I happened to glance at my credit report and one of the agencies shows that I have a debt of just over $100 in collections. It appears to be from an emergency room in a previous state (I moved about 6 months ago). I think my family did use that emergency room but I was always very prompt to pay off any bills I got. Anyway, I left a forwarding address and have not changed my number, but neither the hospital nor any collections agency has ever contacted me about it.
To be clear I'm not certain if this is from the ER we used, nor do I know who the collections agency might be. It would be some work to figure that information out and quite a bit more to determine if it's a legit debt.
My question is whether there is any reason I should put the effort into looking into this debt and maybe paying it. I can think of some reasons why I might not:
- I don't see evidence that anyone is following up on this...if I contact them, will this be akin to replying "do not contact me" to a spammer---just lets them know you are a live one and encourages them?
- My credit score doesn't matter much. I own my home outright and have no debts. I don't see that changing. And my scores are all in the high 700s even with this issue. Not sure if correcting or paying this debt will help my credit anyway.
- I don't want to reset any statute of limitations that may be working in my favor.
- I get angry dealing with bureaucrats who don't know their own business and the thought of putting effort into looking into this issue makes me grumpy. Whether I actually owe it or not, someone messed up by not letting me know.
On the other hand I don't want to end up in the future wishing I had looked into it and taken care of it earlier. Any reason I should bother?