Looks like I’m not the only one with this kind of problem.

I could use some advise regarding old medical debt. I was hospitalized for two days in December 2011. It was an emergency situation. I was employed but had no medical insurance. I went to the General Hospital, but as I was not indigent I did not qualify for assistance. I ended up owing thousands of dollars to the hospital and doctors and miscellaneous medical people. I made payments, small, but faithfully and eventually got the doctors and pathologists and labs and everyone paid off but the hospital. It wasn’t easy, as I still had health problems and was physically weak for a long time afterward. Then the county run hospital was shut down and they sent everybody’s bills to collection.

So a local collection agency contacted me by mail and I sent them a letter saying it was pointless for me to pay, since what I could afford to send them would not even cover their interest. The hospital had not charged interest at all. I did send the collection agency payments though, which covered a little bit more than the interest. I did this so my credit would not be ruined. I had been paying them for quite a few months and then one month I had more health problems and frankly was too sick to think about paying the bills or talking to anybody. I was weak. The very next month they sold my account to another collection agency out of town.

I was upset because, first, it wasn’t my fault I was sick, had no insurance from my employer and was not paid enough to buy it on my own, or that the hospital sent it to collection in the first place. I was upset that they didn’t contact me before switching agencies. I knew this meant that they’d already hurt my credit. I did not pay the second collection agency. I did not communicate with them at all. They sent my account back to the original collection agency which continues to send me bills. I haven’t made a payment to them nor communicated with them since November 2013.

It’s funny, the hospital did not sell them all of my debt and I can’t even reach the accounting office of the old hospital anymore to find out what remains. My current debt with the collection agency as they state it is a principle amount of $1265.50, $547.82 in interest and a total due of $1813.32.

How do I go about settling with a collection agency? I would like to settle for the principle when I am able to. I still don’t want to pay their **** interest. I live in California. How much time do you think I have until they would possibly try to take me to court over this, if at all? Does anybody have any knowledge about this kind of situation?

Thank you!!