Letter to U. S. House of Representatives Supporting the Medical Debt Relief Act of 2009

Publish Date: 
November 2, 2009
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This legislation will address the growing problem of medical debt on consumers’ credit reports. The number of American adults under the age of 65 carrying medical debt jumped from 21 percent in 2005 to 28 percent in 2007. According to the Commonwealth Fund, nearly 78 million working age adults accrued medical debt in 2007. That same year, twenty-eight million Americans were contacted by a collection agency for unpaid medical bills. Many consumers are not even aware that medical bills are found on their credit reports as a “debt in collection.” Unfortunately, one negative medical collection mark can drop a consumer's credit score, potentially costing that consumer thousands of dollars in higher interest rates on home and automobile loans, credit cards and other revolving lines of credit. Moreover, even after consumers have paid off delinquent medical debt, the negative information stays on their credit record for seven years.