What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? MI
Okay, so I had a hospital visit in Jan 2011. It wasn't serious but, because I was 8 months pregnant and they originally thought it was labor, I was in labor and delivery triage for about 12 hours. Lucky for all of us, everything ended up good.
Anyway, about 9 months after that visit, I got a debt collections call for a bill from that date. I told the lady on the phone that I had never seen a bill from the hospital, let alone knew it had gone to collections. I had no idea about it and had thought that our insurance plus co-pay had covered it all. The lady was nice about it and said that they'd send out a bill. I then asked about what address they had, since we had moved since the baby was born and, while the new occupants are really good at giving us our mail that accidentally gets to their house, maybe something got lost in the mix. Sure enough, address was wrong. But not just wrong. She read off our old street number, with our old old apartment street and city (which we had not lived in since about 2008), and my parent's zip code. A mish mash of all my old addresses. I gave her the correct address, she apologized for the wrong address and agreed that it was probably the problem, and I went on my way.
The bill never came. I probably should have noticed that, but I had a few other health issues going on.
About 4-5 months after that, I got another call. Nearly the same as the first and, when I asked about the address, they once again read off the same wrong address. I once again gave them the right address, they apologized, and I went off on my way.
Bill never came.
4 months after that, same call, same wrong address. Once again, gave them the right address. The lady this time offered me to just pay it over the phone, but I declined, saying that since I never even knew the bill existed in the first place, I wanted to see it in writing.
You guessed it. Bill never came.
The calls come about every four months and now they aren't even offering to mail me a physical copy of the bill. They keep telling me to "just pay by credit card over the phone and they'll go away" and other stuff like that. Or they accuse me of lying.
I don't have a problem paying the bill. I really don't. But I don't like paying for things over the phone to an unknown and I'm quite a bit more hesitant to pay a bill over the phone, one that I've never even seen, to a company that can't even seem to get my address correct and send me something in the mail! We've never had a problem getting any mail and we're on time with all of our other bills. We get this stuff done in a timely manner. So what can I do from here? It doesn't look like it has hit my credit report yet, but I really don't want it to and have this whole situation get to that point.
I did call the hospital, after the second call, to see if maybe they could tell me what was up, but the guy over the phone said that if it had gone to collections, it was out of their hands. He didn't sound too sure, but I had no reason to doubt him at the time.