The CFPB publishes a report on medical debt

On April 20, the CFPB released a report analyzing complaints submitted to the Bureau in 2021 regarding medical billing, collection and consumer reporting practices. The report describes the difficulties faced by consumers in identifying, verifying or eliminating debt. The report also noted that most complaints could be categorized into two main themes: (1) the debt has already been paid, does not belong to the consumer in question or is otherwise incorrect, and (2) the information included in the collection notices raised concerns. According to the Bureau, key findings of the report include, among others: (i) from 2018 to 2021, complaints about attempts to collect unpaid medical bills increased by 31%; (ii) approximately 15% of debt collection complaints in 2021 related to attempts to collect a medical bill; and (iii) “consumers often expressed surprise and frustration at discovering old or minor medical debt when checking their credit report.” The report is the most recent of the CFPB’s filings and reports regarding medical debts and credit reports. As previously covered by InfoBytes, in March the CFPB released a report, The burden of medical debt in the United Stateswho cited research revealing $88 billion in medical debt on consumer credit reports, which represents 58% of all commercial lines of uncollected debt reported to credit reporting agencies.

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