Becoming Debt Free in 2009

December 1, 2008

I Am So Mad – Help

Filed under: Debt — ambercouric @ 12:21 pm

First let me say that I rarely get MAD.   But right now I am so mad I could spit nails.  Since I am going to pay off the hospital bill this month and it will be toward the end of the month before the actual bill comes I called to get the address to mail the payment.  Well, she took the account number and told me to hold on.  Another lady gets on the phone and said that my bill was added to an older bill that I didn’t pay.  I said there must be some misunderstanding.  My older son had surgery for a broken hand three years ago and ever single penny was paid.  Then my younger son had dental surgery and because the insurance didn’t cover it we paid cash in full before he was even admitted.  So I explained that surely there wasn’t a bill.  She said, “this one is from 1998.”  What?? I asked her details and she said well it was sent to a collections so I’ll have them call you.  No, you tell me know.  Well, needless to say she didn’t have details.  She had my correct address and then she said what is your phone number.  At that point I was so irritated because I know full well that they have ever single number.  I told her I didn’t want anyone calling me to send me a complete copy  of what I owe.

She was extremely ugly in tone and I tried so hard to be nice.  Explain to me how after all these years suddenly there is an old bill that I need to pay.  She didn’t even know the total of it.  I don’t remember any 1998 hospital visit. 

I am going to send this last bill out and make sure I put the account number on there and see if they actually try to send me another bill.  How would you handle this?  I haven’t received bills for this and it’s 10 years old.



  1. oh no! I would be feeling the same as you at this point… especially since she couldnt’ tell you any details?!?! what is up with that?!!? I hope you get some answers soon! good luck

    Comment by jpkittie — December 1, 2008 @ 2:27 pm

  2. How could they ask for money for a visit that they cannot find? Aren’t these things in the computer chart?

    Comment by Middle Way — December 1, 2008 @ 3:50 pm

  3. Oh wow…am I ever glad I live in Canada and don’t have to deal with this sort of thing.
    Have you called the collection agency?

    Comment by Making Up For Past Mistakes — December 1, 2008 @ 4:11 pm

  4. I guess they are going to send me a “bill” since she didn’t have the information. Not sure how it wasn’t in her computer. Also, I have no idea what collection agency but I pulled our credit reports a few weeks back and everything was perfect.

    So maybe they have us mixed up with someone else. Who knows. I will pay what I owe but I am not paying a bill that doesn’t belong to me. Thank goodness I have calmed down now.

    Comment by ambercouric — December 1, 2008 @ 4:50 pm

  5. She has to send you proof of this so-called “visit”. A copy of the hospital bill from then, or at least the exact date and which family member it was for and what hospital. Don’t pay anything unless you get that.

    Comment by cheryl — December 1, 2008 @ 5:51 pm

  6. Sounds like a mix up. Debts that old are more than likely sold to a collection agency. Unless they have their own internal collections department that handles all debts, no matter how old, it would be off of their books.

    It sounds like she said it was sent to ‘a collections’ If it was sold, you wouldn’t owe the doctor/hospital the money for it any more, you would owe the collection agency, so I am not sure how they are adding your current bill to your old one since they are most likely not owed to the same entity.

    Anyway, despite the hassle it would involve, these kind of things are a lot of times best solved in person.

    Good luck with resolving it.

    Comment by over the cubicle wall — December 1, 2008 @ 5:57 pm

  7. That’s horrible. My doctor tried to collect money this year, but It was only 2 years old. 10 Years????? Are you kidding???
    I’m sorry. That stinks.

    Comment by Movingonup! — December 1, 2008 @ 6:09 pm

  8. It sounds like a mistake, but what a headache if you have to take the time to clear it up. There’s no use getting upset until you have the info in hand. If your credit report doesn’t show any collections against you, I’d say you are in the clear.

    Comment by Miss M — December 1, 2008 @ 8:25 pm

  9. I know the Dave Ramsey answer. He would say to demand documentation about it in writing.

    I bet if you send the payment in like normal, they’ll take it.

    Comment by dogatemyfinances — December 1, 2008 @ 8:52 pm

  10. Check out your state’s statute of limitations. In pretty much every state, anything that old is no longer collectible. If it really is yours, check everything out before you pay it. It could hurt your credit score to pay things that are that old because it brings them back onto your report (after 10 years they fall off of it). If it is that old, demand that it be taken off.

    Comment by sarah — December 1, 2008 @ 10:24 pm

  11. It sounds like they are trying to make an end run around the statute of limitations by making the old account “new.” I agree with the above poster who says to check the statute of limitations, but find out when it was charged off or sent to collections because that will make a difference.

    I had an incident where Verizon said sent me to collections for an “old” account, when we were current customers with them and didn’t know we owed anything. And when I called them they said they couldn’t help me because they purge the info from their available files when it gets sent to collections. Sounds like a similar situation.

    Check your credit and send a debt validation to any accounts that look funky, and you do have a right to request all of your billing records from the hospital as they are part of your medical file, and they should be able to give you that promptly.

    Best of wishes.

    Comment by A.B. — December 2, 2008 @ 3:08 am

  12. Hi there-what a totally frustrating and annoying situation. if this was me, I would just mail the current bill cheque outstanding and at least this bill will be paid in full and out of the way. let them prove the other bill exists to you, its not for you to prove it to them.

    Comment by sharon rose — December 2, 2008 @ 4:09 am

  13. This sounds like it may be a mix-up. Surely if an outstanding bill from 1998 had been sent to collections, you would have heard from them by now. Have you checked your credit bureau report to see if it shows up on there? The person you spoke with had so little information, how can she be certain it was your outstanding bill? Pay the amount you know you owe and if there is no information on your credit file, then wait for the information to be sent to you. You can’t follow up on a transaction that you have no information about.

    I would be really mad too.

    Comment by Money Minder — December 2, 2008 @ 9:23 am

  14. Sheesh, from 10 years ago! I’d wonder about identity theft, you know maybe someone used your name all those years ago? Sounds suspicious. Let us know what you find out.

    Comment by Mrs. Accountability — December 2, 2008 @ 9:25 am

  15. Sounds like a mix up to me as well. Could you call back and speak with someone else? Maybe this person didn’t know what she was doing, or made a mistake and was looking at the wrong information.

    Good luck on getting it sorted out!! 🙂

    Comment by fruagl dreamer — December 2, 2008 @ 9:54 am

  16. That is terrible! I hope you got things sorted out and it was just a mix up. It’s a shame they were not able to give you the details-that’s scary.

    Comment by Budget Mama — December 3, 2008 @ 4:14 pm

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