Marie Gerdes has her hands full. Her mother recently died and Gerdes had to have a lot of her mom's personal belongings packed up and shipped from Washington, DC down to Scottsdale. One of those items is this portrait of her mom.

"She lived to 102 and she just passed away on the 25th of June," Gerdes said.

The Scottsdale woman says she wishes she could spend more time going down memory lane and opening up items she grew up with, but instead she says she's spending a considerable amount of her energy fighting a $1,019 bill from a debt collection agency called Credence.

At first, Gerdes thought the bill was a mistake because her last name is Gerdes. However, the collection agency transposed the letters to spell Marie Derges.

"So, first of all, I'm thinking this isn't mine. This isn't my name," Gerdes explained. "Is someone trying to steal my identity?

Gerdes managed to contact someone at Credence who told her the $1,019 bill was for a Rural Metro ambulance bill dating all the way back to early 2014. That’s two and a half years ago.

Gerdes acknowledges that she was taken by ambulance to a Valley hospital back in February 2014. She said the bill would have been paid for in full by her insurance company. But that's the problem. She says her insurance company never got the bill. Neither did she.

Gerdes tells 3 On Your Side that Rural Metro apparently forgot to send her insurance company a claim and now, two years later, that same insurance company says the claim is too old to process and pay out.

"Rural Metro never filed a claim with your Insurance Company at all?" I asked to clarify.

"No," she said.

"And so, if they don't file a claim, they don't get paid?"

"They don't get paid," she confirmed

However, Rural Metro wants to be paid now and sent the ambulance bill to a collections agency.

"I emailed 3 On Your Side because no one was helping," Gerdes said.

3 On Your Side got involved and Rural Metro looked into the matter for us.

Gerdes says they contacted her a few days later saying they reviewed her account at 3 On Your Side’s request. According to Gerdes, the company told her they sent her to collections in error and apologized.

Gerdes says Rural Metro not only removed her from collections but also waived the entire bill. Gerdes says she’s relieved and glad 3 On Your Side was able to get things done.

"I have seen story after story when you got the job done," she said. "So, I was so thankful I had somewhere to turn with this problem."Copyright 2016 KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

3 On Your Side' Investigative Reporter

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