Man surprised by interest accrued on medical bill that he though - KMOV.com

Man surprised by interest accrued on medical bill that he thought was paid off

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Chris Parks of St. Louis County  said debt collectors sent him a bill and included something he didn’t expect. Chris Parks of St. Louis County said debt collectors sent him a bill and included something he didn’t expect.
ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. (KMOV.com) -

Thousands in the St. Louis area are facing medical debt and had bills turned over to collection agencies. A St. Louis County man said debt collectors sent him a bill and included something he didn’t expect.

“This is the bill from the collection agency,” said Chris Parks.

Parks recently received a bill that he thought was paid off but he was in for a surprise when he opened it up. A $40 bill was turned over to a collection but the bigger surprise was the interest rate charged.

 “It started off as a co-pay issue,” Parks said, “They are charging interest for a medical bill that's when  I contacted you. This can't be right.”

Parks showed News 4 a cashed check for the amount on the invoice and believes it’s the proof needed to eliminate the debt.

The bill came from Wakefield and Associates based in Colorado. News 4 contacted the company’s lawyer regarding the interest charge. The lawyer said that Missouri Statue 408.020 allows the interest charge when no rate of interest is agreed upon, 9 percent is allowed as legal interest.

“A medical issue is a lot different than borrowing money and I don’t feel an interest rate especially 9 percent is the right thing to do,” said Parks.

In Illinois, the law also allows collectors to charge interest on medical debt but the amount is less. Coming in at 5 percent when there is no prior agreement between the creditor and the debtor.

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Parks isn’t worried about his $40 bill but he is worried for others.

At a healthcare town hall, News 4 asked U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill if the 9 percent for medical debt is too much.

“It would be great if Missouri legislature would look at 9 percent number and bring interest rate down to market,” McCaskill said, “ I mean I don't anyone should pay more for a medical debt than what the market is for medical debt at the moment.”

Anyone who has received a medical bill with interest accrued should contact News 4 at mymedicaldebt@kmov.com

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