First Steps in a Tricky Situation?

Discussion in 'Credit Talk' started by jrmiller, Jun 10, 2013.

  1. jrmiller

    jrmiller Member

    I unfortunately found a few negative entries/accounts on my last credit report, listed as old medical bills I honestly had forgotten about. It was during a really turbulent time (lost my job, apartment, etc etc) and I remember falling behind and when I asked to work something out with the OC, they never got back to me and I never heard back from them. That was about a year ago. Come to now find out there are negative entries on my credit report.

    I have since moved to another state, but never received anything in the mail concerning the bill and when it might have gone to collections. The past 2-3 weeks I've been receiving calls from Allied Interstate, LLC. Looking back on the credit report, there is another credit agency listed for the accounts. This leads me to possibly believe that Allied was assigned/bought the debt from the original collection agency, and the information has not been updated on my credit report. One of my old addresses is listed on the credit report, but not my most current.

    However, today I returned a call to Allied Interstate (nervous and trying to gather information without giving away information I wasn't supposed to) and they verified my name and asked me to verify the last 4 digits of my social (which I felt very invasive and felt the correct response would be to say, "I don't give that over the phone"), however the numbers he read that he had were wrong, twice (he tried to correct himself the second time, to which I only stated that "those numbers were not correct"). He quickly explained they had the wrong number and ended the call. I'm not sure if this was for that particular debt or just a scam.

    I'm still not entirely sure as to the nature of this debt. If I do still owe something to the OC, is it too late to try and work out something with them? Am I going to hear back once the credit agency gets its information right? Who (if anyone) should I contact for help about this? Should I contact the Collection Agency originally listed on the report? I'm ashamed to admit this has me very worried, and has caused me more stress than I'd like to think. I'm finally working after being unemployed for almost 8 months, but not making a whole lot. Should I consider consulting an attorney? What are my options? Thank you to anyone who can offer assistance.
  2. Logan Abbott

    Logan Abbott Well-Known Member

    Welcome jrmiller, and thanks providing those details regarding your situation. Do you have any other info regarding the date of first delinquency attached to these debts? If so that will determine how best to move forward, and whether or not you're within the statute of limitations of your state.

    You don't need to tell us which state you live in, just visit this page to determine what the SOL are in your state:

    Complete State List of Statute of Limitations on Debt
  3. jrmiller

    jrmiller Member

    Thanks so much for the response, Jason. As for the details, the accounts went up for collection in June and July of last year, respectively. I'm checking out the statute of limitations, would it be for the state I reside in currently, or in the last state I lived in (where I got the debt in the first place)?

    Either way, it looks like I'm within the SOL. Thanks for any feedback.
  4. mindcrime

    mindcrime Well-Known Member

    The SOL has nothing to do with the date the account went up for collections. It is from the date of the delinquency that led to the account being ultimately charged-off. I forget at the moment which CRA lists the DofFD (clearly), while the others have "this account is scheduled to continue on record until x/x/x". Either way, look for THIS date. Therefore, you may be past the SOL.

    Either way, Allied is in violation of:

    15 USC 1692g
    (a) Within five days after the initial communication with a consumer in connection with the collection of any debt, a debt collector shall, unless the following information is contained in the initial communication or the consumer has paid the debt, send the consumer a written notice containing --

    You said for the past 2 or 3 weeks you've been receiving calls. Have they ever left a VM? If so, SAVE IT. From what you wrote, they've never complied with this provision of the FDCPA.

    It's possible that the CA listed on your reports is actually a JDB and that they've now assigned Allied to the account.

    If you don't mind doing some more sharing, how much are the balances? far as working out a deal with's never too late. Nothing to lose by contacting them.
  5. jrmiller

    jrmiller Member

    I apologize for not understanding, thank you for clearing that up. The items in question are listed to be removed from the credit report are 2019-2019, so maybe that means I'm still within the SOL?

    As for Allied, they never left a voice mail, ever. I'm wondering if the reason I never received anything was because they never had my most current address. I do have the dates and times of the calls in my phone.

    The two balances are about $1000 each. It feels awful to think about it, but if worse comes to worst I know I can pay it off in a few years.

    What would be the best way to approach the OC about working something out?

    Thank you all for the answers and feedback. I am very grateful.
  6. mindcrime

    mindcrime Well-Known Member

    If the debts were incurred about a year ago, then yes 2019 would be the normal fall-off date; and regardless of what state you're in, you're still within the SOL.

    Is the OC a hospital? Some hospitals have hardship programs that you may be able to qualify even AFTER the account has been assigned to a CA. However, if the account is SOLD, then there's no working anything out with the OC. I would start by contacting the OC, finding out if they still own the account and about any financial programs you may qualify. In my experience, if the hospital still owns the debt, they will work with you including pulling the account out of collections.
  7. jrmiller

    jrmiller Member

    Thank you for clearing that up for me. I'm going to get back in contact with the OC and see if I can't work something out. They are in fact a hospital (non-profit). I'll keep this thread updated. Thanks so far for all the help.
  8. jrmiller

    jrmiller Member

    Thank you guys so much, who took the time to consider my situation and offer me helpful advice.

    Today I called the OC, and was able to work out a payment plan with them for the balanced owed. I am extremely grateful that I can deal with them and not a CA to get this paid off.

    One thing, however, that I have left to do. The OC informed me that I would still have to contact the CA to inform them I am working with the OC for the balance, and I would have to pay for collection fees incurred. I'm not really mad about that or anything, considering what I'm paying the OC it's relatively small. I have their phone number and address. Should I send a letter informing them that I'm making payments with the OC, and ask them to send me any info about the balance I owe them?

    Again, thank you guys for helping me. I'm extremely grateful.
  9. mindcrime

    mindcrime Well-Known Member

    What collection fees? This is an assigned account, if the CA doesn't collect, they don't get their cut/percentage.

    Don't contact the CA. That's only confirming that you agree you owe the debt. Without pushing the OC too hard, I would contact them again and confirm that its understood that once you meet your obligation that they will contact the CA to close the account and delete any reporting of it.
  10. jrmiller

    jrmiller Member

    Thanks for the reply, mindcrime. I wish I understood how things like this worked...

    Why would she tell me to contact the CA about fees? I guess I'm just confused. I've already called the OC twice today. First to inquire if they still had the account (which she said while I could pay it off with them, I would have to pay the CA fees so I should just as well work with the CA), and the second time to press about just working with them for the balance. I'm unsure about bombarding them with numerous calls in one day. I feel like I'm pushing already. I can always call back in a couple days.

    How do I explain and ask for this without sounding pushy? Today it's been the same girl in the billing department (it's a small place), and she's already told me to call the CA twice. Do I insist that they contact the CA themselves because I prefer not to? What is a nice way to ask for that?

    Again, thanks.
  11. jrmiller

    jrmiller Member

    I'm just wary because the OC did a terrible job with keeping in contact with me in the first place, how can I be sure they're going to contact the CA down the road once my obligations are met? Couldn't I just accomplish the same thing by doing it myself once I have the receipt(s)/paperwork showing I paid it off? Because it seems like if the OC would wait until I paid the balance off before contacting the CA anyway (and not before), what's the advantage of having them do it as opposed to just doing it myself? Either way it seems the damage has already been done to my credit report. Showing that I paid the OC wouldn't necessarily admit any debt owed to the CA, would it?

    If I'm over-analyzing, I apologize.
  12. mindcrime

    mindcrime Well-Known Member

    That would likely just result in a Paid Collection account. This is really no better than an open one with the exception of if you were buying a house at the time and the lender required the account to be paid/closed.

    This is something you will want to make clear with the OC before your payments begin. If you have a contact, speak to them again to be sure it's understood that by completing the payment plan, that the hospital agrees to contact the CA to remove the account. OR maybe you can get the OC to agree to do that now. Also detrrmine whst these 'collection' fees are as well. Whichever the case, be sure to get it in writing confirming what is expected of both parties. And whichever the case, any damage that has been done to your credit would be undone after you've paid, versus, as I said, just a paid collection account which may raise the hundred point loss you suffered in the collection account posting about 3 points for 'paying it off'.

    You're not, it's good to ask questions.
  13. jrmiller

    jrmiller Member

    Thank you, mindcrime.

    I already made a first payment with the OC when I arranged a payment plan. I suppose I made a mistake and was too hasty, as I should have mentioned any agreements about removing the account beforehand. In all honesty, I just wanted to get the ball rolling on this. When I did ask about who would contact the CA to tell them I was working with the OC, she said I had to. Am I too late to do anything? I feel pretty dumb that I didn't think about all the fine details...

    The woman in the billing department seemed really informal about the whole thing, she said I wouldn't be receiving any paper statement but she could send me a receipt whenever I made a payment. What if she just keeps telling me to call the CA? Do I push further and ignore the times she's told me previously to contact the CA, insisting for the OC to settle this with the CA? It just seems really pushy and running the risk of getting my account thrown back to the CA if they think I'm being too hard to work with or that I'm hounding them.

    I don't know if it's because the hospital (it's a psychiatric facility) is non-profit and privately operated that they seem to just not really care about the details on my end. It's a little disheartening that they weren't trying to be more helpful with helping me get this taken care of. She was pushing to get me to take care of the rest with the CA.

    Do I contact the CA about the "collection fees"? I'm willing to contact them and try to work out a settlement for a payment for deletion. Is that a dumb idea? I'm getting desperate trying to get this over with.

    To sum up, I've already agreed to a payment plan with the OC and said I would contact the CA to handle any remaining fees or whatever. That was my fault for not knowing better.

    What are my options?

    Again, thanks for all the help and suggestions.
  14. mindcrime

    mindcrime Well-Known Member

    Your current contact shouldn't be telling you to contact the CA in one breath and in another saying taking a payment from you. I think you need to above her. In my experience, the frontline reps can't make the decisions you'll want. This is my suggestion, and I think Jam may have mentioned this earlier as well (or maybe it was another thread)....research who the president/CEO/CFO is. Get their address or at least e-mail address. Write a letter to them. Give a hardship story and explain the circumstances best you can. Reference in your own words that you want to make payment arrangements with them and to ask them to recall the account from the CA. The CEO likely won't respond but rather give it to the next in line and hopefully this should get to someone higher up/in charge of the billing offices.

    If you don't mind posting the CA, maybe some of us can chime in about experiences as to whether they are known for PFDs. But no, I would not bother asking the CA about any collection fees. You could try the PFD route, but I would suggest running out your options with the OC first, starting with getting the CEO contact info.

    That right there tells me the OC is not working with you the best they can. Assigned accounts don't just have 'fees'. The CA takes a percentage, usually 25%-35% I think of what they collect. In your case, they've collected zero. Like I said, go higher in the ranks.
  15. jrmiller

    jrmiller Member

    Ah, thank you so much mindcrime! That is an excellent idea and one that I probably wouldn't have even considered. I went to bed last night just feeling exasperated, but woke up ready to keep going. I'm very glad that this forum is here for support in this matter.

    I really appreciate that advice, and I've found the CEO and CFO's information. I think if I can write a good letter explaining the situation, it will get where it needs to go. Also, I don't see why they would be against pulling the account from the CA if they knew it meant I'd be able to pay the OC off sooner. Should I make a copy and send it certified mail just to be sure?

    Again, thanks for giving me a good impartial view of the situation.

    And the CA that is assigned the account is ACT (Account Control Technology). It's strange that I've not heard from them at all in the entire year that this account went up for collections. Oh well, I'm going to get it straightened out.

    Again, I'll keep this updated. Thank you.
  16. jrmiller

    jrmiller Member

    Just a quick question. Any good suggestions/examples of how a financial hardship letter should be composed? I'll look some up on the web to get an idea.
  17. mindcrime

    mindcrime Well-Known Member

    You could send the letter through the mail as well. I would probably not use regular certified service but instead Delivery Confirmation (think it's called USPS tracking now)'s a service that offers proof of delivery, but does not require a signature (which is this case you really don't need it)

    Well everyone will be different, but I would touch on any job loss, family problems, health issues, etc. Say that you want to resolve this issue for the best of both the OC and yourself and would appreciate any assistance the CEO can give you. Be sure to say something about would they pull the account back from the CA and work with you directly.
  18. Logan Abbott

    Logan Abbott Well-Known Member

    It's a tricky situation, but I think your suggestion works fine since you prefer to work w/ the OC. Explain that since the CA isn't actually collecting anything, they don't get their cut.
  19. jam237

    jam237 Well-Known Member

  20. jam237

    jam237 Well-Known Member

    Basically, the OC doesn't care how the system works, they want to collect as much as they can, that particular person was probably misinformed, or willingly wants you to pay "collection fees" to the CA.

    I would send the CA a letter saying that I dispute the debt in its entirety, and phone calls are especially inconvenient.

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