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How to respond to collections


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I have been receiving medical bills from what I assume is someone's emergency room visit. My name and address are there and on one the patient is named as someone with my same last name. I am a single person and not responsible for anyone else's debt. I do not know anyone by the name on the bill. I have called the companies I received the letters from via Skype but they would not talk to me and were hostile because I would not give them my phone number, SS # and birthday. They said I would continue to receive the bills until I pay my debt. The latest letter says they may soon start reporting to credit bueaus.

 

I don't think I should give my personal information to a group that I have no business with. What is the best way to do deal with this? Do I ignore the letters? Do I send them a letter asking them to prove the debt? Or do I just send a letter saying I don't even know who this bill is for?

 

I've read the forums before for credit and I have sent letters about old debts some of which were my ex-husbands. I did have problems with someone else's identity about 15 years ago, but my name is different (and more common now).

 

Any suggestions will be useful.

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Letters are from collection agencies. There isn't enough information for me to know where the original debt is from. One of them says Benton Emergency Group. CMRE is one of the collection agencies. I have gotten letters from two places. I am assuming one debt is for hospital and the other for doctor, but I'm not really sure.

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ID theft and fraud for medical accounts is the MOST common type of ID theft there is.

 

You need to get your credit reports HARD COPIES from each CRA ( especially TU) and carefully examine them for any "odd" errors, i.e. different addresses, SS #'s misspellings of your name etc. And VERY carefully examine the inquiry section for inquiries that you have no knowledge of or relationship to.

 

Then you need to opt out

http://whychat.5u.com/OPTOUTINST.HTML

and get addresses deleted that are not yours or are old addresses that someone else might have current access to, such as rentals or PO boxes.

 

Then you need to send the CA this:

Your Name

123 Your Street Address

Your City, ST 01234

 

ABC Collections

123 NotOnYourLife Ave

Chicago, IL

Date: _________ CMRR#____________

Re: Acct # XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXX

To Whom It May Concern:

 

This letter is being sent to you in response to your attached letter.

 

This is not a refusal to pay, but a notice that your claim is disputed.

 

I am also filing an identity theft/fraud complaint with the FTC against your Company

 

Under the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA), I have the right to request validation of the debt you say I owe you. I am requesting proof that I am indeed the party you are asking to pay this debt, and there is some contractual obligation which is binding on me to pay this debt.

 

Please attach copies of:

 

Agreement with your client that grants you the authority to collect on this alleged debt,or proof of acquisition by purchase or assignment. and authorization under subtitle D of the ARRA ,SEC. 13401. APPLICATION OF SECURITY PROVISIONS AND PENALTIES TO BUSINESS ASSOCIATES OF COVERED ENTITIES;and SEC. 13407(1) BREACH OF SECURITY.—The term ‘‘breach of security’’ means, with respect to unsecured PHR identifiable health information of an individual in a personal health record, acquisition of such information without the authorization of the individual.

 

Agreement that bears the signature of the alleged debtor wherein he or she agreed to pay the creditor and as this is a medical account a copy of any HIPAA authorization.

 

Please also be advised that this letter is not only a formal dispute, but a request that you cease and desist any and all collection activities, including reporting of; or verifying of this account on my credit reports.

 

Your receipt of this letter will be considered as having granted consent to the taping of any and all telephone calls to me at my home or business by you or your agents or assigns

 

I require compliance with the terms and conditions of this letter within 30 days. or a complete withdrawal, in writing, of any claim.

 

In the event of noncompliance, I reserve the right to file charges and/or complaints with the OCR on your HIPAA violations and appropriate County, State & Federal authorities ,the BBB and State Bar associations for violations of the FDCPA, FCRA, and Federal and State statutes on fraudulent extortion and illegal collection activities on an account that is not mine.I also hereby reserve my right to take private civil action against you to recover damages.

 

Sincerely,

 

Your Name(PRINT OR TYPE DO NOT SIGN)

I also suggest you file an ID theft report with the FTC

https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have received a letter back from one of the collection agencies and my blood pressure is now raised. I sent the letter that whychat suggested above. Additionally there is no way that this debt is mine. I don't know anyone by the patient's name. I don't even know in a place I didn't live. I did live in the area where I am guessing the hopital is a few years ago. I am responsible for not responsible for any debts but my own.

 

This is the response from Professional Account Services, Inc. in Brentwood, TN. Also at the end it says they are licensed by the TN collection Service Board, State Dept. of Commerce and Insurance. NC Dept of Insurance Permit #2036. The service date is 9/14/09. Facility is NW Med Center Bentonville. I live in Texas and have for the past few years.

 

 

 

We are in receipt of your dispute letter regarding the above referenced account. We have verified with our client that the charges are true and correct.

 

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) does not set a specific time frame to respond to a written dispute. The Act does not require a response at all, but rather that collection activity cease until that dispute is verified and responded to. Further, the Act does not require copies of contracts, licenses or the like. The Act does require that the dispute be investigated and verification that the balance due is true and correct be obtained prior to proceeding with collection activity. Please be assured if at any time Professional Account Services, Inc. is not able to verify a disputed balance, that account is closed and returned to our client.

 

Professional Account Services, Inc does not report to any of the three major credit bureaus.

 

Pursuant to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) we have met the provisions set forth to validate this debt.

 

 

I really have no idea what to do now. I never received anything from the hospital. i don't have any information about who to contact at the hospital. The other debt has vague info about where the debt was incurred. I am concerned about being mixed up with someone else. I have also called these collection agencies but they were of no help and told me I was responsible for the debt.

 

Any suggestions?

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I have received a letter back from one of the collection agencies and my blood pressure is now raised. I sent the letter that whychat suggested above. Additionally there is no way that this debt is mine. I don't know anyone by the patient's name. I don't even know in a place I didn't live. I did live in the area where I am guessing the hopital is a few years ago. I am responsible for not responsible for any debts but my own.

 

This is the response from Professional Account Services, Inc. in Brentwood, TN. Also at the end it says they are licensed by the TN collection Service Board, State Dept. of Commerce and Insurance. NC Dept of Insurance Permit #2036. The service date is 9/14/09. Facility is NW Med Center Bentonville. I live in Texas and have for the past few years.

 

 

 

We are in receipt of your dispute letter regarding the above referenced account. We have verified with our client that the charges are true and correct.

 

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) does not set a specific time frame to respond to a written dispute. The Act does not require a response at all, but rather that collection activity cease until that dispute is verified and responded to. Further, the Act does not require copies of contracts, licenses or the like. The Act does require that the dispute be investigated and verification that the balance due is true and correct be obtained prior to proceeding with collection activity. Please be assured if at any time Professional Account Services, Inc. is not able to verify a disputed balance, that account is closed and returned to our client.

 

Professional Account Services, Inc does not report to any of the three major credit bureaus.

 

Pursuant to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) we have met the provisions set forth to validate this debt.

 

 

I really have no idea what to do now. I never received anything from the hospital. i don't have any information about who to contact at the hospital. The other debt has vague info about where the debt was incurred. I am concerned about being mixed up with someone else. I have also called these collection agencies but they were of no help and told me I was responsible for the debt.

 

Any suggestions?

Have you filed an ID theft/fraud complaint with the FTC?? Make sure you name the CA as the culprit.

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Have you filed an ID theft/fraud complaint with the FTC?? Make sure you name the CA as the culprit.

 

 

I filed the FTC complaints when I sent them the dispute letter.

Send the OC the HIPAA letter insert "c"

http://whychat.5u.com/hipltr.html

 

 

File a complaint with the Tn. AG . Make sure you tell them that you filed a fraud/id theft complaint with the FTC .

Edited by Why Chat
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I would file a C&D with the agency and tell them that it is not your bill and you do not know the patient. Send them a copy of any police report as "verification" that you reported the incident.

 

Keep watch on the Credit Report. If they try to damage your credit, call an attorney.

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I would file a C&D with the agency and tell them that it is not your bill and you do not know the patient. Send them a copy of any police report as "verification" that you reported the incident.

 

Keep watch on the Credit Report. If they try to damage your credit, call an attorney.

I suggest you read ALL the posts in a thread BEFORE you post a comment.

My post of April 2 included a TOTAL cease and desist and ID theft/fraud letter which the OP sent to the CA and received a response that he reported in his post of 04/10.

 

A police report is not in order at this time as the OP does not know if this is actually a case of ID theft/fraud or a billing error from the OC, which is why he needs to send the HIPAA letter insert "c"

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