Judie DeLong spends a lot of her time homeschooling her children. But, instead of teaching her kids, much of her time is being spent trying to resolve a $1,455 bill that she says she doesn't owe.

"It would be nice to put this bed or to rest and say goodbye," DeLong told 3 On Your Side.

Her billing problem started back in 2016 when she fainted and she fell to the ground inside her Cave Creek home.

“I fell pretty much full force from a standing position to the travertine floor. I had bruises on the side of my face," she recalled from her injuries.

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As a result, DeLong’s family called for an ambulance and that's when Rural Metro transported her to a hospital.

The good news is her injuries at the time were minor and DeLong was released and went back home.

“Did you ever get a bill for the ambulance ride?" Gary Harper asked her.

"No,” she replied.


Instead of sending her a bill, DeLong says Rural Metro sent her to a debt collector who mailed her a notice demanding payment for that ambulance ride. DeLong says she remembers getting the collections letter in the mail. She immediately paid the bill, but by then her credit score had plummeted 200 points.

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"I come from a financial services background so credit is very important,” she said. “Mine has always been in the 800s."

After paying the bill, DeLong’s credit score spiked back to where it was and she thought the ordeal was over.

That is, until recently when she walked out to check her mail and got another notice from another debt collector saying she owed Rural Metro more money. This time, the amount had ballooned to more than $1,455.

DeLong couldn't believe it and contacted 3 On Your Side for help.

"I watch your reports all the time and see that you get things done. And, this seemed to be right up your alley because I was being charged for something I had paid for in full," she said.

3 On Your Side got involved and asked Rural Metro to review DeLong’s account.

They did and realized they made a mistake. As a result, Rural Metro zeroed out DeLong's balance and removed her from collections.

DeLong says she owes it all to 3 On Your Side.

"I slept really good. And, I'm going to sleep really good. I'm so very happy and very pleased," she said.

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