What can I do about a bill in collections that I am disputing the charges on?

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What can I do about a bill in collections that I am disputing the charges on?

I went to an emergency room 3 1/2 years ago, and after waiting a while they hooked me up to a couple machine. However, before anyone actually came nda spoke to me, I decided to leave. I never received any actual services. I paid for the emergency room that evening and some labs they took in installments but didn’t receive the bill for the “doctor” until over a year later. I told them I disputed the charge and wasn’t contacted again until now, which is 2.5 years later, by a collections agency. I don’t feel I should have to pay this, or at least the part of the service I didn’t get, what can I do?

Asked on December 19, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You have only three choices:

1) Wait to see if they sue you, then try to defend the matter, such as by stating (and presenting evidence--including your own testimony) that you did not receive the services you are being for.  If you never received the services, you should not pay.

2) Try to work out a mutually agreeable settlement, either now or after being sued.

3) Pay the bill.

Much depends on how good you think your testimony and other evidence is, what it may be worth to you to avoid having to go to court, etc.


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