Collections Law/Collection

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Question
Hello Mr. Miller,

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 possible 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?

Do you have an estimate as to how much this will negatively effect being approved for a mortgage in the upcoming year?

Thank you for your time.

Answer
Thank you very much for your question. Your employer at the time is totally responsible for this.  Yes you should dispute this debt and give the reason why.  It is important that you dispute the debt to all three credit reporting agencies.  Here is the information you will need to dispute it on line:

https://onlinedispute.transunion.com/disputewizard/

http://www.experian.com/disputes/main.html

https://experian.referral.equifax.com/CreditInvestigation/home.action

You need to get in touch with the Human Resources Department at your previous employer and tell them what is going on. Tell them how important it is that this information be REMOVED ASAP. Ask them how much time they will need to resolve this and then follow up. Do not stop following up until you have a letter in your hand stating that this item was place in error and is being removed.

This should be a simple process but you never know.  Stay on them until this is resolved to your satisfaction.  Remember, they made the mistakes, not you!.

I wish you the best with this situation and if you need further assistance just ask a followup question.

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Ray A Miller

Expertise

I am qualified to answer questions on the following subjects: FDCPA, FCRA and HIPAA as well as medical collections, general collections and collection agency related issues. I trained these subjects at a nationwide collection agency and customer service call center and audited around 150 representatives for compliance to the laws. I have been in the Collections Industry for over 30 years. I feel that everyone deserves to be treated fairly and with compassion and that is the way I trained collectors. Even though I worked for a Collection Agency, I get great satisfaction in helping those who have been mistreated or in need of help with these confusing issues.

Experience

I was the Compliance Administrator with a nationwide collection agency and customer service call center-I have trained hundreds of collectors on the above referenced topics. I have been in the medical collections industry for over twenty years and research these topics on a daily basis.

Organizations
ACA International

Education/Credentials
Some college ACA Certified Collection Specialist

Past/Present Clients
I am retired due to medical conditions and spend a good deal of time keeping current on collection issues.

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