09-21-2012 09:33 AM
Hauling, thanks for the reply. Sorry it took me so long to see it. Unfortunately, I already tried all those things. Not only did they refuse to delete, they got downright nasty with me (a CA wouldn't have it any other way, after all) for even recommending it. Then, of course, they acted like they would be doing me a big favor by updating it as "paid" on my credit reports once I paid it. I also tried the OC route. They were more nice about it and sympathetic, but they would not do anything other than refer me to the CA.
This was actually the second wave of bills from this same surgery. The first wave totaled about $4,000 and these bills were all handled by a CA that agreed to a PFD. Appartently, the pathology and anesthesiology lab use a different billing department and a different CA than the rest of the hospital, however, and the ones I am currently having problems popped after the PFD with the first CA.
When I told this new CA that a different CA let me PFD for bills involving this same surgery, they said that this was against the law so there was no way any CA would do that. Then they pulled the "I've been doing this for 25 years and know way more about debt collecting and credit reporting than you could ever hope to know, so I don't know how you expect me to believe that any agency would violate the law for you. You are obviously lying". It became clear at that point that there was no sense in even attempting to contact them about anything again. Two more years have now gone by and they have hired a couple of different local attorneys (the CA is a small local company as well) to send me threatening letters, but they have never filed suit.
It's pathetic business on their part, really. I would have paid this debt 2 years ago even though I shouldn't have to if they would have agreed to delete and everyone would have been happy. Instead, they will likely never get the money and I am stuck dealing with these two collections on my report for about 3 more years (unless, of course, the Medical Debt Responsibility Act of 2012 would ever gain traction this year, or when they likely reintroduce it next year, or maybe the year after will be the magic year--of course it will probably finally pass right after these debts are gone anyway...arrggh!).