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Financial Services Law Insights and Observations

CFPB examines removal of medical collections from credit reports

Federal Issues CFPB Consumer Finance Debt Collection Medical Debt Consumer Reporting Agency Credit Report

Federal Issues

On April 26, the CFPB released a data point report estimating that nearly 23 million American consumers will have at least one medical collection removed from their credit reports when all medical collection tradelines under $500 are deleted. Additionally, the Bureau found that the removal will result in approximately 15.6 million people having all medical collections removed. The reporting change occurred as part of an undertaking by the three nationwide consumer reporting companies announced earlier in April. Examining credit reports that occurred between 2012 and 2020, the Bureau studied the impact of this change and noted that on average consumers experienced a 25-point increase in their credit scores in the first quarter following the removal of their last medical collection. The average increase, the report found, was 21 points for consumers with medical collections under $500 compared to 32 points for those with medical collections over $500. The report further discussed the association between the removal of medical collection tradelines and the amount of available credit for revolving and installment accounts, as well as increases in first-lien mortgage inquiries (attributable, the Bureau believes, to consumers working to remove these tradelines as part of applying for mortgage credit).