Can I be sent to collections for not paying whatacreditorrequests on a bill even though I am paying something on it?

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Can I be sent to collections for not paying whatacreditorrequests on a bill even though I am paying something on it?

I went to the hospital a few months ago and I started paying X amount on the bill without setting up a payment plan. This was after insurance paid their portion on the bill. I am now being contacted by a collection agency. The collections agency is threatening me telling me if I do not pay at least the amount they request they will send me to collections. I contacted the hospital I made them aware I was making payments and what my situation is, and they sent me paperwork to fill out for charity along with telling me it is okay the amount I am sending.

Asked on June 20, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

IF the hospital (as the entity with the claim against you, for whom the collections agency is working) actually enters into a payment plan or other agreement with you, then that agreement is enforceable--they have to accept payments according to the plan, for example.

However, without an actual agreement between the creditor and the debtor, the creditor, or its representatives (such as the collection agency) may seek the full amount due from the debtor. The creditor does not have to accept a payment plan, and does not give up its right to proceed against you because you have made some partial payments.

The key issue then, is whether there  is an actual agreement in place.


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