Category Archives: Collections

4 Ways To Handle Hospital Bills

The thought about having to deal with a medical bill is scary. It’s mainly because overwhelmingly, most people have no idea what a service or procedure they might need is going to cost. They also have little knowledge of how much their insurance company is going to pay, if they cover the service, and then how much they’re going to be responsible for later on.


With insurance, even if the amount you’d have to pay ends up being tiny by comparison to how much you’re being charged up front, the truth is that medical bills can be higher than you expect. Sometimes they’re so high that it’s difficult to address them and still keep up with all your other bills.
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Verify The Charge Off Amounts On Outstanding Debt

Owing on a debt is depressing. Falling way behind is scary. As this past year has shown, a lot of people have had problems keeping up with their bills. It’s nothing to be ashamed about; it’s better to try overcoming the debt instead.


Lex McKee via Compfight

Many people have had at least one credit card or something go to a collection agency. Sometimes it’s legitimate, sometimes it’s not. We’re going to talk about the legitimate ones, where you know you either fell behind in payments or stopped making payments, and now a collection agency has tracked you down and is trying to get you to pay it off.
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How Long Do Collection Agencies Have To Collect On A Debt?

A common question asked about collection agencies is how long they have to collect on a debt. The simple answer is they can try to collect as long as they want to. After that answer, the truth get a lot more complicated.

Rilsonav from Pixabay

The Fair Credit Reporting Act, which was enacted in 1970 and last revised in 2004, has rules for how long a bad debt can stay on a credit report. The statute of limitations for that is seven years. Afterwards, a collection agency could decide to still try to collect from the debtor, but they have no power behind them to make a debtor pay them anything. Almost no collection agencies will contact debtors after this time limit, because it’s a waste of their time.
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5 Rights You Have With Collection Agencies

Every once in a while we get contacted for budgeting services because a potential or current client has started getting calls from collection agencies. This can seem scary and irritating, and can cause some distress, but there are 5 rights you need to know that you have with collection agencies that might help.

1. They can only call during certain times.

collection calls

ernestoeslava via Pixabay

There are specific rules for when collection agencies are allowed to call you. Those times are from 8AM until 9PM, and only during the work week. I know, it’s pretty much your entire day. Still, at least you have a period where you’ll have some peace of mine.
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Why You Need To Always Make Collection Agencies Prove Your Debt

Last year we wrote a post titled 5 Rights You Have With Collection Agencies. The beginning of our second right was this sentence: “You have the right to ask them to prove you owe what they say you owe”. Turns out this is important advice and we’re going to tell you why.

Over the last year there have been some collection agencies that were fined for trying to collect on debts that didn’t exist. One of those companies, Expert Global Solutions, was hit with a $3.2 million fine for that and other illegal practices. In September, National Attorney Collection Services Inc was fined $1 million for the same, as well as representing themselves as a law firm and violating the confidentiality of those it was trying to get money from.

There’s two things most people don’t know about credit.

First, since most large companies get their money from insurance claims if they’re not paid, they’re getting paid a second time when they give these accounts to collection agencies, and they’ll do almost anything, including lie and harassment, when they’re able to earn anywhere from 80-92% or sometimes even more of their initial investment.

Second, it’s true that if you have something hit your credit report that if you don’t pay it in 7 years it falls off your credit report (well, not medical bills or anything owed to the government, but everything else). However, if a collection agency gets its hands on this stuff they can legally keep chasing you for the money.

One other thing collection agencies are counting on is your not having any record of an outstanding claim, thus feeling pressured and anxious when you get that sudden phone call. These days they’ll even call you on your cellphone, although if you tell them they’re violating the Telephone Consumer Protection Act and that you’re going to report them to the federal government they’ll probably hang up and leave you alone for a while because the fine they’ll get is sometimes higher than any money they get from you.

In any case, what happens sometimes is they’ve laid their hands on some paperwork and falsified a number, but you’ll never be able to investigate it for yourself if you don’t request anything from them. And sometimes when you request information, they’ll never call you again because they don’t really have anything to send you, since they have to send you not only proof of the outstanding debt but proof that the original company billed you for it.

It’s always wise to ask for proof whenever someone wants your money, but when it comes to collection agencies, who can hurt your credit, it’s critical to do.