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A headache for consumers: collectors focused on medical debt

On Behalf of | Dec 2, 2014 | Consumer Protection

Can you relate to the following hypothetical?

You received medical care and, as a duly conscientious consumer who has always timely paid bills and has an impressive credit score to show for it, you watched for the mail and stood ready to perform, as usual.

However, there was a glitch. Although you received your bill, your insurer hadn’t gotten around to reviewing it. As virtually all consumers do in good faith in such a situation — indeed, as they are commonly instructed to do — you waited, giving the insurance company time to make offsets before you wrote your check.

And you continued to wait. While you did, you received a second billing from the hospital, and then a third. Both of those invoices contained an interest amount tacked on for your failure to pay.

And then the phone calls started coming in from a collection agency, ratcheting up in intensity and vitriol with each successive contact.

Does any of this sound familiar? Chances are, it does, which in fact makes it far more than a mere hypothetical.

In fact, such a story rings painfully true for high numbers of Pennsylvania residents and other consumers across the country.

According to a recent report authored by the national Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), no concern looms larger for American consumers than debt collectors’ strident efforts to extract money from them.

And that concern is particularly large when it comes to medical debt, which, for the reasons described above, can be particularly complex.

Debt collection in general is a truly frightening reality for millions of consumers nationally. According to the CFPB, about 30 million adults across the country have one or more accounts in collection.

Collectors cannot act in unbridled fashion. There are laws they must follow and limits that, when breached, allow for legal remedies for consumers who are harassed or otherwise abused.

An experienced debt collection defense attorney can provide relevant information and strong representation to any consumer seeking to combat unlawful collection efforts.

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