Despite my careful meticulous maintenence of my credit score, I have a collection on my account that was entirely outside of my control.
Back in March of 2016 both my partner and I were lucky enough to walk away from a serious auto accident. After being rear-ended on the freeway while going full speed and spinning more than a 180 through two lines of traffic, we had to get checked out in the ER afterwards. He went by ambulance, and I was feeling fine until I suddenly wasn't in the ER's waiting room. Our injuries ended up taking about 10 months and 12 months respectively to mostly recover.
The insurance company, Safeco, didn't want to pay the ER bills. The bills kept being sent to us.
Our lawyer just said pass the bills along to me, I'll deal with it. So we did. The insurance company was paying of tiny, tiny amounts of the bills each month, and we kept getting billed.
Then in December we each got notices from a collections agency. It turns out the ER place had become frustrated with how slowly the bills were being payed off, and decided to have a collections agency deal with it instead.
I TOTALLY freaked out and called our lawyer again, she said that happens sometimes but it won't affect my credit score, they've worked with this collections agency before and will inform them of what's going on.
It didn't show up in my credit monitoring, so I had started to breathe easy again.
Except now it is showing up. On both of our accounts.
How do we challenge this? Yes, it's in our names, but....we were never supposed to pay the full bill for going to the ER after our auto accident that was covered by insurance?
This is a really difficult thing to navigate emotionally. This auto insurance agency has made our life hell and over a year and a half after the fact they are still managing to cause additional distress.
At this point I'm finally at a point in my life when I could (barely) pay off both of them, but it would wipe out all our savings. We're surviving off just my part-time job and freelancing, so budgeting is tight. And we're just not supposed to have to pay it at all, dammit!
The basic issue at this point is whether you are obligated to pay the debt, or whether the insuror is obligated.
If you simply pay, then the collection will remain unless the debt collector voluntarily deletes.
However, if you are able to get the debt paid via insurance, then the CRA will remove the collection from your credit report under their new policy statement as set forth in their recent National Consumer Assistance Plan.
Perhaps a call to your state or county agency that regulates medical insurors will provide assistance in getting the debt paid by the insuror if they are in fact still obligated. Once you have proof of payment by the insuror, then send it to the CRA and request removal of the collection per their policy under the NCAP.
Thanks for the reply! Based on your advice I found the option to file a complaint through the Washington State "Office of the Insuranc Commissioner", which seems like the right place to go.
However I'm going to contact our lawyer first, and I'm pretty sure she's going to keep saying "let me handle it". I'm concerned about compromising the case if I go this other route. :/