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Yeah in my cases the debt has actually always been legitimate - but I didn't believe it until I got documentation of what the actual charge was and how it differed from what I had already paid FROM THE ORIGINAL CREDITOR (the healthcare provider) as a result of my own proactive investigation. I have always paid the debt directly to the healthcare provider after they re-process it correctly. But that's precisely my point: even when it's a legitimate debt, the proof exists, and I'm willing to pay once I've seen the proof, the debt collectors are still scum about it. I'm glad I've always had the original creditor reprocess it correctly and bill me for the remainder directly: none of my money has ever actually gone to a shady debt collector.



Interesting, I noticed a hit on my credit report for a legitimate debt caused by an urgent care who sent the bill to the wrong address and eventually sold the debt to a collector (despite me writing my current info on the signin documentation they gave us!). I have offered to pay-for-delete with them but they have not responded at all. I'm thinking about what to do next.


If you have proof you provided the correct information to them it's probably time to talk to an attorney.


An attorney's would cost more than an urgent care visit

The way debt collection works in the US is the debt collector has to prove you owe the debt, not the other way around.

Pay to delete is a sensible option in the case where you know the debt is legitimate.


I filled out the paperwork (and they submitted it to my insurance which also knows my info), but I did not keep a copy of that. So I've no proof that would be admissible in court.


Could you claim that they failed to send you a bill, and therefore are falsely claiming the debt? Then they'd have to show that they did send you a bill, and to what address, and include a copy of your original paperwork. That would get you the evidence you need.


My friend went through this, and went to court over it.

In court, he claimed the hospital never provided proof of debt. The hospital claimed it did. The judge asked if they had proof of debt with them, right now. They did. The judge asked my friend if he was willing to pay it with proof of debt presented. He said he was.

Done and done. Orders were guarantee the debt is deleted upon payment, bunch of other weird legal stuff protecting my friend if it should appear on his credit report ever, etc.




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