Tuesday, November 28, 2023
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Government agency considers proposal that would remove medical debt from credit reports

(InvestigateTV) — The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is considering a proposal that would remove medical bills from credit reports.
According to the CFPB, reported medical debt can severely impact someone’s ability to get a loan for a car or house, or impact their employability.
CFPB Senior Counsel Kiren Gopal said there are two main parts to their proposal. First, it would prohibit credit reporting companies from including medical debts and collection information on reports to creditors. Second, it would also prohibit lenders from considering outstanding medical bills when examining credit.
Gopal explained that a lot of medical debt information is inaccurate, plus medical debt is not an indicator of whether someone is a bad credit risk.
He said shady debt collectors could use medical debt to coerce consumers to pay for services they never even received.
“What this proposal is effectively saying to people is, look, the CFPB gets it. We have your back and that’s why it would effectively remove medical bills from people’s reports,” Gopal said.
While the CFPB works on finalizing its proposal, Patricia Kelmar with the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) said there are some things consumers can do now to protect themselves from medical debt and costly bills.
Always push insurance companies to cover as much as possible
Contact your doctor’s billing office to negotiate the price – offices will often give a discount to those who ask
Ask for proof of debt via a copy of the bill to make sure the debt is valid
“People should know that just because their debt collector is calling, it doesn’t necessarily mean you owe that bill, and you might actually not,” Kelmar said. “So, if a debt collector continues to come after you there is an agency, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and you can file a complaint against that debt collector.”
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