Author Topic: What to do with proof of zero debt owed to collection agency  (Read 324 times)

hirodotp

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What to do with proof of zero debt owed to collection agency
« on: February 06, 2019, 06:43:16 PM »
Hello,

My wife recently was hit with a collection for a medical bill on her credit report.  We asked for proof that we owed the medical debt and they sent us back a statement showing a zero balance owed to the original creditor.  The collector annoying (illegally?) again asked us to remit payment for a specific amount.  I was wondering what our next step should be to have the collection removed from her credit (do I request the collector to remove it, do we go through the credit bureaus, etc)?, and any other steps we should take?

Thanks.

SwordGuy

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Re: What to do with proof of zero debt owed to collection agency
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2019, 06:45:07 PM »
Report it to the credit bureaus and say it's fraudulent.   You have proof you don't owe the money, send it if asked.

BicycleB

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Re: What to do with proof of zero debt owed to collection agency
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2019, 09:58:47 PM »
Report it to the credit bureaus and say it's fraudulent.   You have proof you don't owe the money, send it if asked.

Excellent advice.

It wouldn't hurt to inform the collector you've paid it, send them proof, ask for acknowledgment they've removed the debt from their list.

You could even I suppose threaten to sue them if they keep contacting you. Just don't expect any real satisfaction from collectors themselves; shady, leech-like industry.

Related entertainment:

(get book from library - excellent read)
https://www.amazon.com/Bad-Paper-Collectors-Halpern-2015-10-13/dp/B01FIX9FOA/ref=pd_lpo_sbs_14_t_1?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=WBFGMK8C5FAS5AECEEWP

(the biggest debt cancellation giveaway ever televised, courtesy of John Oliver)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hxUAntt1z2c

frugalfoothills

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Re: What to do with proof of zero debt owed to collection agency
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2019, 09:47:19 AM »
I work in the collections industry so my advice is framed from that perspective.

Is the document showing the $0.00 balance multi-paged? Documents/statements speaking to medical debt (in my opinion) often times are deceptive at best... they may have a summary of an amount owed that appears to be $0.00, but there will be additional pages with an itemized breakout of actual amounts owed behind it. The bar for abusive and deceptive practices is supposed to be low (as to not mislead the least sophisticated consumer), and yet I have seen many examples of medical docs that are confusing at best and misleading at worst. This isn't the fault of the collector--this is poor documentation by the originator. I would triple check the document (all pages) and make sure you're not missing additional info.

You can talk to the collector and explain that the document you received shows a $0.00 balance (they should have a copy of the document as well.) You can file a dispute with the agency and ask for written validation of the debt, which will require them to send you a statement showing an outstanding balance, etc. You can file a complaint if you truly feel the debt is illegitimate. My advice would be to ask for written validation first and go from there.