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Changes to medical debt reporting could help consumers

Many Ohio residents have unpaid medical debts that are damaging their credit reports. Fortunately, some new changes in the way that these obligations are reported to credit bureaus could mean that a lot of people's credit scores will be going up. On March 9, Experian, Equifax and Transunion announced that they were going to be reporting medical debt differently and responding to complaints about credit report errors with more diligence.

The changes will be implemented nationwide in six months and are part of a settlement with New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who had previously launched an investigation into the three credit bureaus in 2012. According to reports, the credit scores of many consumers had been damaged because medical debts were being reported before a bill had even been sent. Now, credit bureaus will have to wait 180 days before they can add a medical debt to a patient's credit report.

Another change at the credit bureaus will be the addition of employees trained to investigate errors. When people report an error on their credit report, the employees will be required to look into the situation regardless of whether or not the creditor claims that the information is correct. This change may affect a lot of medical debt collections, as medical invoices are known for being full of errors.

A lot of people with medical debt are in that situation after going through difficult and unexpected life changes. One who has been so affected might want to consider seeking debt relief by filing for personal bankruptcy. There are eligibility and other requirements associated with filing that an attorney with experience in bankruptcy matters can explain.

Source: Time, "It Just Got Harder for Debt Collectors to Destroy Your Credit", Kara Brandeisky, March 9, 2015

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