(PatriotWise.com)- Vice President Kamala Harris on Monday outlined the Biden administration’s plan to reduce the burden of medical debt on consumers while protecting them from unfair debt collection practices.
Working in conjunction with the Consumer Financial Protect Bureau (CFPB), the Department of Health and Human Services will request data on medical debt collection practices and share any potential violations.
The CFPB will then investigate credit reporting companies for possible illegal behavior. Harris explained that “harassment and intimidation” in the collection of medical debt are often illegal, which is why the CFPB will make it a priority “to hold debt collectors accountable.”
To help consumers obtain loans for housing and businesses, agencies will also be given guidance on eliminating medical debt as a factor for underwriting.
The planned program will also help low-income veterans get their medical debt forgiven by “streamlining the application process.”
The CFPB will also provide tools for consumers to make sure they are “equipped to handle confusing medical bills.”
In a 2014 report, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau found that typically medical debt is not a good indicator of whether a consumer will default on future debt as most medical debt stems from emergency circumstances.
Earlier this year, the Department of Veterans Affairs established a rule allowing most veterans’ medical debt to go unreported to credit agencies.
Last month, the three credit firms, TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax, announced that starting in July, they would remove most medical debt, including all unpaid medical bills of less than $500, from every individual’s credit report.
In announcing the administration’s plan, Vice President Harris said getting sick or injured should not adversely affect someone’s credit score which only makes it harder to “secure the help you need to get out of debt.” “It’s not logical,” Kamala said.
It also isn’t logical to “secure the help you need” by applying for a loan to pay off your debts since a loan is just another debt. Then again, Kamala Harris isn’t the brightest star in the firmament.