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Thursday, December 11, 2014

CFPB Requires Regular Accuracy Report from Consumer Reporting Agencies

The major consumer reporting agencies will be required to provide regular accuracy reports to the CFPB on how disputes from consumers are being handled, the CFPB announced at their field hearing on medical debt collection. The report will list furnishers with the most disputes, industries with the most disputes, and furnishers with particularly high dispute rates relative to their peers. CFPB Director Richard Cordray said:

It’s hard for consumers to navigate the medical debt maze and come out with a clean credit report on the other side. The CFPB is taking action to improve credit report accuracy.

The bureau also released a report titled “Consumer credit reports: A study of medical and non-medical collections,” citing concerns that medical debt has had a significant impact on consumer credit. Among the findings the CFPB reports that half of all overdue debt on credit reports is from medical debt and 15 million consumers have only medical debt on their credit reports. The report draws on sources such as information from credit reporting companies, consumer complaints to the Bureau, and interviews with debt collection agencies, healthcare providers and observers of healthcare billing and payment processes.

In conjunction with the study, the CFPB released “Consumer Advisory: 7 ways to keep medical debt in check.” The blog post advises consumers to review medical bills carefully, check health insurance policies and act quickly to resolve or dispute medical bills.

Read the press release.
Read the report.
Read the CFPB Consumer Advisory.

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