Debt connection company will only take credit card

I just got a call from a company claiming to be a debt collection copy that was sold a debt I owe. Their story sounds correct to me (I owe a hospital $45 which until he called me I forgot all about).
The thing is they say they will only take a CC. I offered to pay with a money order (knowing that most places are unwilling to take a personal check) but he said they they are only allowed to take credit.
This struck me as very very odd.
I’d be more then happy to settle up with them but I’m understandibly protective of my CC #. Is this standard practice of debt connection companies? What do they do if you don’t have a credit card?

Err, make that collection not connection.

Call the hospital that you owe the money to and ask them how you can pay what you owe to them. If they have given your debt to a collection agency, they will tell you at that time or they will just accept your payment plan. Explain to them that you had forgotten about the bill. Also, ask them why they haven’t reminded you of your debt.

I wouldn’t give them my credit card account number either.

If pressed such as you have been, I would remind the collections agent that not everyone has credit cards and offer again to send a money order.

That is just a SILLY thing for a debt collector to say, especially about a medical debt.
Probably a quarter of the people in the country can’t qualify for a checking account, debit card, charge card OR credit card.
This guy might PREFER that you pay with a credit card. His boss may even have told him he can only take credit cards.
But I’ll wager HAL, my dog, that the collection agency you’re dealing with does in fact take payment forms besides credit cards.
Could I ask the name of the collection agency?

Jonathan Woodall , I’d gladly give it to you but this guy called while I was busy as hell so I missed it (Plus his english was a bit broken so I had trouble understanding him. Needless to say I didn’t give him my CC #). Instead of getting into it with him I asked him to call back at 6 when I could talk. If he does call back I’ll be taking notes and ask to speak to his superviser.
For all this guy knows I don’t have a credit card and besides, I dislike juggling debt like that. I’d rather just pay him off outright.

As for calling the hospital. They’re closed for the day but I’m going to call them tomorrow. I’m more then a little peeved at the fact that they sold my debt instead of contacting me themselves. I’ve looked through my stuff and found they sent me one bill and that was it. They’ve had over a year to try and get me to pay and I would have happily given them the money. It’s my fault for forgetting about it but it happens to everyone from time to time. Hell, I could have walked to them and given them the money in person. It’s only $45. It’s not like I have to take out a loan for it.

Oh, by the way, if these guys have dinged your credit report, some people would refuse to pay them until you have either a non-disclosure agreement in place with the creditor or a written agreement on their part to not report this to credit reporting agencies.
Gambit 1:
Get an NDA signed, or mail in a check which binds them to an NDA if they sign it.
Once the NDA is in effect, dispute the item on your credit report on the basis that it is inaccurate. (That will be true. The item will temporarily be displaying as unpaid, although you have paid.)
If they honor the NDA, they’ll be unable to discuss the account with the CRA to verify, and then the item will drop off your credit report.

Discuss all my above plans with competent legal counsel.

Okay, the guy called back.
Right off the bat he was abrasive as hell (strike one) and when I asked his company name he said he couldn’t give it to me (strike two). I told him that without proof that he legally owned the dept he wasn’t getting a cent from me but if he can prove to me that he does own it then I’ll be happy to pay. He proceeded to call me a dead beat (strike 3) and when I asked for his supervisor he said he wasn’t giving him to me (strike 4). I told him to mail me the proof and he said he doesn’t have my address (strike 5) and told me he’ll take me to court for the $45 if I don’t give him my CC # or checking account number and routing information right then and there.
I told him that he was welcome to but seeing as I am trying to make an effort to pay him and am only trying to protect myself from fraud I don’t think he has much of a case. He then told me to give him my account info again. I told him to mail me a bill and hung up.

I smell a scam. He won’t tell me his company name, is abusive, and is unwilling to even make a token attempt to proof he’s legit.
First thing tomorrow I’m calling the hospital and settling my debt with them. This guy can pound sand.

I have a few rules to my life. (below is a subset of the whole list)

  1. Always pay bills directly to the source of the debt if possible.
  2. Never give any of your financial info to someone who calls you, only to those to whom you initiate the call.
  3. If contacted by a collection agency, demand proof of debt. If they can’t provide it, IMO they don’t have the right to collect.

I once owed money to the college I attended, and though I paid it late, my payment, and the turnover to collections crossed in the mail. I demanded that they prove I owed the debt, as I had already paid the university. They also called back demanding the “collection fee” which I also disputed. Since I paid the debt to the University, and they cashed the check, that settled the entire debt, no record of this debt ever appeared on my credit report.

Your results may vary, IANAL and all that.


As a guy who has been in hock up to his elbows a time or two, I offer some nuggets of advice… Never, never, never, never, never give your credit card number or bank numbers or ANY passwords to some fool on the phone. You could be dealing with anyone, here.

If he is legit, and you offer to make payment, he should be happy to send you a bill and whatever documentation you want. If they will not do this, you are dealing with

(a) a crook, or
(b) a dodgy collection agency looking to maximize what they can get off you.

Either way, don’t do business. I refuse to do ANY financial transactions over the phone, for ANY reason.

A quick add on.
I work with credit reports every day. If I got my hands on your credit report, I would know every single debt you’d ever have. I’d be able to tell you about the $45 you owe to xyz hospital, the dates and so forth. Seriously, don’t ever give out your CC# like that. You were very smart to ask all of the questions you did. Try to get his number off of caller ID or *69 and call the cops.
Also, the advice about calling the Hospital is right on. Just on the off chance the guy was just an idiot, but legit, the hospital would be able to clear it up.

Er, at the very least, don’t the legal tender laws mean that if you show up at their office with $45 cash, they have to accept that? They can’t take only credit cards.