I get a random letter one day: "This is Aargon collection agency. You owe us $577.74, if you do not pay within 7 days we will report you to credit agencies. Please call (800) 990-4765 immediately "
There is no context, i.e. no actual bill explaining what the charge is for, etc. There is no website or email to respond to.
I called the number during their office hours, and the agent jumped straight into a negotiating session with me how much I am willing to pay or else. (as if the what I am paying for is utterly irrelevant) I explained I have no issues paying, but have no idea who he is and what this is regarding. He said it's a bill for ER visit at Summerlin Hospital and that's all he has. I told him I need to call the hospital to figure it out, and he said fine, but clock is ticking...
Being an informed citizen who firmly stands for his rights, I need to validate what the hospital had charged, for what, what the insurance paid etc..and no less important, that "Aargon" is a real company actually affiliated with the hospital, and not your typical Vegas scam where you send a check into a black hole because some phone scammer is dropping names of big hospitals...
I called the hospital, was placed on hold for 30 minutes, at the end of which I opted to leave a message for accounts receivable. I left a message and obviously no callback.
I got another call from Aargon saying I'd promised to pay 3X before (factually incorrect but irrelevant, I'd spoken to them once, though they were claiming they were reading "another agent's notes"--presumably that guy is no longer there, not important but I don't like liars so...mental note.)
I explained again I need to see the actual hospital bill before I give them a c.c. number. I also asked whether they'd already blemished my credit, and they said yes, and I said I need a guarantee in writing they will remove any adverse entry in exchange for payment, given that I had no idea what I was being charged with.
All I got back was a link to my "account" with Aargon online, simply stating "Summerlin Hospital $577.74" ! Again, no context of what the bill is for--in fact, it's on their own letter head, not even the hospital's. For all I know, I might actually get thru to Summerlin Hosp. one day and it's possible they'll say "sorry sir, we have no record of this bill" or "your insurance has paid it off in full" or "oops, we'd miscategorized a charge, resubmitted and your insurance has now paid it so you owe zero" (the latter has actually happened!)
I am pretty sure it's illegal, if not merely horribly unethical, of Aargon to make threats and actually affect someone's credit report while refusing to provide original documentation detailing the debt to the original debtee.