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Financial Services Law Insights and Observations

CFPB supports Connecticut’s bill to ban medical debt on credit reports

Federal Issues State Legislation Connecticut CFPB Medical Debt Credit Report

Federal Issues

On April 15, the CFPB released a letter written by Brian Shearer, the Assistant Director within the Office of Policy Planning and Strategy, throwing the Bureau’s support behind Connecticut’s new bill to bar medical debt on credit reports. The proposed bill, SB 395, has passed its committee in the first chamber. This legislation would align Connecticut with similar legislation in Colorado and New York, and the CFPB noted that the “preemption of state law is narrow under both the [FDCPA] and the [FCRA], and states may… limit the inclusion of information about a person’s allegedly unpaid medical bills on consumer reports.” The CFPB announced in September 2023 its NPRM to prohibit creditors from using medical bills in underwriting decisions (as covered by InfoBytes here). According to the letter, “[m]edical debt is categorically different from most types of consumer tradelines that typically appear on consumer reports. Consumers frequently incur medical bills in unique circumstances that differ from other forms of credit extension, and CFPB research has found that medical debt is less predictive of future consumer credit performance than other tradelines.”