If something went to collections, can I pay the creditor directly or do I have to pay the collections agency?

UPDATED: May 19, 2012

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If something went to collections, can I pay the creditor directly or do I have to pay the collections agency?

If a medical bill was turned over to a collection agency, can I pay the doctor’s office directly? If I do, does that collection agency have the right to post to my credit report? Wouldn’t they have to remove this as I paid my original debtor?

Asked on May 19, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, California


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You need to see if the collection agency has a right to collect on behalf of the creditor (ask for a validation of the debt in writing) as the creditor may have already given them the right to do so and is bound contractually itself.  It would not hurt to contact the medical office directly to see.  As for your credit report, that may already have been effected.  Just keep on top of things and make that issue part of the bargain in paying it off.  Good luck.

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