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Medical Debt Relief Act for the 112th Congress

As some here may know, the bill entitled "Medical Debt Relief Act of 2010" died when the 111th Congress adjourned. Kind of like the bill in this link:

Bill Dies on Capitol Hill (I couldn't resist…:D )

The bill passed the Senate, but did not get voted on in the House.

All bills not enacted into law during the 111th Congress are now dead.

The 112th Congress will convene for the Senate Feb 7, 2011 and for the House of Representatives Feb 8, 2011.

I ask that all here affected by medical debt contact their Senators and Representatives and ask them to sponsor the following. You can cut and paste this exact same bill that was sponsored in the House; being HR 3421 with amendments.

You can find out who represents you at this link…just type in your zip code:

http://www.congressmerge.com/onlinedb/

Follow the links to find their email addresses and websites.

For those who would like to know how a bill becomes law; use this link:

http://www.usconstit...nsttop_law.html

For those who just need a refresher on how a bill becomes law; use this link:

I'm Just a Bill

Begin Cut Here to Paste to your Congressman and Senators email:


Please sponsor this proposed bill
A PROPOSED BILL
To exclude from consumer credit reports medical debt that has been in collection and has been fully paid or settled, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the ''Medical Debt Relief Act''.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS AND PURPOSE.

FINDINGS.—Congress finds that—

(1) medical debt is unique, and Americans do not choose when accidents happen or when illness strikes;

(2) medical debt collection issues affect both insured and uninsured consumers;

(3) according to credit evaluators, medical debt collections are more likely to be in dispute, inconsistently reported, and of questionable value in predicting future payment performance because it is atypical and nonpredictive;

(4) nevertheless, medical debt that has been completely paid off or settled can significantly damage the credit score of a consumer for years;

(5) as a result, consumers may be denied credit or pay higher interest rates when buying a home or obtaining a credit card;

(6) healthcare providers are increasingly turning to outside collection agencies to help secure payment from patients, coming at the expense of the consumer, because medical debts are not typically reported unless they become assigned to collections;

(7) in fact, medical bills account for more than half of all non-credit related collection actions reported to consumer credit reporting agencies;

(8) the issue of medical debt affects millions of consumers;

(9) according to the Commonwealth Fund, medical bill problems or accrued medical debt affects roughly 72,000,000 working-age adults in America;

And,

(10) in 2007, 28,000,000 working-age American adults were contacted by a collection agency for unpaid medical bills.

PURPOSE.—It is the purpose of this Act to exclude from consumer credit reports medical debt that had been characterized as debt in collection for credit reporting purposes and has been fully paid or settled.

SEC. 3. AMENDMENTS TO FAIR CREDIT REPORTING ACT.

(a) MEDICAL DEBT DEFINED.—Section 603 of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (15 U.S.C. 1681a) as amended by section 1088(a)(1) of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Public Law 111–203; 124 Stat. 2086),is amended by adding at the end the following:

''(z) MEDICAL DEBT.—The term 'medical debt' means a debt described in section 604(g)(1)( c ).''.

(b ) EXCLUSION FOR PAID OR SETTLED MEDICAL DEBT.—Section 605(a) of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (15 U.S.C. 1681c(a)) is amended by adding at the end the following:

''(7) Any information related to 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.''.


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