The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is holding a field hearing on Thursday, December 11 in Oklahoma City to discuss medical debt collection.
The brief announcement — posted on the CFPB blog last week — did not contain further details, but it did reveal that Director Richard Cordray would be making remarks, in addition to testimony from consumer groups, industry representatives, and members of the public.
Typically, the CFPB uses field hearings to announce new initiatives, if not outright rules proposals. The Bureau has previously signaled that it is looking at medical accounts that wind up in collection.
In May, the CFPB published a report that focused on the consequences of medical debt in collections on consumers’ credit scores. In both the report and in official statements made surrounding its release, the CFPB did not make recommendations for policy changes. But at the time, the report was seen as the first step in the process of proposing a rule about medical debt reporting and collection.
The National Consumer Law Center, however, did recently make some specific recommendations regarding medical debt collection in a September report. Most notably, the NCLC called on the CFPB to include revenues from medical debt collection in its calculation of larger market participants, which would bring more collection agencies under CFPB supervision.
The field hearing is free and open to the public and may be viewed online via livestream the day of the event.