Federal proposal would change medical debt collection rules

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has proposed a rule to protect consumers against harassment by debt collectors, including medical debt, and provide avenues to address or dispute the debt, according to Kaiser Health News.

The rule would limit the number of calls debt collectors could make to reach consumers weekly; make it clear how collectors may legally communicate using voicemails, emails, text messages and other technologies that have developed since 1977, when the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act passed; and require collectors to give consumers more information to help them identify debts and respond to attempts to collect overdue bills, according to a bureau news release.

"The bureau is taking the next step in the rulemaking process to ensure we have clear rules of the road where consumers know their rights, and debt collectors know their limitations," said bureau director Kathleen L. Kraninger.

The bureau is soliciting public feedback about the proposal and will consider the input before issuing a final regulation.

Read the full proposed rule here.

 

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