Protect Your Credit
Keeping an eye on your credit isn’t as easy as it seems. Today many companies, banks, doctors, hospitals, utility companies, insurance companies seem to do just as they please with your private information. When in fact they violate federal laws on a daily basis without regard to who you are or what truthfully happened.
Most everything today is run by computers – there is no more ‘one on one’ with real people. There is no way a computer can translate your story, yet these systems can destroy you in minutes and it could literally take years to repair. You need to know the laws that are there to protect you from this type of crime. Yes it’s a crime for someone to just throw out your information to a collection company.
Most common is medical and then Utility companies. Let’s look at the medical. I am sure most everyone has been to the emergency room and it’s quite sad when we actually have to take a minute to stop and read the 4 or 5 pages of legal horse manure while your child is being rushed in to surgery for something.
Chances are you did not really focus on the part that says we can have your medical situation review by every clown that took a two hour class on how to apply a band aid.
You know what I am talking about, when you arrive at the ER, sign the papers, and then run to see the nurses and doctors working on your kid at ABC hospital in Acme City, Georgia.
But two months later you get a bill form a doctor in Bushwack, Iowa. So you call that doctor’s office and they push you over to the billing department’s voice mail. You leave a message but they don’t call you back because you’re not the patient even though you got the bill. Two months later you have a collection notice from a collection agency for twice the amount originally owed.
Now you are really upset and here is where most of us make the really bad mistakes. You call the collection company and before they can talk to you, they tell you that they need to verify they have the right person. So they ask you to verify your social security number and date of birth that they have related to the account on file.
STOP, NEVER DO THIS!
You just gave them your identity and now they are going to attack your credit. Because you gave them your non-public information.
This is known as or called NPI.
They do not have your NPI so don’t give it to them. If they do already have it and they put the collection on your credit that means someone else gave them your information and that’s against the law.
No Doctor, hospital, Utility Company, or anyone else has a right to send your NPI to another individual or company. They must properly notify you prior to. You are protected under Federal Law see the FCRA (Fair Credit Reporting Act) and GLB (Gramm-Leach-Biliey Act). If this happens you need to file a complaint and push it hard. Fines under the GLB can reach $250,000 for the violators per year.
You can visit the CFPB website or see your states requirement for filing complaints against that specific company or agency. Each state has different department for different types of business. You can fill out the complaints right on line and it only takes a few minutes. Make sure you have your facts prior to doing so. It doesn’t hurt to get legal consult first.
Be careful as most agencies try to do a little business with every attorney in town so as to not have anyone available to look at your case you may have to contact an attorney outside your area to get true results. Make sure your complaint is true and accurate.
There are also rules under the FTC (Federal Trade Commission). It doesn’t hurt to take a read through their website. (use the search bar as it’s a large site). Don’t be bullied. There is a process in place and an individual, Doctor, Hospital, Utility Company or anyone else needs to follow it before just dumping your information over to these collection companies.
Get all your facts, fighting the battle can save you thousands of dollars through better interest rates you are offered for any type of loan you may need. Protect yourself and don’t give up the fight. Together we can stop these reckless reporting’s.