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Old 06-29-2009, 06:24 PM
 
5,366 posts, read 5,566,314 times
Reputation: 3331

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Okay, so, long story short, I was forced by the police to take an ambulance and go to the emergency room and stay the night last week. No health insurance here. I know that, soon, I will be getting a bill in the mail for several thousand dollars. As a senior in college without a job, I cannot pay this. The bill will go to a collection agency.

I am contemplating on simply not paying the bill. This will destroy my credit, I know (which breaks my heart because I have worked really hard to get a good credit score. I'm 21 yrs old with a score of 728). I have a good job lined up for me after I graduate. I could pay the debt then, but why bother as my credit will already be in shambles?

I plan on moving to a big city after I graduate (chicago or DC) which means I will rent and be using public transportation. Good credit helps with getting a lease, but the big figure in that equation is personal income, which mine should be pretty good.

What do you guys think?

Should I even bother paying the debt? I don't own a vehicle, I don't plan to, and a house can wait till I am in my 30s when this is off the books. I'm very frugal and never used my credit to buy anything anyway. If I need more loans for school I can have my parents co-sign for one. I don't see anything in my future for the next seven years that I would need good credit for.
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Old 06-29-2009, 06:34 PM
 
Location: NJ/NY
15,408 posts, read 12,038,364 times
Reputation: 10976
Quote:
Originally Posted by InsaneTraveler View Post
Okay, so, long story short, I was forced by the police to take an ambulance and go to the emergency room and stay the night last week. No health insurance here. I know that, soon, I will be getting a bill in the mail for several thousand dollars. As a senior in college without a job, I cannot pay this. The bill will go to a collection agency.

I am contemplating on simply not paying the bill. This will destroy my credit, I know (which breaks my heart because I have worked really hard to get a good credit score. I'm 21 yrs old with a score of 728). I have a good job lined up for me after I graduate. I could pay the debt then, but why bother as my credit will already be in shambles?

I plan on moving to a big city after I graduate (chicago or DC) which means I will rent and be using public transportation. Good credit helps with getting a lease, but the big figure in that equation is personal income, which mine should be pretty good.

What do you guys think?

Should I even bother paying the debt? I don't own a vehicle, I don't plan to, and a house can wait till I am in my 30s when this is off the books. I'm very frugal and never used my credit to buy anything anyway. If I need more loans for school I can have my parents co-sign for one. I don't see anything in my future for the next seven years that I would need good credit for.
You could have left at any time. If you were "of sound mind" you could have always left against medical advice. The police cannot force you into an ambulance either, unless you were under arrest at the time. Personally, I have always paid my debts. It's a question of character. If that's not important to you, then dont pay it, but then you have a lot bigger problems than bad credit.
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Old 06-29-2009, 07:08 PM
 
Location: Tampa (by way of Omaha)
14,172 posts, read 20,479,576 times
Reputation: 9704
Quote:
Originally Posted by InsaneTraveler View Post
Okay, so, long story short, I was forced by the police to take an ambulance and go to the emergency room and stay the night last week. No health insurance here. I know that, soon, I will be getting a bill in the mail for several thousand dollars. As a senior in college without a job, I cannot pay this. The bill will go to a collection agency.

I am contemplating on simply not paying the bill. This will destroy my credit, I know (which breaks my heart because I have worked really hard to get a good credit score. I'm 21 yrs old with a score of 728). I have a good job lined up for me after I graduate. I could pay the debt then, but why bother as my credit will already be in shambles?

I plan on moving to a big city after I graduate (chicago or DC) which means I will rent and be using public transportation. Good credit helps with getting a lease, but the big figure in that equation is personal income, which mine should be pretty good.

What do you guys think?

Should I even bother paying the debt? I don't own a vehicle, I don't plan to, and a house can wait till I am in my 30s when this is off the books. I'm very frugal and never used my credit to buy anything anyway. If I need more loans for school I can have my parents co-sign for one. I don't see anything in my future for the next seven years that I would need good credit for.
There are plenty of ways to fight collection agencies. First things first, what state do you live in?

Next, read up on the Fair Debt Collections Practice Act. This is your biggest tool for fighting the collection agencies and they WILL violate this law.

How along ago did this happen, and what (if any) contact have you had with the hospital?

I'll be happy to walk you through this. Don't worry too much about it for right now.
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Old 06-29-2009, 07:13 PM
 
5,366 posts, read 5,566,314 times
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The police CAN force you into an ambulance and the hospital CAN force you to stay there if you are inebriated by some means. In my case, I was drunk. That is what this whole situation is over! I was drunk! Its so stupid! Okay, not that I'm a drama queen, but I will tell the story just so you guys realize i'm not a bad person, I just got caught in a bad situation.

It was my boyfriends birthday. We went out and partied with our friends. We went a bit overboard. Indeed, I should have been more careful with my drinks, but I wasn't. At the end of the night, my boyfriend got us a cab and we got back to our house!!! Only problem....That last shot of patron hit me as we were stumbling to our door. I collapsed and fell asleep on our walkway going up to our house and a cop saw.

(as the story was told to me) my boyfriend tried to tell the cop that we live here, but the cop took out his club and stuck it in my bfs chest telling him to back off. I didn't wake up because that is just how I am when I'm drunk. When im out, im out till the next morning. The cop called an ambulance. When they arrived, I mumbled that I didn't have health insurance and can't go, but they took me anyway, then I vomited I think!

I wake up the next morning with tubes coming out of my body all over the place! I'm scared to death of course. I thought I had gotten beat up.

If that cop wanted to help me, I don't weight much and he could have helped my bf get me to our couch which was 10 feet away, literally! I didn't need blood tests done, or urine tests done, or IVs in me! (I counted 7 puncture wounds in my arm from needles).

I asked to be let go immediately when I woke up at 7:30. They said my release time was 9, so I didn't get out until 9. Btw, it was really awesome walking home from the hospital because my bf had my phone and my wallet.

I wasn't drugged, I didn't even have alcohol poisening! I had too much to drink and needed a bed, which was 10 feet away!

I know i'm ranting. I'm sorry. . I hope you all can understand how stressful this situation is, and how it didn't have to be stressful at all. And the worst of it hasn't even shown up in the mail yet.......
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Old 06-29-2009, 07:24 PM
 
5,366 posts, read 5,566,314 times
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It happened last Thursday. Friday actually. We went out Thursday, got home at like 3 A.M. on Friday and then everything went bad. I live in Florida. I haven't had any contact with the hospital yet, so nothing has been talked about in terms of payment.
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Old 06-29-2009, 07:25 PM
 
Location: Tampa (by way of Omaha)
14,172 posts, read 20,479,576 times
Reputation: 9704
Quote:
Originally Posted by InsaneTraveler View Post
It happened last Thursday. Friday actually. We went out Thursday, got home at like 3 A.M. on Friday and then everything went bad. I live in Florida.
Ok, then you have some time before a collection agency gets ahold of this account.

You might contact the hospital and explain the situation and see if they will work with you at all. Hospitals can be very liberal in their negotiations...sometimes.
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Old 06-29-2009, 07:27 PM
 
5,366 posts, read 5,566,314 times
Reputation: 3331
Okay. Should I wait until the bill comes into the mail? Or should I give the hospital a call tomorrow morning?
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Old 06-29-2009, 07:30 PM
 
Location: Tampa (by way of Omaha)
14,172 posts, read 20,479,576 times
Reputation: 9704
Quote:
Originally Posted by InsaneTraveler View Post
Okay. Should I wait until the bill comes into the mail? Or should I give the hospital a call tomorrow morning?
Call them tomorrow. If they won't be that flexible, try again when the bill comes due.
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Old 06-29-2009, 07:36 PM
 
20,194 posts, read 21,560,693 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InsaneTraveler View Post
Okay. Should I wait until the bill comes into the mail? Or should I give the hospital a call tomorrow morning?
Call them and arrange a deal... then ask for the doctor's numbers and call them and ask if they will waive their fees and give them a reason that you are poor college student... basically you need to call and try to reduce the fees and work with the hospital to reduce as much as possible then set up a payment plan to pay the remaining... it might be cheap enough that you can afford...
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Old 06-29-2009, 07:39 PM
 
Location: NJ/NY
15,408 posts, read 12,038,364 times
Reputation: 10976
I dont think you are a bad person, I just think you made an expensive mistake. A dumb expensive mistake. We have all made dumb, expensive mistakes in our youth, and some of us even carry it over to middle and old age.

Here is the problem; the cop did what he should have done. Not that he should have taken out his club, but he is not a doctor, your boyfriend is not a doctor, and you were in no condition to be taken seriously (no offense). As far as he knew, your life was in danger and he wasn't going to let you die on the street or on your couch.

You were passed out at the hospital, so they did everything they were supposed to do for similar reasons as above. At the very least, they were obligated to make sure you didn't have alcohol poisoning.

Ultimately, you put yourself in that position, not anyone else. So you can ask for a payment plan, and consider it an expensive lesson, or you can blow it off. You are the only person who can decide what is the right thing to do here, because you are the person who has to live with the decision. For some people, it is a no brainer...in either direction.
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