My question involves collection proceedings in the State of: New Jersey.
I was injured and hospitalized a few years ago. Most of the bills were paid by insurance or by myself.
There was a few thousand dollars in bills left.
The hospital contacted me and we reached a verbal (I may have paper, need to find it) agreement that the bill would be settled for less due to my financial situation.
I sent them a check with the agreed amount. On the check I wrote "Paid In full" as well as my hospital account number. The check was deposited and I have digital copies of it from my bank
All was quite until about two years ago. I was contacted by a collection agency trying to collect the difference. I explained my agreement with the hospital and sent them a copy of the check. They apologized and backed down. A few months later I was contact by another debt collection agency, I sent them a copy and the same thing happened.
Recently a third debt collection agency contacted me. This one started off by putting a debt collection on my credit report right away. I sent them a copy of the check. This one though said that they need to verify the check with the hospital first, and it can take a few months. If I want the debt collection on my credit report removed faster, I should pay the debt. I asked them to notate that the debt was in disupute and they refused to. Reiterating that the only way of getting it removed faster then a few months is to pay the debt.
So my two questions are:
1) are they allowed to do that? They are trying to force me to pay the debt rather then them removing it.
2) How many times is the hospital allowed to shop the debt around? Is this going to continue until I pay?