medical debt from collections after already make payments

 

A paid debt still looks better on your file then a unpaid debt.. So if they told you over the phone they would delete it once it was paid in full then they should have no issue faxing or mailing you a letter saying that even more so if its like they told you that - that is their own policy..

 

Even them just telling you over the phone that they would do so is a verbal contract so you could still sue them if they broke the contract. It would just be really hard to proove with it being a verbal contract.

 

However i dont see them risking themselves going to court over something like this because it would cost them more time and money to do the whole court thing then it would them to just delete the account like they told you they would..

 

So if you dont want to ask them to put everything in writting before you pay it off, Then i would simply pay it off anyways and just take them at their word.. However if they did'nt then like i said it will update on your file to paid/closed

 

To a lender a collection that was paid looks better to them then seeing an unpaid collection.

 

~ Shawn

Starting scores
8/17/2017 - EX: 517 TU: 517 EQ: 512
~~~Credit lines~~~~
Discover it secured $200 / Fingerhut $130 / $500 Secured savings loan @ 24/mo

NONENONE
Message 8 of 10
Community Leader
Super Contributor

Re: Requesting pay for delete on medical debt from collections after already make payments


kerolo wrote:

So here's the cliff-notes version

 

In 2015 I got an infection, had to go to the ER, was sick for weeks, lost my job, couldn't pay the ER bill, it went to collections. I ignored it for 2 years because I just couldn't pay it and I had no idea what I was doing financially at the time.

 

Fast forward to now, I'm much better financially, have a steady job, and am trying to clear my credit score up. For 2 years I never answered this collection agency's calls once, or responded to any letters. A few months ago I used the website to make a partial payment, and a month later I did it again. I called them up last week to ask what the current balance was so that I could pay the rest off at once.

 

The woman I spoke to said, without me even asking about it, that it's their policy to delete medical debt off of the debtor’s credit report once it's paid in full. When I asked about this on /r/personalfinance I was told this is a common tactic and that I needed to get that in writing. When I look up how to get a collections agency to do pay for delete, all the example letters are really combative and use phrases like "this is not a verification of the debt" and so on. I don't know if that's how I should approach them because by making partial payments, I've already verified the debt. When I spoke to the woman I stated clearly my intent to pay the debt off in full with a check before she brought up the deletion, so I'm not sure I have any leverage here.

 

Honestly I had just assumed pay for delete was off the table all together because I ignored them for 2 years. I was grudgingly ready to accept the mark on my report because I assumed there was no way to convince them to remove it. After reading up on it, and after the woman told me about it over the phone, I want to make absolutely sure I'm doing everything I can to get it before I make the full payment, but I'm not sure there's much I can do here except ask nicely.

So I'm planning on sending this goodwill letter with my payment in hopes it helps:

 

---------------
Dear [Agency]

 

I recently spoke with a representative on the phone in regards to a medical debt I was attempting to pay. The representative informed me that it’s [Agency]’s policy to contact the credit bureaus (Transunion, Equifax, and Experian) after medical debt has been settled to remove it from the debtor’s credit report.

 

While I’m certainly not doubting her honesty in stating this, I’m none the less compelled to make my case before finishing this payment.

 

In 2015 I contracted an infection resulting from a chronic medical condition that forced me to go to an emergency room. The sickness took weeks to clear up and resulted in me losing my job and being unable to get a new one for the entire summer. I was unable to repay the medical debts until recently. I did not take on this debt by choice or by irresponsibility, but through hardship and misfortune, and now that it is being resolved, I would greatly appreciate your assistance in clearing this negative mark from my credit report.

 

[Agency] has been professional and respectful in my dealings with them and I hope you will be empathetic in this situation.
-----------

 

Is there anything else I should or shouldn't do before sending this off? Thank you in advance for any assistance.


You do NOT need to "get it in writing", simply record their call as proof of their intent to delete when paid.

Most Recent FICO 8 Scores EX601/TU580/EQ589 12/08/2017 Starting scores 553/485/543 08/25//2017
~~~Credit lines~~~~
SDFCU VISA Secured $250
Discover Secured $200
Message 9 of 10
Community Leader
Epic Contributor

Re: Requesting pay for delete on medical debt from collections after already make payments

 

If you have already entered into an agreement to make payments without the other party agreeing to deletion after all payments are made, then you have a contract that does not include a deletion provision.

If you are thereafter seeking inclusion of a deletion provision, you are seeking a modification of the contract.  They do not have to modify the existing agreement.

 

You may have a problem enforcing a statement made after you entered into your payment agreement that involved deletion of the collection.

I would advise consultation with an attorney before filing any breach of contract civil action asserting enforceability of a provision that was not part of your initial payment agreement.  

Message 10 of 10