How far should debt collection go?

When you go to the emergency room and get admitted for your ailment, you give out quite a bit of personal information right?

Don’t you have a reasonable expectation that that person that you are talking to is an employee of the hospital? I know that I sure do… It seems like HIPPA if nothing else would demand it. In fact, it DOES prevent it.

How would you feel if you discovered that it was a debt collector that you were sharing all of this information with?

Should you be delayed intentionally from getting the care that you need?

to quote the Yahoo article:

While hospital collections increased, patient care plummeted, the employees said. “Patients are harassed mercilessly,” a hospital employee told Ms. Swanson. Another hospital employee complained, “We were told if we don’t get money from patients, in the emergency room, we will be fired.”


I will be adding Accretive Health to the shitlist unless I see some compelling argument not to.

33 thoughts on “How far should debt collection go?

  1. Is this topic intended to focus primarily on "debt collection" that happens as part of health care?

    If so, to me this just seems to be another symptom of why our current (and slated to go away) system is broken.

    If the topic is about "debt collection" in general, I question the "freedom" that lenders have to make loans that are unwise for consumers. Lenders should be regulated and prohibited from making loans that, on the whole, hurt our economy, and thus hurt me and you (e.g. savers and responsible borrowers).

    1. Yeah, I agree. As far as the practices of lenders go, that is. I have multiple credit accounts. I like to shuffle funds around. Take advantage of introductory offers, earn discounts and credits. But it's interesting to watch their practices. I have 4 zero balance accounts, that will likely sit there, unchanged until I cancel them. But if I run a high balance on one, they automatically increase my limit. Seems like if you appear to be struggling, they jump on the chance to run you further in debt.

      1. You are a pretty smart lady, that's exactly what they do. My son works at Bank America and I get to hear some really shady stuff that the do and get away with it. One lady told him over the phone when he called her asking for the Banks' money that "oh–the devil calls me from dis number. Yous may be da Devil."

        1. Yes, none of this should surprise us.

          And let me be very clear in what I'm advocating. No I do not want a "nanny state" that protects every darwin-award candidate that's out there from these predatory lenders. The free market must tolerate a certain balanced level of this… otherwise we'd have too much regulation.

          It gets out of hand tho, when our entire economic state is throttled into the doldrums because of either:
          * predatory lending policies
          * misguided government regulation that give banks the excuse to practice predatory lending policies

          1. Banks have way too much power. You would be surprised. I bought my house at a foreclosure sale from a bank. I paid cash. I got a tile policy. I have a copy of the on file clear property title from the county. Yet, that same Bank for 6 months tried to foreclose the property they sold me. It took the title company that long to convince them they were making a mistake.

            You can't talk to anyone at the bank about it yourself. They all think you are lying all the time. When you tell them you don't have a loan on the property, they hang up on you. The only thing they will listen to is the attorney who is on verge of filing a harassment lawsuit against them, backed up by the title company who is totally livid with the bank.


            1. Part of that problem is created by the people in charge of filing paperwork and updating information.

              I'm going to guess that the sale had not been recorded at the bank or with the county (in my line of work, I find it takes the county 3 to 6 months to update ownership records on property sales)

              I deal with mortgage companies on a regular basis. I send notices via CRR to mortgage holders. Then 4 months later I have to file suit because even though they signed for a notice, they close a mortgage without paying us first. The title companies have "overlooked" liens on more than one occasion. And filed liens takes weeks for the county to update in their property records. The red tape associated with all of the government regulations, the inept people who work in government or government funded positions could care less if your paperwork is filed in a timely fashion, unless of course it's you filing.
              All the crap, all the departments, all the levels of regulations, keep what used to be a simple transaction, from getting completed properly and timely, most of the time.

              But I do love when I get calls about how someone can lower my monthly mortgage payment, and they are quoting from the original loan over 15 years ago. Yep, sometimes it takes that long for the information to catch up.

              1. Yep, you are right for sure. I don't care whose fault it was, I paid cash and they risked getting a third party invloved with trying to sell a house that was already sold on the courthouse steps. Good thing most of the people who buy these houses do their homework first. I do and will not buy one that is a second lien foreclosure, I buy those from the bank directly. By that time the banks ahve aquired the first lien rights and can sell the proeprty they own outright. Then, when they don't update their own records you (or I did) get this crap.

                And i get calls all the time for them wanting to refi my rents houses. I am working to pay them all off, fast, so I can retire with an income and not rely on SS, which will be broke soon.

              2. Addenda.

                When they post a property for foreclosure you get people tresspassing on your property, looking it over, preparing their estimates for purchase. There were multiple instances of this on my house. One lady busted in on a sunday lunch with my kids.

                They are gone before the police show up. Unless you hold them at gun point. That's a whole new level of trouble if you ever do that. Not one a smart person would ever want to do.

                I had 6 months of this, people wondering through my stuff.

                  1. Very strange. Still can't get in, even though Badcat can under my account, from her IP. Comments are deleted. I'm having Griz kill the page completely. I'm not blocked anywhere else. You'd think I would have learned something from the 80's. lol.

                    1. You know, lots of things have been washed from the internet. About 6 months ago, when I did a search for the information about the government suing banks for discrimination in lending practices (which was what forced the "stated income" fiasco) the stories were all over. About 2 months ago, I went to post the link for someone who was challenging my assertion that the government caused the problem, and all of the information was gone. If you can wipe out the information, you can do whatever you want…

            2. RM said: "Banks have way too much power."

              So many directions to go in off of this comment. If money is power, and it arguably is, then banks have power because they are designed to be power collectors.

              It makes me wonder if the concept of bank regulation and the Constitution… are basically the same thing.

              anyway, here's an interesting science article I just found about global bank power…

              1. Yea, I finally won, as of today. This is a year and three months after I bought the property.

                Exert from today's email notification.

                "Please see the below email chain between me and CxxxxxxBxxxxxx. CxxxxxxBxxxxxx has confirmed that this is resolved in their system. I will consider your claim resolved and close my file. Please let me know if you have any questions."


          2. My son, says, "Dad, this still isn't over. It will only be over when the judge issues them a tripple damages degree in your favor for wrongful foreclosure. That is how screwed up the system is.

            I have the money to fight them. I can make them remember me if I want to. But, I would rather just go fishing. Have a nice day Coggy

        2. ROFL…  Gotta love her. Those of us who are chained to a phone deal with plenty of those.Oh and those in the computer or support industry… I do hope that you have read the BOFH files. It is mandatory reading on our industry.It looks like they have published the files into books. (but I did find an archive for you <a href="<br />

          1. Oh Mr. Griz, you just don't know. Everytime I get a new phone number it is nearly always from someone who doesn't pay their bills. I get constant phone collection calls and I have some Tricky Ricky fun with those guys. It helps to know what the law is for banks and what they are required to do on one of these calls. Some of them think I am the stupidest person alive. Of course, I never tell them that I am not the one they are looking for, that's no fun. They are not even supposed to talk to you if they can't get you to give them the last 4 digits of your social. They also have to give you the minnie morranda speach about being recorded and that they are a debt collector. Play hard of hearing when they do that.

            The boys at the bank who tried to foreclose the house I paid cash for were a lot of fun. Ever seen the movie Oh brother, where arth thou? "Poppa says I need to shoot men from the bank servin papers."

            1. You know, that may be a topic all of its own…All of the fun to be had with the calls that we get.I had forgotten that line, loved the movie and we have a couple of singers that do Man of Constant Sorrow quite well.

              1. Here is what my wife heard me say. You can imagine the lecture i got when I hung up.

                "Pencils? Well, how many can I get at that price? Can you send me two semi truck loads by next Friday? Great, on Monday I'm filing bankruptcy and I won't have to pay for them after that. I'm gonna charge $1.00 less than you guys when I sell them."

                Click, I now hear Mr. Dial Tone. And, now the verbal beating will begin.

    2. My intent was really within health care as it was dovetailing with the yahoo article.I think we will see more of these kinds of shifting if the economy does not improve at a faster rate.

      1. well, I suppose I agree.

        To avoid more problems like these, our economy would have to improve faster than our out-of-control rising health care costs.

        Don't hold your breath.

        Considering the current health care system is one of the drags on our economy, that's just never going to happen. The solution is to overhaul the current system.

      2. I learned a long time ago, give only your insurance card and the information required to get the correct treatment.

        SWMC does this, with collectors in the ER. They didn't like me much when I had to take my daughter in there 8 years ago.
        I went in with her and heard the first question and asked "what does that have to do with getting medical care?"
        I explained, in my best controlled tone, that she was in the ER, not Macy's credit. The information they needed to collect was name, age, symptoms. This was an ER, you don't rate patients on what their insurance is, you rate them on how sick they are.

        1. My husband had a on the job injury years back, it was pre approved at 100% payment for the surgery. When we went in to check into the hospital for his surgery, they wanted his other insurance information at the time. My husband looked at her and told her it was pre approved at 100% payment by the insurance and that she did not need, nor was she getting , his other insurance numbers.

  2. Not this far!! This kind of behavior is inhuman. All I know is if some one came in while I was recovering after my surgery from when I got bit by a spider I wouldn't of remembered a thing because I was so doped up on drugs.

    I am just as disappointed in the hospitals as the collection agency. The hospitals shouldn't allow this at all!

    1. Yeah, when I had my first heart attack, after the first four vials of morphine they were frustrated that I would not sign one of their forms.I was not physically able to (they were afraid that I was having a stroke as well) but what bothered me the most (other than them not listening to me ) was that my signature on that form was legally useless. I was not in a sound mind. With that many drugs pouring through my system I could not be legally bound to what I signed. Of course is was the pain that was the bigger factor, all three times I have had morphine, it really had little to no effect on me. They could not believe that I was not out light a light with the amount that was administered.

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