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Hello,

 

I was hospitalized in November of 2019 for PE (lung blood clots) and was insured at the time.  We received a few bills but did not pay them.  Fast forward to today and I am with the same company but my insurance has changed.  I did not ever research the EOMB (didn't know much about them) and my credit score was already a bit low so we just did not respond to the collection efforts.

 

I have 4 collections on all three credit reports - 3 from Med Revenue Services and 1 from someone called I C System Collections.  All total is about $1000. Two real small ones ($81, $56, $435 & $457). I have started researching and read whychats guide but a lot of it is a bit confusing......I have done PFD a few times many years ago so I assume that is no longer a valid option.  I have the funds to pay them in full if needed.  I am wanting to refinance a mortgage and need my score up a bit to do so.

 

I found some old letters from the CA - Med Rev Services and they actually look to have about 8 other small collections for me (totaling about $300 or less) from the same hospital stay...from different groups (pulmonary, cardiology, etc).  I am not sure why they only put 3 on my report.

 

So I have "opted out" and am now ready to try and have a bunch of old addresses removed following whychat's steps.  I have about 6-8 old addresses from about 8-10 years ago on all three CR's.

 

**NOTE: I recently moved to my current state in August 2020 where I currently reside.  So my PREVIOUS address / state is where the hospitalization took place...not sure if that matters.

 

Question about the address removal:

 

  1. Is this a given these will be removed and does it benefit my efforts to get the collections removed from my report by doing so?  I will attempt it no matter what, but I was just curious.

 

I am not HiPAA savvy AT ALL so the HiPAA program is very confusing to me.  Could someone explain it in very simple terms what the process is actually trying to do? I know the steps are fairly straight forward but I am lost trying to understand the process and what is trying to get accomplished.

 

I am very grateful for any insight!!

 

Cliff Notes:  Have 4 medical collections from hospital stay with 2 different CA's. I can pay them all just want them removed to bring up score for upcoming refinance. Current score is 589 and need it to get to mid to upper 600's for refinance.  I have no other derogatory payments or credit on my CR.  My utilization is higher than it needs to be so I know that is also dragging my score down.  I am going to pay a few cards off as well per my loan officer's recommendation. 

 

Thanks again

 

ZP

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Sorry for the confusion, I hope I can try to explain the HIPAA letter program in as few words as possible.

When the HIPAA laws were put in place in 2010 and then enlarged in 2013;

https://whychat.me/hipaaleg.html

It allowed for a different type of dispute for collections based on the fact that the HIPAA privacy rules (which everyone signs releases for when they get medical services) are NOT transferable to 3rd party collection agencies. ONLY the original collection department or collection agency that was directly assigned the account is allowed to report any medical debt. ALL SUBSEQUENT transfers of the account data, the amounts due etc. do NOT include that privacy release.

 

So that means that any subsequent CA who has been assigned the ACCOUNT information for collection is NOT legally allowed to report or take any action that divulges any private medical data.

 

The first steps are designed to make it easier to get your credit reports cleared of these accounts, opting out helps prevent your data being sold by the CRAs to data miners (who love to poison reports when someone is applying for a mortgage) address deletions help with the easier deletions because if your address doesn't match the computer inquiry to the CA there is a quick deletion. The initial dispute letter is designed to be READ by a human being Stateside instead of a computer program offshore CSR.(the reason to send it WITHOUT a signature required is because THOSE letters are routed to a different department for NON CONSUMER correspondence such as CROs=Credit Repair Organizations and lawyers)

 

https://whychat.me/GUIDEBOOK.html

https://whychat.me/GUIDE HIPAA PROGRAM.html

 

If you follow the HIPAA letter program you can get continual help from this forum by posting your results at each step.

The first step, after opting out and deleting (whenever possible) old addresses IF you have moved since the date of service is to send each CRA this;

https://whychat.me/hipaadisp.html

Make sure you list EVERY medical account as it appears on the report you are disputing.

 

Come back to this post with your results or for additional questions.

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WC,

 

Thanks for the clarification! That makes better sense.  I have opted out and I am sending my deletion letters tomorrow (more on that below).

 

I did have a quick question on this part:

 

You said:

 

"It allowed for a different type of dispute for collections based on the fact that the HIPAA privacy rules (which everyone signs releases for when they get medical services) are NOT transferable to 3rd party collection agencies. ONLY the original collection department or collection agency that was directly assigned the account is allowed to report any medical debt. ALL SUBSEQUENT transfers of the account data, the amounts due etc. do NOT include that privacy release.

 

So that means that any subsequent CA who has been assigned the ACCOUNT information for collection is NOT legally allowed to report or take any action that divulges any private medical data"

 

What happens if the current collection group (Med Rev Services) IS the original collection department or agency? Does that mean the HiPAA letter will not apply to them?  The debt is fairly new (less than 2 years) and I have not seen any other collection activity or correspondence from another collection group so I think Med Rev Services might be the only one.

 

My old address deletion letter looks pretty basic with this in the main part of the body of the letter:

 

Dear Equifax:

Please be advised that you are reporting the wrong address information on my credit report.  I am in the process of a new loan transaction and the error is causing a problem with my credit scores reporting properly, so any help you can give me with updating this information as soon as possible would be greatly appreciated.

 

My current address is:  XXXXXXX St, Anytown, USA (see current driver’s license and current mortgage statement with current updated address.

The addresses below are invalid and I am very concerned about ID theft/fraud with in accurate info on my credit report.

Invalid Addresses:

* XXXXXXX St, Anytown, USA                       XXXXXXX St, Anytown, USA
* XXXXXXX St, Anytown, USA                       XXXXXXX St, Anytown, USA
* XXXXXXX St, Anytown, USA                              
* XXXXXXX St, Anytown, USA

 

I have provided a copy of my current  driver’s license, a copy of social security card and a current mortgage statement with my name on it.

I will await an updated copy of my credit report to reflect these changes.

Thanking you in advance.

 

 

Does this sound ok?

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If the current reporting CA is the original initial business associate of the OC they will be able to respond to the dispute transmittal to them by furnishing you with complete account data that is current and includes what was paid and what was left as your obligation.

 

If you receive that data as a RESULT of your initial dispute to the CRAs you can then pay the OC with the HIPAA letter insert "a".

 

Even though you have changed insurers you should still be able to get your EOMBs from your insurer who covered you at the time of your medical service.

 

Your address deletion letter is very complete and should result in address deletions. 

Wait until they are in effect before sending the initial dispute letter. This will give you time to get your EOMBs

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WC,

 

Quick follow up:

 

Address deletion letters were sent priority mail with tracking yesterday to all three CRA's.  In the meantime I was able to speak with the insurance company and obtain EOMB online access while speaking with a representative. She was very nice.  We looked at each claim and each is a valid debt:

 

$435 (CA - Med Rev Services) date of service 1/29/18 

$457 (CA - Med Red Services) date of service 7/10/18

$56 ( CAMed Rev Services) date of service 11/19/18

$81 ( CA - I C Systems) date of service 11/18/19

 

Thanks again

 

ZP

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You should not worry about filing the dispute, or even following up with a medical DV if the dispute doesn't get you any deletions. I don't believe that the current CAs ARE the original initial CA as it appears that the amounts claimed by the CA do not reflect the payments you said you made. (I am assuming that it is the TOTAL of the debts that are being claimed by the CA?? If so, they do not reflect the $300. you already paid.

 

Even IF you get a valid response from Med Rev Services, which I doubt, they are not about to file 3 lawsuits against you (they can not amalgamate the 3 accounts).

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WC,

 

I have not made any payments thus far...I looked back at my original post to make sure I didn't misquote anything......but no payments have been made...does that change anything?

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Posted (edited)

Sorry, "senior moment" I got your post confused with someone else. The advise remains the same .

Every situation is different. That is why I deal with each poster on an individual basis. In the case of THIS poster his accounts were likely written off by the OCs and  the current CAs reporting are likely JDBs.

Edited by Why Chat

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WC,

 

Update - I head back from one of the CRA's (EQ) and they have deleted the old addresses from the CR. I am waiting on responses from the other two CA's (TU & EX).

 

In the meantime, is there anything I can do, or should be doing to proceed to the next step?

 

Thanks in advance

 

ZP

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13 hours ago, ZIonPels said:

WC,

 

Update - I head back from one of the CRA's (EQ) and they have deleted the old addresses from the CR. I am waiting on responses from the other two (CA's) (TU & EX).

 

In the meantime, is there anything I can do, or should be doing to proceed to the next step?

 

Thanks in advance

 

ZP

I assume you meant CRA's. Yes you can send the initial dispute letter to Eq.

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Yes, I meant to say CRA's.  I will send the initial dispute letter to CRA today to EQ.  I will report back once I hear back on the address dispute from the other two CRA's.

 

Thanks WC!

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WC - quick question.

 

When I send the initial dispute letter to the 3 CRA’s, what is the most common response? 
 

Do they:

 

  • Ignore forcing a secondary follow up?
  • Sometimes go ahead and delete the collections requiring no further action?
  • Actually provide ALL the info you have requested in the initial dispute letter?
  • Send back something generic that says after researching, all collection entries have been validated, etc.?

 

I’m just curious as to what is most likely to be the response from them (CRA’s) and what the next step will be.

 

Thanks again

 

ZP

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They either delete or respond with a letter stating that the account was verified. They will NEVER provide the requested data as they are not really allowed to under the HIPAA privacy rules. If someone is disputing ANYTHING it is always better to provide 3 or more reasons. This makes it more difficult for the CRAs to "code" the dispute and answer it automatically.

 

If they do not delete, you then go to the next steps in the HIPAA letter program.

https://whychat.me/GUIDE HIPAA PROGRAM.html

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WC,

 

Small update.

 

Initial letter had been sent to EQ.

 

Received correspondence back from TU and EX.  TU deleted all old addresses except current.

 

EX deleted a couple old but keep current, last and one before that.

 

Will send initial letters to TU & EX this week. No word back on initial letter from EQ yet. 

 

 

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On 3/9/2020 at 9:08 AM, ZIonPels said:

WC,

 

Thanks for the clarification! That makes better sense.  I have opted out and I am sending my deletion letters tomorrow (more on that below).

 

I did have a quick question on this part:

 

You said:

 

"It allowed for a different type of dispute for collections based on the fact that the HIPAA privacy rules (which everyone signs releases for when they get medical services) are NOT transferable to 3rd party collection agencies. ONLY the original collection department or collection agency that was directly assigned the account is allowed to report any medical debt. ALL SUBSEQUENT transfers of the account data, the amounts due etc. do NOT include that privacy release.

 

So that means that any subsequent CA who has been assigned the ACCOUNT information for collection is NOT legally allowed to report or take any action that divulges any private medical data"

 

What happens if the current collection group (Med Rev Services) IS the original collection department or agency? Does that mean the HiPAA letter will not apply to them?  The debt is fairly new (less than 2 years) and I have not seen any other collection activity or correspondence from another collection group so I think Med Rev Services might be the only one.

 

My old address deletion letter looks pretty basic with this in the main part of the body of the letter:

 

Dear Equifax:

Please be advised that you are reporting the wrong address information on my credit report.  I am in the process of a new loan transaction and the error is causing a problem with my credit scores reporting properly, so any help you can give me with updating this information as soon as possible would be greatly appreciated.

 

My current address is:  XXXXXXX St, Anytown, USA (see current driver’s license and current mortgage statement with current updated address.

The addresses below are invalid and I am very concerned about ID theft/fraud with in accurate info on my credit report.

Invalid Addresses:

* XXXXXXX St, Anytown, USA                       XXXXXXX St, Anytown, USA
* XXXXXXX St, Anytown, USA                       XXXXXXX St, Anytown, USA
* XXXXXXX St, Anytown, USA                              
* XXXXXXX St, Anytown, USA

 

I have provided a copy of my current  driver’s license, a copy of social security card and a current mortgage statement with my name on it.

I will await an updated copy of my credit report to reflect these changes.

Thanking you in advance.

 

 

Does this sound ok?

This is the piece I've been missing. Can you edit this to only include passport, driver's license, and social security card that shows my current address? My name is still on the mortgage at the address that both my small collections are tied to but my passport and driver's license have my permanent address in another state. Will this work? I realized I'd been going through the steps incorrectly and hadn't had much success @Why Chat. I've opted out and are now going for address deletions. 

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Ken please start your own thread. Everyone's situation is different and it only gets confusing if you post in someone else's thread.

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9 hours ago, Why Chat said:

Ken please start your own thread. Everyone's situation is different and it only gets confusing if you post in someone else's thread.

I did a little while ago, was looking for some additional clarification with this entire process. I was missing more pieces than I thought. I'll post this question there are well!

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Posted (edited)

WC,

 

Update:

 

Strange things from all three CRA’s.

 

I mailed my initial dispute letter priority mail with delivery confirmation on April 3rd and showed delivered on April 6th per USPS tracking.
 

Yesterday April 23rd I received two letters from TU & EQ.

 

EQ said “We have received your request concerning inaccurate information on your Equifax Credit File. We were unable to locate a credit file in our database with the identification info you provided. Please provide the info below with a copy of SS card, DL, mortgage bill ETC yada yada and resubmit your original request yada yada.”


I’m thinking WTH!! I know I sent everything correctly. So on a whim I decided to pull my latest EQ CR to see what the hell was going on and low and behold ALL three medical collections were no longer on my CR and my score jumped from 598’ish to 702. Very happy to see that! I assume nothing more is needed with this at this time? Strange letter but they clearly deleted these 3 collections as they are no longer there. I would have preferred to get a confirmation of the results of the investigation so not sure if I need to poke the EQ bear at this point. 
 

TU: I received a letter to my home address but it was addressed to some lady I have never heard of. We bought the home last summer and those people lived here 20+ years so it wasn’t them either. Is there a chance they typo’d the name and that’s my letter with results of my investigation? I did not open the letter - not sure what to do with it. I decided to call them to see what the hell is going on. After being on hold for 30 mins I get a guy who looks at my file and says they never received my dispute request. I told him I show USPS tracking to the correct address PO Box in a Chester, Pa delivered 4/06. He repeats they are not showing anything in their file. He asks if I want to start a dispute over the phone and it’s tempting but I say no. Not sure how to handle this one. My current TU CR is still showing all three collections and a score of 618. No late payments or anything in last 10 years but I do have about 75% utilization on CC so I am actively working on that.  Suggestions? I do not want to send all that stuff again for fear that the same thing could happen. What should I do?

 

EX: No response back so I pulled a current CR and I originally had 3 collections from Med data systems and now only show TWO from Med data systems. I decided to call just to see if the other two were still pending. The lady was very nice, didn’t grill me on anything and said one was removed as a result of the investigation and the other two were still pending. That’s good news I suppose but if they are all the same CA company isn’t it reasonable that all three will end up getting removed? She said I should hear back the full results in the next 2 weeks. *Fingers Crossed* :)

 

My goal is to get my middle score to at least 680 without having to pay off a ton of CC debt and I felt that getting the collections off would help. My EQ score jumped over 100 pts once the collections came off even with my 75% Utilization. It’ll be even higher once I get my cc debt down.

Edited by ZIonPels

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TU is the most inefficient of the CRAs. 

Wait a few weeks and check your TU report again.

 

It is more than likely that TU will "find" your dispute and delete.

 

Hopefully Ex will delete the other 2.

 

IF the accounts are still on TU and/or Ex in 2 weeks. Send the medical DV(s) to the CA

https://whychat.me/ltrcavalhipaa.html

and the follow up dispute(s) to the CRA(s)

https://whychat.me/ltrcavalhipaa.html#DISPUTE

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WC, 

 

Update:


EQ:

 

I have not heard back officially from Equifax but I pulled a recent CR since it’s free and I originally had THREE collections accounts / entries on there - all different amounts but from the same CA. They are NO LONGER on my EQ report at all. Will I hear back from EQ? If I don’t is there anything I need to do since they are officially off my EQ CR? MY score jumped over 100pts after they were dropped/removed.

 

EX:


I originally had FOUR accounts on this report. Same three as EW and one other one for a small amount (under $100). Sometime in the last week to 10 days the 4th one from the “other” CA came off / was removed.

 

I received a letter from EX with the results of the investigation. Originally had 3 accounts with same CA. One was removed but the other two were “Verified as accurate” but both had an “update”. The update was that the first reported date was changed to a month after it was originally stated. Ex. One showed first reported as 04/19 and it was changed to 05/19. Same thing on the second account.

 

Summary of EX: 2 accounts were removed and 2 remain. What is the next step at this point for 
 

EX score is up from 598 to 618. No late payments at all - just 72% utilization and these collections.

 

TU:


I had THREE original accounts on this report (same accounts as other two CR’s. When I logged into my TU account and looked at a current report this past weekend two were showing “dispute pending” but the third had no dispute notation beside it. I have not received anything back from TU yet.

 

Thanks WC!

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Wait until your TU dispute is completed, then send the medical DVs for the remaining accounts from the remaining CAs that are on any of your reports. Remember you can send a letter for EACH CRA in the SAME envelope ( as long as the CA address is the same).

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