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My latest quandary - negative item on credit report

October 28th, 2009 at 05:48 pm

How do you deal with these? I am afraid I will do the wrong thing and make it worse, so that is paralyzing me and stopping me from doing anything.

I posted this question in the forum but I am still perplexed. The problem is an old medical bill for a dermatologist that the HMO kept refusing to pay by telling us we didn't have proper authorization. We tried and tried but got nowhere with them, and then somehow I missed it when the idiots turned it over to a collection agency, who then put the negative item on the credit report.

I will keep researching but if anyone here has had experience with this, please let me know.

This is putting my life on hold and I have a tuition bill coming up in January. We had been squeaking by with private loans. Much as I hate that, it is better than tapping my savings that are all in IRAs.

5 Responses to “My latest quandary - negative item on credit report”

  1. thriftorama Says:

    There are many ways you can go on this. You are protected by the Fair Credit Reporting Act. You can mail a 100 word explanation of the bad item to all three credit bureaus and by law they must include that information in your file.

    Or you can ask the collection agency for proof that you owe the debt. Even if it's legitimate debt, oftentimes they can't provide that, and it must be removed from your credit report.

    Or, if you resolved anything with the HMO, dr.'s office, ask for a letter stating that, and then send that to the credit bureau asking them to remove the item from the report.

  2. fern Says:

    If it's a legitimate debt, I would just pay the bill and be done with it rather than deal with the stress and hassle of continuing to argue it with the HMO. In time, a late payment will disappear from your credit report while a debt in arrears will remain for years.

  3. ralph Says:

    How about this if all else fails?
    http://credit.about.com/od/debtcollection/a/payfordelete.htm

  4. Jerry Says:

    It might be worth checking into having an attorney call the insurance company on your behalf. My sister (who is a lawyer, she wasn't just pretending on the phone) did that for me once and they changed their tune IMMEDIATELY. If they should have paid the bill, then there needs to be something that leads them to hold up their end of the bargain. If not, of course, then you may need to pay it off, but make sure in advance!
    Jerry

  5. ralph Says:

    Hey, great news! It was removed! I was quite surprised! Now I need to get my other two credit reports.

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