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CFPB moves to ban medical bills from credit reports

CFPB moves to ban medical bills from credit reports

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has set out plans to remove medical bills from most credit reports

The proposed rule would stop credit reporting companies from sharing medical debts with lenders and prohibit lenders from making decisions based on medical information.

This, says the bureau, would remove as much as $49 billion of medical debts that lowers credit scores for 15 million Americans. It would also increase privacy protections, help to increase credit scores and loan approvals, and prevent debt collectors from using the credit reporting system to coerce people to pay.

Back in 2023, Congress restricted lenders from obtaining or using medical information, including information about debts. However, federal agencies then issued a special exception to allow creditors to use medical debts in their decisions.

The CFPB is now proposing to close this loophole, arguing that, in fact, a medical bill on a credit report is not actually a good predictor of whether the person will repay a loan.

Rohit Chopra, director, CFPB, says: "Medical bills on credit reports too often are inaccurate and have little to no predictive value when it comes to repaying other loans."

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