Collecting medical debts will get more difficult, should Congress enact laws proposed by Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.).
Late last month Sen. Franken fulfilled a promise and submitted a bill to Congress proposing to strengthen the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). The new bill – S.3350, “End Debt Collector Abuse Act of 2012″ — is nearly identical to a bill Franken introduced in the last Congressional session, except for the sections related to medical debt. That bill died in committee and was never enacted.
In his proposed changes to the FDCPA, Franken seeks to have medical debt treated differently from other debt, especially as it applies to collection practices. But the bill also still contains the broader provisions featured in the 2010 proposal that would impact the entire ARM industry, such as increasing award amounts for FDCPA violations.
The only substantial difference in the broader FDCPA reform language is the provision shifting regulatory responsibility from the FTC to the new CFPB.
For more on the bill and the changes it will make to medical ARM practices, please see insidePatientFinance.com’s coverage.
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