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LordAthens

(6) medical collections w/ NCO & Colonial - Within SOL - What should we do?

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Right off the bat, here are the details;

 

(4) collections open with NCO on my fiances report.

 

A) UPMC Hospital service - 11/2010 - $421

NCO started reporting this 01/2012. It looks like they got it in 10/2011

 

B) UPMC Hospital service - 11/2010 - $559

NCO started reporting this 12/2011. They got it in 09/2011

 

C) UPMC Hospital service - 11/2010 - $383

NCO started reporting this 02/2012. They got it in 11/2011

 

D) We don't know what this is for. The only paperwork we have on it is a reminder/past due letter from the hospital (also UPMC). Letter states date of service was 04/2010, but she (nor I) remember her being in the hospital then. - $395

NCO started reporting this 05/2011. They got it 02/2011

 

 

I'm going to separate these into groups for each hospital;

 

For the above (A-D), I spoke to UPMC billing 2 weeks ago. The only records they have for accounts is for debts A and D. They have no records for B and C. Initially, I thought they may have sold the B and C debts to NCO, but that doesn't make a lot of sense, since debt B is the same time frame as A and C. Why would they only sell debt B and not A, B, C? Additionally, debt D is the oldest, so why would they not sell that one off first?

 

I sent DV's for debts B and C thinking I might get lucky that they wouldn't be able to validate them since the hospital itself has no records of those debts. Those DV's came back as "Return to Sender / Unable to Forward". See this thread for further information on the Return to Sender bit, primarily regarding NCO having 3 separate addresses listed with the CRA's. http://creditboards.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=415422&p=4856119

 

I know if I could pay A and D in full right now and that would get rid of NCO since I would be paying the OC direcly, but I first want to get opinions because quite simply, we don't have the extra cash laying around. At the time I was out of work and instead of my fiance telling me we didn't have the money and she didn't know what to do, she stuck her head in the sand thinking it would go away. She now understands the repercussions of doing that and we are on a mission to rebuild her credit and never let it happen again.

 

I had thought about getting a small loan with one of my credit unions to consolidate all of the debts under my name, but we aren't sure that is even possible right now. While my credit isn't bad, it's not perfect and I have a very thin file. I just applied for my first credit card in ~10 years, a Capital One Platinum and they gave me a toy credit limit of $300. That was over a month ago, it has yet to report on my CR's.

 

Should I fight all of them? Should I fight just B and C, since it doesn't appear they have any way of validating and then pay A and D? Are there payment plans that can be setup with the hospital to pull the collections back to them, while removing the CA's on her reports? I'm a bit lost on my options since these are medical related.

 

Moving on.

 

E) MVH Hospital service - 06/2010 - $193

Colonial Acceptance (in house collections) started reporting 02/2011. They got it in 06/2010?

 

F) MVH Hospital service - 08/2010 - $132

Colonial Acceptance (in house collections started reporting 02/2011. They got it in 08/2010?

 

I didn't bother sending DV's on these at all. I spoke with the hospital, they have records of both of them. Further, she let it slip that Colonial is their own in house collection agency, so clearly they would be able to validate and I would have wasted $13 on DV's.

 

Same questions as above. Would it be in my best interest to attempt to get an installment loan to consolidate these, maybe a payment plan with the hospital? If a payment plan means the collections stay on her reports until they are paid off, I would rather go the loan route as we want these to go away ASAP.

 

We really want to get out of our rental and into a proper house for our children. Unfortunately, we're in a bit of a catch 22. My credit will get us a mortgage, but not enough for the houses we're looking at. Further, we are trying to stash every penny we can for a down payment. I only work seasonally on the books and as such they will only approve a loan up to $600/mo. My fiance is our primary income, but the loan officer said she wouldn't even try putting her on as a joint since her scores are low (TU 527, 566 EX, 573 EQ - lender pulls), thus crushing our chances of a loan. I've already had a few things fixed up on her credit, so her scores should have gone up at least a tiny bit since the lender pulls, but still nowhere where it needs to be. She was a little irresponsible with school loans before we got together 3 years ago (that is the next battle), as well with a credit card 6 years ago. Some are due to drop off late this year, some early next year. But that is a different topic.

So, here is my call for help. What do you folks think our best plan of attack is?

 

[edit for typos]

Edited by LordAthens

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Follow all these steps:

 

http://www.whychat.5u.com/GUIDEBOOK.html

 

You will be using the HIPAA letter program

 

http://www.whychat.5u.com/GUIDE%20HIPAA%20PROGRAM.html

 

You do NOT want to pay or offer to pay anyone anything unless and until you have been able to completely verify that

1- The bills are ACCURATE- ( Get whatever medical bills you had from the OC ( original creditor) together with EOMBs ( Explanation of medical benefits) from any insurance in force at the time of medical services.

 

2. That the reporting CA ( collection agency) is in a current business relationship with the OC

 

3. That any deletions from her credit reports can be accomplished WITHOUT having to pay any of them.

 

Make sure that she goes on line and makes sure that her student loan data is up to date in terms of her address.

http://www.studentaid.ed.gov/repay-loans/forgiveness-cancellation/charts/public-service

 

Wait until you get these medical accounts cleared up before disputing the credit card entries using the SOL letter system:

http://www.whychat.5u.com/SOL%20PROGRAM%20GUIDE.html

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Why Chat, thank you for the reply. I've been reading through everything you posted and have a few questions.

 

1) I assume this to mean get the complete billing history directly from each hospital? RE: EoMB, I would get this from her insurance company?

 

2) How would I know this? For Colonial Acceptance, they are the in-house collection for MVH Hospital. I'm not sure what NCO's relationship is with UPMC, aside from they are their go-to collection agency. I'm not sure if they are in-house or not.

 

I've opted her out with optoutprescreen.com to start as well as requested her MIB report.. I haven't done anything with the Privacy Rights site yet regarding opting out of all of her banks, insurance, etc. I will work on that tonight, along with getting her Lexis Nexus report.

 

Regarding sending the initial dispute letter to the CRA's, we are still stating that "I have no knowledge or records of the following account(s) on my report # xxxxx"? I just want to clarify.

 

Also, just to be clear, if it comes time to send DV's to the reporting collection agencies, do I need to send each "account" as a separate CMRR, or can I put them all in 1, with the letter referencing all of the accounts? IE, if I have to DV NCO, she has 4 TL's reporting from them. 1 CMRR or 4?

 

Lastly, since this is still within the SOL, even if it is deleted, we are still on the hook for paying them, correct? Wouldn't it be in our best interest (due to speed) to simply pay the OC and have them recall the CA?

 

We've pulled up what we believe is all of her loans through NSLDS and MyEdDebt.com. She has a Perkins, 2 Staffords, one subsidized one UN-subsidised. AES is servicing at least one of them (I believe though they are servicing both Stafford loans), she defaulted on that and has been in the rehabilitation program since February. The Perkins loan was through the college, that defaulted and we believe went to the US Dept. of Education, which then did a tax seizure on part of this past years tax return. Interestingly, she still has a balance of $38.xx, even though she had $3k still come back in taxes. Not sure why they didn't take the additional $38.xx. She has 4 other Sallie Mae loans, those are all perfect. I'll start a separate thread for the SL's. I'm still a little confused on those and who is servicing what loan and what TL matches what loan, etc. AES is confusing since they were apparently the OC (1 TL), then they are their own collection agency as well (another TL), but both report as AES on her CR's.

 

THANK YOU WHYCHAT!

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Oh, for the Privacy Matters opt out, they mention insurance companies. Would that include our auto and renters insurance, or is that specific to medical insurance?

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Why Chat, thank you for the reply. I've been reading through everything you posted and have a few questions.

 

1) I assume this to mean get the complete billing history directly from each hospital? RE: EoMB, I would get this from her insurance company?You do not need to get anything from each hospital at this point. All you need are the EOMBs from the insurance Co. That will show what was billed, what was ALLOWED ( discounted charges ) and what was left as "patient responsibility". The "left over" balances are NOT allowed to be billed to the patient, "balance billing "is illegal, although this is usually what the CAs have picked up and are reporting. The ONLY legitimate bills should be the deductibles and co-pays

 

2) How would I know this? For Colonial Acceptance, they are the in-house collection for MVH Hospital. I'm not sure what NCO's relationship is with UPMC, aside from they are their go-to collection agency. I'm not sure if they are in-house or not.

 

I've opted her out with optoutprescreen.com to start as well as requested her MIB report.. I haven't done anything with the Privacy Rights site yet regarding opting out of all of her banks, insurance, etc. I will work on that tonight, along with getting her Lexis Nexus report.

 

Regarding sending the initial dispute letter to the CRA's, we are still stating that "I have no knowledge or records of the following account(s) on my report # xxxxx"? I just want to clarify.

 

Also, just to be clear, if it comes time to send DV's to the reporting collection agencies, do I need to send each "account" as a separate CMRR, or can I put them all in 1, with the letter referencing all of the accounts? IE, if I have to DV NCO, she has 4 TL's reporting from them. 1 CMRR or 4? IF all of the reporting accounts are "verified" by ALL of the CRAs ( assuming the CAs do not respond directly as a result of the initial dispute to the CRAs) then you send one letter to each CA listing the accounts as they are reporting on each CRA report. You send one letter for EACH CRA they are reporting to, in the same envelope. That way you have an individual letter for a copy to each CRA with the follow up dispute

 

Lastly, since this is still within the SOL, even if it is deleted, we are still on the hook for paying them, correct? Wouldn't it be in our best interest (due to speed) to simply pay the OC and have them recall the CA? Can't be done, they will NOT accept your payment, UNLESS forced to by using the HIPAA letter program

 

We've pulled up what we believe is all of her loans through NSLDS and MyEdDebt.com. She has a Perkins, 2 Staffords, one subsidized one UN-subsidised. AES is servicing at least one of them (I believe though they are servicing both Stafford loans), she defaulted on that and has been in the rehabilitation program since February. The Perkins loan was through the college, that defaulted and we believe went to the US Dept. of Education, which then did a tax seizure on part of this past years tax return. Interestingly, she still has a balance of $38.xx, even though she had $3k still come back in taxes. Not sure why they didn't take the additional $38.xx. She has 4 other Sallie Mae loans, those are all perfect. I'll start a separate thread for the SL's. I'm still a little confused on those and who is servicing what loan and what TL matches what loan, etc. AES is confusing since they were apparently the OC (1 TL), then they are their own collection agency as well (another TL), but both report as AES on her CR's.

 

THANK YOU WHYCHAT!

The HIPAA letter program was designed to take advantage of a "catch 22" between HIPAA and the FCRA and FDCPA. The goal is to eliminate those collection accounts that are not valid by disputing with the CRAs and, if neccessary sending the medical DVs to the reporting CAs. It is a step by step process and if you want to succeed each step should be followed in order.

 

It is not neccessary to do a total opt out of all accounts unless there is a BIG problem with a very common name or a record of ID theft/fraud. The CRA optout is sufficient for credit repair.

 

I think you will find that many of these medical accounts will be deleted with the initial dispute letter to the CRAs IF all the first steps are accomplished.

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Lastly, since this is still within the SOL, even if it is deleted, we are still on the hook for paying them, correct? Wouldn't it be in our best interest (due to speed) to simply pay the OC and have them recall the CA? Can't be done, they will NOT accept your payment, UNLESS forced to by using the HIPAA letter program

 

When I spoke to UPMC and MVH (both are the OC's aka hospitals *not* the CA's), they said they would take payment directly through their online billing site's and recall the CA's. The only catch to that is as I said, UPMC is only showing record of 2 of the 4 bills. MVH is showing both that we have on collection. I just wanted to make you aware of that in case it changes anything.

 

Last question before I start submissions; on your page for the initial dispute letter (here, http://whychat.5u.com/hipaadisp.html ); it says to hand address the envelope. I'm pretty sure I've read elsewhere here on CB (and I think the post was actually by you, of course I can't find it now) that the envelope could (or should) be printed with standard font. I would assume that the envelope only matters for the Post Office and once it gets to the CRA, it's opened? Then again, maybe the CRA has a fully automated system including initial envelope handling?

 

I have the dispute letters done with all of the accounts on them. The background is a blue and white cloud background with lilac script font.

Edited by LordAthens

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It is POSSIBLE that if you pay the hospitals directly on accounts that are not yet reporting that the hospitals will actually completely "recall" the CAs, however you are taking a chance that they will simply report to the CAs that the account has been paid and the CA will in turn ( legally) post it as a "paid" collection on your reports.

 

As to the envelope, a hand printed envelope preferably with postage stuck on in various denominations and the certified mail sticker hand affixed would be absolutely routed to the "consumer" dispute section. Of course the printing should be completely legible and scannable by the PO scanning system. The idea is to make sure that their sorting process does NOT put your envelope into the system for CROs and lawyers. Of course make sure that the printing on the envelope is clear and in regular color ink, you WANT the PO scanning system to be able to sort it.

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Update;

 

I got off-target on credit repair, but I'm back on the horse now. What I have done thus far;

 

Removed phone numbers, old or incorrect addresses*, etc from all 3 CRA's. *For some reason Capital One is reporting to the CRA's an address a few hundred miles away that she has never lived at, in a town that she has never been in. CapOne says they have no record of the account to update with the CRA (but of course, the CRA validated the "unknown account" disputes) so I'm up a tree on that address.

 

Opted her out through optoutprescreen.com, did not do any further opting out, yet.

 

Received her Lexis Nexis report (not exactly sure what I'm supposed to do with this?)

 

Called Blue Cross today to have her complete EOMB's sent. They are sending 16 of them, from June 2010 through June 2011, they said that is the only time period they have records for. Those should arrive early next week.

 

I've drafted all of the initial dispute letters (sample attached below to make sure it will be un-scanable). Envelopes will be hand addressed and sent CM (NO Return Receipt)

 

HIPPAtest2_zpsc421e786.jpg

 

So, aside from actually sending them out, am I missing anything here?

 

Thanks Why Chat!!!

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I had to change the background. After printing, the dark areas of the clouds were completely non-readable. So I went to this;

 

HIPPAtest3_zps439baa55.jpg

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Is the Cap 1 account with the wrong address a current account?? or is it one that has defaulted.

 

If it is a current account I suggest you send CAP 1 a certified correcting the address.

 

If it is a defaulted account, you can send a DV to Cap 1 without interfering with the HIPAA disputes to the CRAs and without disputing the CAP1 account to the CRAs

 

Try this one:

 

http://www.whychat.5u.com/nottoca.html

 

Include this sentence in your letter

 

I have never lived at xxxx xxxxxx , I believe I may have been the victim of ID theft/fraud for this account.

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