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Debt Collectors Come under New Rules

October 29, 2012

In this day and age, you would be hard pressed to find someone who hasn’t had a run in with a debt collection company at some point. The problem with this is that there are any number of different collection agents who don’t behave all that well when they are going after the money that is owed. On occasion, you will even run across a company that is actually collecting money they aren’t owed. Over the last few years, it seems that there were an awful lot of instances when a person had very few options when they were being pursued illegally or unethically.

It appears that the tide is finally turning on collection agents who are not acting in good faith. More and more agencies are coming up with lists of directions people can follow if they need to find a way to get away from a collection agency that is not acting properly. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), which was set up under the Obama administration is geared towards making sure collection agencies are not behaving in an illegal or unethical way. Late last week, the agency issued a couple of new rules which collection agencies must follow.

Among those rules is a new rule that allows the CFPB to monitor collection agencies and penalize them if they are not following the new set of rules. The Affordable Care Act (otherwise known as Obamacare) has also put out rules and regulations that hospitals must adhere to when it comes to debt collection. Among the rules that debt collectors must follow are the need to Screen patients for financial need before employing extraordinary collections tactics, Limit amounts billed to patients eligible for financial assistance to either Medicare rates or the lowest payments required of insured patients and publicize clear eligibility requirements for free or reduced-cost care. These rules especially should help people who would otherwise go into serious financial stress when they have to visit a hospital.

Edited by Rich Steeves

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