Question

I went to the hospital several years, and left with a a large bill that I was unable to pay in full. I set up a payment plan with the hospital to pay the account over time. I’ve paid the agreed $25 payment ever month since that time.

I recently received a letter from a collection agency stating that my payment of $25 was due. I contacted the agency and they told me my bill was sold to the hospital over a year ago. This was the first letter I received, and I have made payment through the hospital’s online bill pay the entire time. I have never missed a payment since setting up the payment plan.

What I don’t understand is how the hospital can sell my bill without my knowledge when I did not break our payment agreement? Also, how is the hospital still able to take payments if they no longer own the bill?

I have no idea how to proceed in this matter. I’m a student and need good credit to get loans for graduate school. Any advice you can give me about how to proceed would be greatly appreciate.

Response

When you made the arrangements with the hospital did you receive the agreement in writing? If so, you need to contact the hospital’s billing department ASAP and tell them that you have an arrangement to pay $25 per month towards this bill. If you don’t have anything in writing, I’m afraid there is very little you can do except for paying this bill as quickly as possible. Offer to pay the collection agency IN FULL if they state in writing that it will not be put on your credit report. If it’s already on your credit report, offer to pay in full if they remove it. Nonetheless, I would attempt by any means possible to deal directly with the hospital and not the collection agency –as collection agencies are scum.