I have several medical collections on my CR from when I had cancer a few years back. They're all from the same original creditor (except for one) and all of them are with the same CA. I would really like to do a PFD for these. I know about the HIPAA process but I live in a small town and it seems a pretty agressive and adversarial way for me to deal with people I'll continue to see/talk to in the future.
I researched the CA and discovered they have a reputation for never doing PFDs. I called them today and explained that I was going through my credit report and saw these listings. I said that I had not researched yet to find out if the debts were valid and that I wasn't acknowledging the debts, but that because they were small I thought the simplest thing would be to just pay them in exchange for deletion. She was very pleasant but told me they never do PFDs. I told her (equally pleasantly) that I'd need to do some research on the charges, make sure they hadn't been paid by insurance, etc. and she said "No problem" and that was the end of that.
I then called the hospital who is the OC on 4 of the 5 collections. I spoke with a very nice woman there and told her essentially what I told the CA. She took a long time looking up the information. She had a lot of trouble even finding the information on them but finally did. I told her about talking with the CA first and that they refuse to do PFDs but that I really just want these off my credit report and hoped she could help me. She said she didn't think they could force the CA to remove it, but I told her that if I paid her directly I thought they could simply request the CA remove the account.
She was very helpful and said she needed to check with someone on what they could do and will call me back in half an hour.
Does anyone know for sure if an OC has the power to remove a collection from a CA? I'd like to be armed with some facts when she calls me back.
BTW, I should probably add that these collections are ONLY listed under the CA on my CRs, not by the OC.
Even if you pay the OC, the only thing the CA is required to do is update the TL from unpaid to paid.
If the CA is refusing to delete the TL, you could send some GW request but if that doesn't work, you may have to initiate the HIPAA process.
It's my understanding that I can't do the HIPAA process if the account has been paid. Is that not correct?
Okay, she called me back.
She said they'd be glad to do this for me but, basically, they don't know how. They've never had anyone request this before. She said she could give me something to give the CA stating that the accounts have been paid, but I told her that would just change it to a "paid collection" which wouldn't benefit my credit score. I told her I was pretty sure they can just tell the CA to remove the accounts from their files but that I'd check and find out and call her back. She's more than willing to help; she's just not sure what to do.
She was so nice I even told her about the HIPAA process and that I hadn't used it because it seemed kind of harsh. But that because of it, I knew that it's certainly possible for their office to tell the CA to remove the collection. She said, "Well if you need to do it that way to get it removed, it's fine with us."
Bottom line, if I can tell her what they need to do to get the CA to remove it, they'll do it.
Can anyone advise me?
These office have contracts with the CAs to collect the accounts.. Not only does the contract state how much the CA will earn for money collected, but also gives the creditor the authorization to pull the account out of collections for certain reasons.
I have worked for a medical biller and we routinely pulled accounts out of collections for reasons ** especially to put them back into insurance pending,, then if you were to pay them the MD offices would be just as happy.
I don't know the law about this, and maybe I just got lucky, but I've had two instances where I received letters from a CA for an older account (one with Sprint, another with AT&T). In both cases, I called up the OC and paid them directly. After paying them, I disputed with the CRA and basically said "I don't owe any debt to the CA, I already paid this account directly with Sprint/AT&T". They wound up being deleted. It could be that the CA just didn't care anymore and they deleted to be nice - I don't know if they needed to delete - but it worked for me.
That makes sense, bravo. I don't know why she didn't think of it herself (pulling the account from collection). I'll call her tomorrow and ask if that's a possibility.
Matt, thanks for letting me know what worked for you. Worst case scenario I guess I could try paying and then disputing the CA listings.
"Pulling an account out of collection" terminates the CA ability to thereafter conduct collection activiites, and update the balance on their CA account to $0 debt owed to them. It does not compel any CR deletion.
There are no statutory or admin regulations that requires one party (either the OC or the CA) to delete prior, accurate reporting based on your activities with the other party. If you can get an OC to request a CA to delete, they may do it in order to keep good relations with the OC. But it is discretionary on the part of the CA.