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Financial Services Law Insights and Observations

CFPB report on FDCPA highlights medical debt collection issues

Federal Issues CFPB Medical Debt FDCPA Consumer Protection FCRA

Federal Issues

On November 16, the CFPB released its annual Fair Debt Collection Practices Act report, which highlighted challenges specific to medical debt collection. For example, 8,500 complaints were submitted in 2022 related to medical debt collection and described problems such as collectors billing for services never received, collecting the wrong amounts, miscommunication with insurance companies or financial assistance programs, or placing bills on credit reports without prior consumer contact. The report emphasized collectors may violate federal law when they pursue inaccurate medical bills and stressed the need for medical debt collectors to comply with the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the No Surprises Act, and the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

The report also includes developments in state law regarding medical debt collection, including recent legislation in Colorado, New York, Maine, and Nevada. Additionally, the report contains sections related to supervision of debt collection activities, enforcement actions, education and outreach initiatives, rulemaking, and research and policy initiatives.