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Back in Sept 2011, my wife had her IUD removed during her annual female checkup. When she asked if the doctor would take it out, the doctor said "no problem" and basically pulled the attached removal string...took about 1 second.

Imagine our surprise when the office sent us a $250 bill for "surgery". I called to notify them of the mistake, and they reassured me that $250 was not a mistake, they can bill whatever they want, and if we didnt pay it, they would send us to collections. A day or so later I drafted a letter that briefly explained that the proposed bill was not justified or agreed to, but that we would pay $20 (still way more than justified) in order to settle the account..."Please cash the enclosed check for $20 to agree to this payment arrangement for all serviced rendered on 26-Oct-2011". Mailed this to the billing address by certified mail.

They cashed the check.

About a month later we got a bill that was noted "30 days past due" and another a month after that "60 days past due" and then a letter from a collections company. I called up the collections' phone number and explained that we had agreed to settle the account for $20 and provided them will a copy of the canceled check and a copy of the letter. They never called back.

Fast forward to 2015. We got another letter from a collections company (not sure if it was the same one) saying that they had done an audit and found that the account was past due and that we still owed money for this bill. I explained to them what happened over 3 years ago, and that their book keeping was in error - no money was due. She said that they would note the account, and I never heard back.

About a week ago, my wife and I were looking over our credit reports and saw that a collections notice had been added to her report...which dropped her score from over 800 to just barely over 700.

What is my best course of action? Submit a credit report dispute? Contact the collections agency? Contact the doctor's office? Contact the Better Business Bureau?

Any thoughts or advice would be greatly appreciated.

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You are in the right. Your only mistake, perhaps, was doing anything via telephone. Everything should have been done in writing. Fortunately there are a lot of consumer protection laws and government agencies that will help you rectify this if you are willing to do the work.

There is a formal process for disputing anything on your credit report. Contact the big three credit agencies to begin that process. I haven't done it myself, but I don't believe it is more onerous than sending a letter containing the details you posted here as well as copies of supporting documents.

Collections agencies are regulated by at least one government agency in each state and numerous laws. Contact the collections agency and tell them you're going to report them if they don't rectify the adverse report within 10 days. If you do it by phone follow-up with a letter. Then report them if they don't. A quick web search will tell you who their regulator is and what rights you have.

The only claim you have against the doctor is if you were covered by insurance and he accepted the insurance at the time. If so his fees would have been governed by an agreement with the insurance company. It's tough this long afterwards, but in theory you could take up the matter with the insurance company, the state medical licensing board, and (not that it's really worth anything) the BBB.

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