When I come across a client who is in need of credit repair many of them have medical bills that are in collections. Now with FHA’s new guidelines (effective July 1st) regarding collection debt and disputes requiring anything above $1,000 to be paid, you will need to pay close attention to your medical bills. More often than not many medical bills that get sent to collections could have been avoided. Most peoples instinct when they are unable to pay a medical bill is the avoid the continuous calls and push them aside. Here are some basic rules to help you.
Number one rule, just call the provider, let them know your situation, most providers will work with you on payment. Some even offer financial assistance programs. Some will even agree to take off 50% of the bill if you can pay when due, or if you have cash on hand you can even get up to 75% taken off the original bill. Medical bills can be the most flexible of all your bills with NO interest!
Number two rule, don’t rush to pay your medical bills with a credit card! This only puts interest on the original cost when you could have been able to haggle your medical bill down and agreed to a payment agreement with no interest. Also if you are unable to pay your credit card on time this will could against you on your credit. Your provider will not report to a credit agency (unless you let it go to collections).
Number three, double check your bill because many times there can be errors. You will want to ask for an itemization bill, this way you know what you are paying for and can determine if there are any discrepancies. The newest identity theft is for medical purposes, so you want to be sure that the procedure was in fact for you! See video from CBS news on April 30th with more on medical identity theft.
Number four, ask your provider to take back a collection account. Most times if the bill is not too old (two years or more) than they can recall your collection account and deal with your directly.
Number five, if you are considered lower income you can not only get big discounts but could also be able to qualify for getting your entire bill erased!
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Summit Home Mortgage
303-779-0591 ext. 101