From $59 to $2,306


Byron • 32 years old • Grocery clerk and evening merchandiser

Original medical Debt
Amount sought by the collection company

After receiving emergency care, Byron knew he would have a bill to pay. In an effort to be proactive, he contacted the hospital a week after his treatment asking how much he owed. He was told that a bill would be sent to him. Nothing ever showed up.

Months later, Byron received a phone call from a debt collector demanding payment. He learned for the first time that his original bill was $1,564.46, but the collection company demanded $2,306.15 from him because of attorney fees and interest. Byron asked why he had never been made aware of the outstanding balance. It turns out the medical bills were being sent to the right street address—but to the wrong city. Byron had never received a bill.

The insurance company eventually paid their portion of the outstanding amount, leaving Byron’s owing balance at $59.31. However, the collection company demanded that Byron still pay for the attorney fees, costs, and interest. Ultimately, the collection company forced Byron to pay more than $1,300 for his $59.31 bill.