The CFPB has announced that it will hold a field hearing on medical debt collection in Oklahoma City, OK on December 11. The hearing will include remarks from Director Cordray and testimony from consumer groups, industry representatives, and members of the public.
The CFPB has previously flagged medical debt collection as an area of concern. In May 2014, the CFPB issued a report suggesting that credit scoring models may be overly penalizing consumers with medical debts that go into collection by producing credit scores that underestimate such consumers’ creditworthiness. Collection practices of hospitals and other medical providers relating to medical debts have also been the subject of CFPB scrutiny, with the CFPB indicating that more protections are needed for consumers. (As we have noted, the CFPB has very limited authority to address debt collection by medical providers.)
Given the CFPB’s practice of using field hearings as the venue for announcing new regulatory or other initiatives, it is likely the CFPB will reveal some of its plans for addressing medical debt collection at the December 11th field hearing.