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Medical Debt Affects Nearly Twenty-Percent of Americans

According to a recent study from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, about 43 million people – nearly 20% of all U.S. consumers – have unpaid medical debts.“When people fall ill and end up at the hospital with unexpected bills, far too often they have entered into a financial maze,” said Richard Cordray, director of the Bureau. Confusing notices from hospitals and insurance companies regarding treatment costs are often targeted for creating such problems for patients.Those with medical debts which are simply overdue owe, on average, about $1,760, while those with unpaid medical bills combined with other debts, such as on back taxes or credit cards, owe about $5,638 each. Such debt is also detrimental to credit scores; coincidentally, more than 50% of all debt on credit reports originates in medical expenses.Many have noted that the real trouble lies not in the debt itself, but how much of the debt is avoidable; roughly 50% of American consumers with medical debts have no other debts or signs of financial distress. Despite this, complaints to the CFPB have shown that confusing and unwieldy statements from insurance companies and hospitals alike continue to baffle Americans on a regular basis.Due to the frequent legal disputes caused by this confusion, the CFPB has recently announced that all major consumer-reporting agencies will be required to provide routine reports on how they investigate, and respond to, disputed charges. One such company is the Fair Isaac Corp., which had already modified its credit score model following a similar (but separate) CFPB report in May 2014. Under its previous model, an unpaid bill of as little as $100 could lower a credit score (even an excellent one) by as many as 100 points; under the new model, those with debts/expenses which are only medical will see their credit score rise as the new model is implemented. Further positive changes, not only within Fair Isaac but a number of other companies, can be expected following this most recent report.If you are being harassed over a debt, you may be entitled to money damages. Get up to $1,000 for harassment, and $500 – $1,500 for illegal robocalls. Under various state and federal laws, we will help you based on a fee-shift provision and/or a contingency fee. This means the collector pays your attorney’s fees and costs and you won’t pay us a penny. We have settled thousands of debt collection harassment cases; let us help you today. Contact Mike Agruss Law at (888)-572-0176 to stop the harassment once and for all.

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