A November 2023 CFPB report on the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) highlights the untapped potential of FDCPA claims where debt collectors collect on medical debt not owed or owed in a lesser amount. The report describes how tens of millions of Americans face medical debt collection—somewhere between 17% and 35% of all adults have unpaid medical bills. Most consumers with collection tradelines on their credit reports have medical debt tradelines. In addition, 15% of all complaints to the CFPB involve medical debt, and about half of those involve complaints about debts that are not owed.
This article sets out common situations where medical debt is not owed or is owed in a lesser amount than the amount sought, and then describes how an FDCPA claim can successfully challenge such medical debt collection. The article then highlights three specific areas where the CFPB has indicated that the FDCPA can challenge collection of medical debt.