Whatare my legal rights when dealing with a repayment schedule and a collection agency?

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Whatare my legal rights when dealing with a repayment schedule and a collection agency?

My husband has a hospital bill for $1,094 that was sent to collections. I was paying $25 a month. It was still turned over to a collection agency. I have called them twice for a payment arrangement. Both times I got a different answer: the first answer was $400 down and $100 a month; the second was $100 down and $100 a month. I asked if they would accept $50 a month and was told no. My husband is out of work and $50 is all I can do. I asked if she would put it in writing that they wouldn’t take what I can afford. They said no and then informed me that they would garnish my wages if I don’t meet their payment plan.

Asked on March 29, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Kentucky

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

This is what happens when you deal with a collection agency because you often get different people at different times. You need to go back to the beginning with this one and discuss other avenues with the hospital in which your husband was hospitalized. Go back and show you cannot afford these payments and ask if you qualify for any grants from them; be persistent. Show all that you have done and appeal any decision if you get turned down. Then, contact the attorney general in your state and your local politicians and federal and state politicians and spread the word that you are tying to work this out but the collection agency is giving you the run around, will not give you a consistent answer and refuses to put it in writing. Explain that you were paying the hospital and that it was wrongfully (I think) sent to a collections agency. Wrongfully only if you were not given advanced notice that your payments were insufficient and they would submit to a collection agency. Bottom line: keep at it until this is reduced or set so you can pay.


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