Collections Law/Collection

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Question
Hello Mr. Katz,

A number of years ago I was seen in the emergency department (which happens to also be where I worked) as a patient for an on the job incident. The remaining balance of $202 was supposed to be covered through workers compensation. However, for reasons that I am unaware of the balance never got paid. It ended up being sent to collections, and still never got paid off. It is not because I couldn't afford to pay it, but because I kept being told that it would be paid off.
This is what appears on my credit report:
Account Type: Collection
Terms: 1 Month
Date Opened: 11/01/2010
Account Status: Closed
Payment Status: Late
Payment Status Details: Seriously past due date / assigned to attorney, collection agency, or credit grantor's internal collection department
Status Updated: 12/01/2010
Balance: $202.00
Past Due Amount: $202.00
Original Amount: $202.00

Is there any advice that you have about how I should proceed? Should I dispute it? If I dispute it, is there any possible way of it being removed from my credit report? Is there any way to have it removed from my credit report without disputing it?
Should I try to have my employer pay for it under workers compensation like it should have been all of these years later?
Should I pay it myself?
Is there any reason to pay it off at this point? Will that benefit my credit score?

Thank you for your time.

Answer
This started as a workers compensation issue and it remains so. It seems they simply are not paying attention to you because it is easier for them to just dun you than to correct the doctor's billing error - and at this time the error may be so old they cannot collect from the insurance company. I would notify the Collection Agency and the doctor and your employer's workers compensation carrier that you are seeking a lawyer to get this resolved and that they can ALL expect to be sued for all sorts of damages, including the damage to your credit file, defamation and whatever else you can think of.

Under just about every State's workers compensation laws, by using the workers compensation policy that your employer has you gave up the right to sue your employer in return for the assurance that the medical bills would be paid. Since you gave up the right to sue your employer, the only remedy you have is to sue everyone else involved in this. That is what Small Claims Court is all about and if I were in your shoes I would have no hesitation filing a suit - just to get their attention.

Will you actually have to go to Court? Probably not - for this small amount they will probably settle with you very quickly - but sue for the maximum amount you are allowed to sue for in Small Claims anyway.

Collections Law

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Steve Katz

Expertise

Debt Collection, Credit Reporting, FCRA, FDCPA, TCPA issues

Experience

Founder of Debtorboards, co-author of Debtsmanship, former Collector, Credit Counselor

Education/Credentials
MBA

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