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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Feb 25, 2016.
Medical Debt Act of 2016
This bill amends the Fair Credit Reporting Act to prohibit a consumer reporting agency from making any consumer report containing information related to: (1) a medical debt (arising from the receipt of medical services, products, or devises) if the date on which the debt was placed for collection, charged to profit or loss, or any similar action antedates the report by less than 180 days, or (2) a fully paid or settled medical debt that had been characterized as delinquent, charged off, or in collection which, from the date of payment or settlement, antedates the report by more than 45 days.
The bill also amends the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act to require a debt collector, before informing a consumer reporting agency regarding a medical debt, to notify the consumer in writing that: (1) the debt collector could report the debt to a consumer reporting agency 180 days after the notification is sent, specifying the precise end date of the period; (2) the debt will not be reported if it is settled or paid during the 180-day period; and (3) the consumer may, during the 180-day period, either communicate with an insurance company to determine coverage for the debt or apply for financial assistance.
The debt collector may not communicate with or report any information to a consumer reporting agency concerning such a debt during the 180-day period.