Can collection agency ruin my credit score?

Asked about 4 years ago - New York, NY

Half year ago, I went to a clinic for a check up. At that time, the doctor told me all expense is covered by my insurance company. later I got the report from a lab who did the test. Now, the lab sent me a mail saying that my insurance does not cover the expense, total 120$. IF I do not pay them, they will forward the debt to the collection agency.

So I have a debt of 120$ because the doctor lied to me, and if he told me that price, I would not do the checkup. I did not give out my social security number, driver license number, credit card number to the doctor. The lad only has my old address.

I do not have the money to pay them. So I want to know, without my social security number, can the collection agency ruin my credit score?

Attorney answers (2)

  1. Barbie Dawn Lieber

    Pro

    Contributor Level 10

    Answered . If you believe that your doctor's office mislead you into believing that your expenses were covered by your insurance company and then subsequently sent you an invoice asserting that your insurer did not cover the expenses (and you're now concerned that the outstanding bill will be reported to the credit bureaus), I would do the following:

    1. Call the insurance company and see whether the bill can be covered. I have successfully gotten insurance companies to reverse their decisions by covering costs that they previously refused to cover. At least discover the reason for the denail of coverage. Do not wait to do this as there may be a time by which challenges must be asserted.

    2. Send a letter to your doctor's office and copy the debt collector, challenging the charge based on the information that was told to you on which you relied. Be specific in the letter.

    3. See if you can order a free credit report to see whether the alleged debt was ever reported. Visit annualcreditreport.com, call 1-877-322-8228, or complete the Annual Credit Report Request Form and mail it to: Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281.

    4. If the disputed charge is reflected on the credit report and you would seek to repair your report, write to the 3 credit bureaus disputing the charge. Unless they perceive your claim to be frivolous, they will conduct an investigation. For detailed instructions, Visit the Consumer Protection Page of the Fair Trade Commission website at http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/credit... . Additionally, the telephone numbers of the 3 credit bureaus are as follows:
    Experian-1-888-397-3742
    www.experian.com

    TransUnion-1-800-916-8800
    www.transunion.com

    Equifax-1-800-685-1111
    www.equifax.com

    Best of Luck, Lieber & Lieber, LLP 212-949-5586 www.lieberlegal.com
    The foregoing does not constitute an attorney client relationship and is not intended to provide legal advice.

  2. Theodore Lyons Araujo

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . If the debt is reported to your credit score it will negatively affect your score, but I cannot say it will ruin you. Why take the chance for $120.00? They performed the service. Good Luck.

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