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09-28-2012 08:59 AM
Hubby has 2 medical collections, both with American Collections Enterprise
$446- Due to be removed 12/14
$207- Due to be removed 03/16
He has never received anything from the CA, but they are reporting KD monthly, which is killing his score.
Thought about starting the HIPPAA process, but I read that one of the steps is paying the OC. The problem is the OC is a hospital that has closed. I considered contacting Capella Healthcare which purchased the hospital back in 2007, but they sold the closed hospital to another company this year.
I am so confused as to how to go about getting this removed.
1. Dispute with CRA...wont the CA just verify it?
2. Start pre HIPPAA letter to CRA....have read that it is marked as a dispute? kinda same thing as above?
3. Send DV letter to CA? Other info I have read says to have NO CONTACT with CA?
4. File complaint with BBB? The CA & the OC (closed hospital) are not accredited with BBB.
Don't want to ride it out because it is still going to be reporting for another 2-3 years.
How can you pay someone who doesn't exist anymore? We don't even think we owe it because we have always had insurance.
Is this what people call zombie debt?
Please tell me if anyone else has had a similar situation. I don't want to do the wrong thing & make it worse. I don't even know the date of service or if it's out of the SOL. I am in Alabama.
09-28-2012 09:02 AM
I wish I could help! I can somewhat relate though. I recently had a collection agency call me saying I owed them like $50 for a medical bill from 08. I asked for what, and they described in detail what it was for(when I had my son) and I did have insurance then. but he said this was what was left. I said ok fine, I paid it and that was it. The next day, they call me again, saying I have a $72 debt for the same thing. I was like no freaking way! So I paid it. The NEXT DAY another person calls me and says I owe $500 for the same damn thing! I was livid. The "supervisor" said it was valid, we argued for awhile, and he said ok I will mark it as refusal to pay. GOOD! They are terrible. They aren't reporting on my credit...yet. I am scared for when they do! But I will dispute til the day I die!
Sorry, rant over
09-28-2012 09:18 AM - edited 09-28-2012 09:19 AM
How long ago did they close? You do seem to be in a unique situation.
Edited due to my poor math skills this morning.
09-28-2012 01:33 PM - edited 09-28-2012 01:39 PM
As for post 1.
Of the two statutory processes available (DV and dispute), I dont see the FCRA dispute process as the way to go unless you have some basis to assert an actual inaccuracy in their reporting. The consumer has that initial burden. The fact that, in conducting the dispute process, the CRA may have trouble contacting the party who reported the information is not itself an inaccuracy in their reporting that would require any investigation/reinvestigation.
As for the DV process, first, would your DV be timely? If not, it imposes no requirement on the debt collector.
If timely, it only imposes a cease further collection bar on them, not a requirement to provide verification.
If the debt collector never sent dunning notice, then a DV would still be timely, and thus permit you to bar further collection activites.
I am unsure of any violations of either the FCRA or FDCPA that would form the basis for a complaint with the FTC or a BBB?
The only possible violation I see based on the info provided is a failure to have sent dunning notice within 5 days of their initial communication with the consumer.
That may result in a red face with the FTC, but does not relate to the primary issue of their verification or possible dispute.
As for post 2.
Send them a DV. Their investigation will show the debt as paid, if they conduct a proper investigation, and thus no authority to collect on a non-existent debt.
09-28-2012 04:12 PM
RobertEG, as always, thank you for your reply. I am quite certain that we never received anything from American Collections Enterprise. Didn't even know about it until I pulled his report. So, I should send the CA a DV? If they validate, should I offer a PFD?
Does anyone know anything about this CA? Will American Collections do a PFD? I wish I at least knew the date of service. What if it's still within SOL?
So, the HIPPAA wont work for my situation, right? Since the OC doesn't exist anymore...
Like, many, we are trying to improve our scores to obtain a VA home loan next year. This is the only unpaid items on his report.
09-28-2012 08:47 PM - edited 09-28-2012 08:48 PM
If you now send a timely DV, it will foreclose any further collection on the debt until such time as they have provided the requested verification.
Waiting for the "if they validate" may be a long wait, and is not necessarily going to happen.
If immediate CR deletion is the goal, you will be placing yourself in limbo by sending a DV, as the cease collection bar that it imposes will preclude any PFD negotiations, which is debt collection activity on their part.
Simply send for a DV and waiting is not necessarily the best path, particularly if the debt is valid. If and when they wish to resume active collection, they can just shoot out a verification statement, and have at you.