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Barrister
Barrister, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 33802
Experience:  15 yrs practice, Civil, Criminal, Domestic, Realtor, Landlord 26 yrs
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I had an impacted wisdom tooth removed November 2014. At the

Customer Question

Hello,
I had an impacted wisdom tooth removed November 2014. At the time, I was given a quote of benefits and paid 50% of the procedure with the rest supposed to be covered by insurance.
I thought I was paid in full, but my dental insurance denied - stating that the extraction might be covered by medical and that my dentist had to submit to medical first. My dentist didn’t have my medical ins. info but never contacted me for it. They said they called and sent several bills, but I have no record of either.
I got a final notice in July that I didn’t see for a few weeks. I called them as soon as I saw it. The dentist told me that there was still time to submit to insurance so I gave them the info. They sent to medical which denied and then to my dental insurance, but by then I had maxed out for the year - so the entirety of the procedure is now patient responsibility.
While this process was going on, I was contacted by a collections company for the debt. Apparently, the dentist has a system in place where debts are automatically assigned to collections after a certain time. The dentist apologizes for the confusion but says since insurance didn’t pay and it was patient responsibility all along and the debt is how old, it was right that it was assigned to collections. At this point, the dentist says he would be out money for the collections company servicing the debt. Instead, the dentist will collect payment from me, forward the cut to the collections company, and write a letter to any future lenders stating that it was an insurance error.
I checked my credit score and the debt hasn't been reported to any agencies, although the collections company has owned the debt since September.
My question is - do I contact the collections company asking for a pay-for-delete before payment? Ask the dentist since they still own the debt? Or do I settle for the letter since it hasn’t been reported to any agencies. I’m getting conflicting information if the collection agency even reports. The dentist says they won’t once paid, but when the collections agency was trying to get their money from me, someone from here threatened to report if I didn’t pay. I’m not trying to dispute the collections part at this point, I just want to protect my excellent credit score. I would like to continue to go through the original creditor if possible as they have been nicer and more accommodating.
Thank you.
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Barrister replied 11 months ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I will try my level best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can. There may be a slight delay in my responses as I research statutes and ordinances and type out an answer or reply, but rest assured, I am working on your question.

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My question is - do I contact the collections company asking for a pay-for-delete before payment? Ask the dentist since they still own the debt? Or do I settle for the letter since it hasn’t been reported to any agencies.

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If the dentist has just hired the debt collector, then they still own the debt and you would cut out the middle man by settling with the dentist. The collector just has an agreement with the collector that they get X% of whatever they collect from you.

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So here, if you settle with the dentist then that would keep him from reporting the debt on your credit, which he likely hasn't done since it was still an active insurance claim and he wanted to see if it would be paid before reporting it.

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With that said, I would want something in writing from the dentist stating that they are still the legal owner of the debt and by settling it with them, they agree to not report any negative entry on your credit report...

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thanks

Barrister