$29 collections notice

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drivera5
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Joined: Mon Apr 15, 2019 12:16 pm

$29 collections notice

Post by drivera5 » Mon Apr 15, 2019 12:21 pm

Hi- I received a $29 notice from a collections agency that relates to some labwork.It does relate to a valid charge.

Could this hit my credit report? I did pull my report and it’s not currently showing on it, but maybe the agency just hasn’t reported it yet but eventually will.

I was thinking I should just pay it- But if I do- will that protect me from this showing on my credit report? My concern is not the money but rather taking a hit on my credit score for such a minor amount

Thanks is advance for your help

fabdog
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Re: $29 collections notice

Post by fabdog » Mon Apr 15, 2019 1:15 pm

Well, if you don't pay it, that will increase the odds it does show up on your report

For me, if it's a valid charge, I would just pay it.

You could call and ask the company if you pay now will they not report

Mike

DIFAR31
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Re: $29 collections notice

Post by DIFAR31 » Mon Apr 15, 2019 1:18 pm

You were thinking you should just pay it? It's $29 and a valid charge, and you have to think about whether you should pay it? I don't get it.

Trader Joe
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Re: $29 collections notice

Post by Trader Joe » Mon Apr 15, 2019 1:21 pm

drivera5 wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 12:21 pm
Hi- I received a $29 notice from a collections agency that relates to some labwork.It does relate to a valid charge.

Could this hit my credit report? I did pull my report and it’s not currently showing on it, but maybe the agency just hasn’t reported it yet but eventually will.

I was thinking I should just pay it- But if I do- will that protect me from this showing on my credit report? My concern is not the money but rather taking a hit on my credit score for such a minor amount

Thanks is advance for your help
Welcome to the forum. Yes I agree with you that you should pay your bill.

NotWhoYouThink
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Re: $29 collections notice

Post by NotWhoYouThink » Mon Apr 15, 2019 1:21 pm

If it is a valid charge, call the lab (or whoever provided the service) and ask them to pull it back from the collection agency, then pay the lab directly. Sometimes the "collection agency" is really an in-house organization, they may not have reported the debt to ratings agencies yet.

We've done this in the past, usually there was some problem in billing so that we didn't know of the bill until the collections call.

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arcticpineapplecorp.
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Re: $29 collections notice

Post by arcticpineapplecorp. » Mon Apr 15, 2019 1:25 pm

this is why Clark Howard says never put your SSN on any doctor's paperwork. Not only is there a security risk which happens via medical offices more often than you'd think, there's the possibility of reporting the charge and harming your credit. just a PSA.

I would want to know why the medical office reported to collections rather than to you. Did you move addresses and didn't leave forwarding with post office so you didn't get your mail?
"May you live as long as you want and never want as long as you live" -- Irish Blessing | "Invest we must" -- Jack Bogle

miamivice
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Re: $29 collections notice

Post by miamivice » Mon Apr 15, 2019 1:26 pm

arcticpineapplecorp. wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 1:25 pm
this is why Clark Howard says never put your SSN on any doctor's paperwork. Not only is there a security risk which happens via medical offices more often than you'd think, there's the possibility of reporting the charge and harming your credit. just a PSA.
They don't need your SSN to get it on your credit report.

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arcticpineapplecorp.
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Re: $29 collections notice

Post by arcticpineapplecorp. » Mon Apr 15, 2019 1:28 pm

miamivice wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 1:26 pm
arcticpineapplecorp. wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 1:25 pm
this is why Clark Howard says never put your SSN on any doctor's paperwork. Not only is there a security risk which happens via medical offices more often than you'd think, there's the possibility of reporting the charge and harming your credit. just a PSA.
They don't need your SSN to get it on your credit report.
how's that?
"May you live as long as you want and never want as long as you live" -- Irish Blessing | "Invest we must" -- Jack Bogle

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samsoes
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Re: $29 collections notice

Post by samsoes » Mon Apr 15, 2019 1:56 pm

arcticpineapplecorp. wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 1:28 pm
miamivice wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 1:26 pm
arcticpineapplecorp. wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 1:25 pm
this is why Clark Howard says never put your SSN on any doctor's paperwork. Not only is there a security risk which happens via medical offices more often than you'd think, there's the possibility of reporting the charge and harming your credit. just a PSA.
They don't need your SSN to get it on your credit report.
how's that?
Name and address.

I routinely had my father's credit info appear on my credit report when I was a young adult still living at home. Of course, we have different SSN's.

Since he has unblemished credit, the side effect was that I had a very good credit history pre-built for me.

Edit: we have the same first name. But even with a different middle initial, his credit report items still ended-up on my report.
Last edited by samsoes on Mon Apr 15, 2019 2:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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8foot7
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Re: $29 collections notice

Post by 8foot7 » Mon Apr 15, 2019 2:02 pm

miamivice wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 1:26 pm
arcticpineapplecorp. wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 1:25 pm
this is why Clark Howard says never put your SSN on any doctor's paperwork. Not only is there a security risk which happens via medical offices more often than you'd think, there's the possibility of reporting the charge and harming your credit. just a PSA.
They don't need your SSN to get it on your credit report.
Accurate. SSN makes it somewhat easier but it is not hard to do without (name and address match, even poorly).

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8foot7
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Re: $29 collections notice

Post by 8foot7 » Mon Apr 15, 2019 2:05 pm

Courses of action: 1) recommend as another poster says above to ask the doctor/hospital/original biller to pull it back from collections and pay them directly. If they won't, then 2) ask for a confirmation in writing that upon payment any negative marks reported to any consumer agency will be fully deleted as if they were never there.

If they won't do that, then don't pay. 50/50 it doesn't ever hit your credit. If it does, since it's medical and a low dollar amount, it's fairly easy to get it knocked off with some disputing strategy. If it doesn't, then you can continue making the above offer each time they reach out until they agree.

I would absolutely not simply pay the charge to the collections agency without getting a firm commitment about how they will report the payment.

core4portfolio
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Re: $29 collections notice

Post by core4portfolio » Mon Apr 15, 2019 2:20 pm

1. Call the lab or doctor and pay the bill directly to the original creditor
2. Ask original creditor to remove your name from collection agency
3. If original creditor told its beyond their hands then just pay the bill and get the receipt. Dont pay to collection agency.
4. Send the debt validation letter in priority or CMRR mail to the collection agency asking them to validate the debt
5. Take a copy of that tracking online and save it locally
6. Mostly your collection agency cannot validate the debt and even if they report to credit agency then dispute it by providing the proof of your
request to validate the debt with tracking number to the credit agency and inform them collection agency fail to prove it.
7. 15 business day it will drop off if it hit your credit score.

if you pay to collection agency then ask in writing for "Not to report as collection paid or any other form of entry .
If already reported then ask for "Pay for delete" option.

Check creditforums.com for so many cases like this for better guidance and sample letter on how to send debt validation letter.
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miamivice
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Re: $29 collections notice

Post by miamivice » Mon Apr 15, 2019 2:26 pm

arcticpineapplecorp. wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 1:28 pm
miamivice wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 1:26 pm
arcticpineapplecorp. wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 1:25 pm
this is why Clark Howard says never put your SSN on any doctor's paperwork. Not only is there a security risk which happens via medical offices more often than you'd think, there's the possibility of reporting the charge and harming your credit. just a PSA.
They don't need your SSN to get it on your credit report.
how's that?
I dunno, but once my ID was stolen and somehow the bad checked that was passed in my name made it on my credit report. Don't know how it happened, don't care how it happened, but definitely happened without SSN.

mhalley
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Re: $29 collections notice

Post by mhalley » Mon Apr 15, 2019 3:00 pm

A collection can really ding your credit report. Do not pay until you have (in writing) that they will remove/not submit this to your credit report. Once you pay, it is no skin off their nose if your credit is hit.

Quickfoot
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Re: $29 collections notice

Post by Quickfoot » Mon Apr 15, 2019 3:15 pm

Most the time once it goes to collections you have to pay through collections, a lot of collections agencies give you a brief window where they don't report if you immediately pay.

You should pay it even if they report it, what typically happens when you don't pay is they charge it off and sell it to another collection agency for pennies on the dollar who reports it again and you wind up with multiple entries on your credit history (happened to me because my ex stopped paying bills after we separated), best case they renew it and it's the same entry that stays for longer than it normally should.

quantAndHold
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Re: $29 collections notice

Post by quantAndHold » Mon Apr 15, 2019 3:18 pm

Yes, you need to pay the bill. If any of the charge is a late fee or collections fee, you can probably call the agency and negotiate to remove the fee, so that you’re just paying the original bill. A lot of medical collections are just a different department in the original company, which makes this easier.

shunkman
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Re: $29 collections notice

Post by shunkman » Mon Apr 15, 2019 4:58 pm

Getting dinged on your credit report is only one problem. If this debt is not the settled, you probably won't be approved for a future mortgage until the collection has been resolved. Best to take care of this now, one way or the other.

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ankonaman
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Re: $29 collections notice

Post by ankonaman » Mon Apr 15, 2019 5:07 pm

Do you have health insurance. Assuming you do when you got the original bill you could have questioned the $29 charge and/or co-pay. You could have put it in dispute via your health insurer which "stops the clock" on the payment date until the dispute is settled. Many, many times people pay medical bills that they should have not been charged for because they are coded incorrectly by the provider or misinterpreted by the insurer. Never ignore these bills and wait until they go to collections. :oops:

JGoneRiding
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Re: $29 collections notice

Post by JGoneRiding » Mon Apr 15, 2019 5:11 pm

Is this lab Corp? Their charges come through weird and questionable so I don't blame you at all for not paying it at the start. I was super confused?

I would call them and verify that paying it immediately will result in a pull back of the "collections" the first notice is often intended just to scare you. Be prepared to pay on the phone via e check or Visa. Be prepared for a LONG wait!

Broken Man 1999
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Re: $29 collections notice

Post by Broken Man 1999 » Mon Apr 15, 2019 5:28 pm

Were you aware you owed the money prior to receiving a notice from a collection agency?

If you were aware, why didn't you pay the bill? If you weren't aware, I would suggest you monitor your insurance EOBs closely, that way you can stay on top of things, usually. But, medical billing can certainly be incorrect, but the best time to get things corrected is when the service is first billed.

Medical billing isn't something that you can set and forget, unfortunately.

Broken Man 1999
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inbox788
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Re: $29 collections notice

Post by inbox788 » Mon Apr 15, 2019 8:09 pm

drivera5 wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 12:21 pm
Hi- I received a $29 notice from a collections agency that relates to some labwork.It does relate to a valid charge.

Could this hit my credit report? I did pull my report and it’s not currently showing on it, but maybe the agency just hasn’t reported it yet but eventually will.
What you're describing is what happened to the bank fees and credit card fees, where the financial companies were making more money punishing clients than by servicing them. There was a thread recently about a late rent payment (caused by glitch and bill payment process) that almost immediately generated an eviction notice.

Work with the medical office billing department to get this charge resolved. If the bill is already paid up, see if they can just take the charge off without going into details. Otherwise, you can further engage them in tracking down every detail and see why you were charged and whether you should have been charged. Be sure you keep good records and even record the conversation if you have the means asking them for permission or notify them if you don't need it so they know they're on the record.

Quote them the Fair Credit Reporting Act and the Consumer Credit Reporting Reform Act of 1996 and The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act 2003 where you think they're not accurate. There are a lot of protections and the credit card and reporting agencies have fallen in line. I'm not sure medical billing has been fully cleaned up, but predatory medical billing and collections was rampant a few years back. I even knew a few folks in the business, though they dealt with fresher debt, not those extreme threatening abusing illegal acts https://www.debt.org/2017/01/25/running ... consumers/ .

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_Credit_Reporting_Act
https://www.auxillium.com/VirtualHR/consurep.htm
https://www.thecreditsolutionprogram.co ... eform-act/

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whodidntante
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Re: $29 collections notice

Post by whodidntante » Mon Apr 15, 2019 9:46 pm

arcticpineapplecorp. wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 1:28 pm
how's that?
They have OP's name, DOB, employer, insurance information, address, phone number, second phone number, the name of an associate, and OP agreed to pay whatever insurance does not. They've met.

RobZ
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Re: $29 collections notice

Post by RobZ » Mon Apr 15, 2019 11:16 pm

While I haven't been late on a credit card in over 15 years, I've probably had 5 medical bills go to collections in the last 5 years. None of them ever showed up on my credit report. Some of them I paid promptly, others I took a couple of months to validate before paying. My experience is our modern medical billing and insurance system is a circus, especially if you've ever had an emergency room visit. The bills just keep coming long after you thought you settled all of the bills. Many things get lost, or never sent to insurance, or in one provable case in which a hospital apologized to me, they sent it straight to collections the day after they provided the service.
TLDR: don't take collections personally; feel free to dispute when proof is needed; but pay valid debts once verified; don't worry about your credit. Also - I am always careful to pay collections agencies with credit cards only - I do not give them a check or access to my checking account.

Topic Author
drivera5
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Re: $29 collections notice

Post by drivera5 » Tue Apr 16, 2019 7:23 am

Thanks for helpful responses! It’s in reference to Northwell Health Labs. I get blood work done routinely and I probably had 10 invoices from these guys last year alone- apparently one got lost in the shuffle.

I plan on calling the lab today and seeing if I can pay them directly in exchange for them pulling the bill from collections. If not, I’ll try my luck with the colections agency, and request confirmation that they will not report to the credit bureaus if I pay them.

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munemaker
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Re: $29 collections notice

Post by munemaker » Tue Apr 16, 2019 7:28 am

drivera5 wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 12:21 pm
Hi- I received a $29 notice from a collections agency that relates to some labwork.
Amazing to me that someone would chase you down for $29.

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8foot7
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Re: $29 collections notice

Post by 8foot7 » Tue Apr 16, 2019 7:38 am

munemaker wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 7:28 am
drivera5 wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 12:21 pm
Hi- I received a $29 notice from a collections agency that relates to some labwork.
Amazing to me that someone would chase you down for $29.
It's all automated blackmail these days. They'll do $1,000 worth of damage to your credit (there is a financial cost to having a 600 score vs 800) over a stupid late fee of $15.

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Earl Lemongrab
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Re: $29 collections notice

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Tue Apr 16, 2019 1:15 pm

8foot7 wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 7:38 am
It's all automated blackmail these days. They'll do $1,000 worth of damage to your credit (there is a financial cost to having a 600 score vs 800) over a stupid late fee of $15.
One bill, especially if disputed, won't do 200 points damage. Not only that, they've changed things so that medical bills really aren't an emergency. They don't get reported until 180 days past due.

I wouldn't just assume that the bill was accurate. Medical providers make billing mistakes all the time. If the OP has had tests without additional pay in the past, then the lab should be pressed to validate the charge. You have the right to have them prove the debt. Maybe it was coded wrong.

dsmil
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Re: $29 collections notice

Post by dsmil » Tue Apr 16, 2019 1:22 pm

My company sends past due balances to a collections agency and they only report the balance to the credit agencies if it remains unpaid another 60 days after the collections agency first attempts to collect.

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8foot7
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Re: $29 collections notice

Post by 8foot7 » Tue Apr 16, 2019 2:49 pm

Earl Lemongrab wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 1:15 pm
8foot7 wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 7:38 am
It's all automated blackmail these days. They'll do $1,000 worth of damage to your credit (there is a financial cost to having a 600 score vs 800) over a stupid late fee of $15.
One bill, especially if disputed, won't do 200 points damage. Not only that, they've changed things so that medical bills really aren't an emergency. They don't get reported until 180 days past due.

I wouldn't just assume that the bill was accurate. Medical providers make billing mistakes all the time. If the OP has had tests without additional pay in the past, then the lab should be pressed to validate the charge. You have the right to have them prove the debt. Maybe it was coded wrong.
A drop of 100 points is totally within realm but you're right, 200 is an exaggeration for which I apologize. But still, vast difference between 720 and 620.

quantAndHold
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Re: $29 collections notice

Post by quantAndHold » Tue Apr 16, 2019 3:02 pm

drivera5 wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 7:23 am
Thanks for helpful responses! It’s in reference to Northwell Health Labs. I get blood work done routinely and I probably had 10 invoices from these guys last year alone- apparently one got lost in the shuffle.

I plan on calling the lab today and seeing if I can pay them directly in exchange for them pulling the bill from collections. If not, I’ll try my luck with the colections agency, and request confirmation that they will not report to the credit bureaus if I pay them.
I had a $9 physical therapy bill go to collections because it looked just like all the other $9 bills I got from them, and I was sure I had paid it. They were perfectly willing to waive all of the late fees if I would just pay the thing.

I’ve had several small medical bills go to collections over the years, and none of them ended up in my credit report.

tindel
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Re: $29 collections notice

Post by tindel » Tue Apr 16, 2019 7:17 pm

I disputed a $20 PT bill a while back. They ended up sending it to collections. I got a phone call or two... nothing since. Each time I held steadfast in my dispute of the bill, told them I wouldn't pay it, based on principal, and hung up the phone. The phone calls stopped coming soon after.

I read later that medical bills under $100 can't be reported to the credit agencies. I'm not sure if that's true or not... do your own research.

One advantage I have is that I don't care what my credit score is anymore. It could be 0 or 900+ for all I care. I don't need a credit card, I have no debt other than my home, and pay for everything I buy with cash/debit. I have only ever checked it when about to buy a house. My score has always been above 800.

I'd refuse to pay a $1M medical bill if I felt I was justified.

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Earl Lemongrab
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Re: $29 collections notice

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Tue Apr 16, 2019 8:45 pm

Many insurance companies use credit scores in determining rates. Don't dismiss the importance too much.

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