CFPB vs. Medical Debt Collector
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced an enforcement action it is taking against Syndicated Office Systems, LLC doing business as Central Financial Control, a medical debt collection company, for improper handling of consumer credit reporting disputes and preventing consumers from exercising their rights. The company collects medical debt on behalf of hospitals, doctors, and other healthcare providers.
The actions taken by Syndicated Office Systems potentially impacted the credit scores of thousands of consumers. The CFPB has ordered the company to pay over $5.4 million in relief to the victims, as well as to take action to correct its business practices and pay a penalty in the amount of $500,000.
“Syndicated Office Systems mistreated consumers and prevented them from exercising critical debt collection rights,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray. “These violations are particularly egregious given the challenges many consumers already face who are attempting to navigate the medical debt maze. Today we are putting a stop to these illegal practices and getting consumers the relief they deserve.”
Medical debt can have a significant impact on consumer’s credit scores. According to the CFPB, more than 43 million Americans have medical debt that is negatively affecting their credit reports. A CFPB report also revealed that the complicated processes by which medical bills are incurred, how they are collected by a variety of collectors, and reported to the credit bureaus creates challenges for the consumer. The CFPB also discovered that medical debt can overly penalize an individual’s credit score.
Syndicated Office Systems routinely supplied information to the credit reporting agencies and is considered a “furnisher” under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. The credit reporting bureaus use the information supplied by furnishers in order to track an individual’s credit history and to create the report that it sells to lenders, employers and other interested parties.
Syndicated Office Systems failed to send debt validation notices to thousands of consumers. The company mishandled credit reporting disputes because it did not investigate or respond to consumers within the 30-day deadline required by law.
Whether you owe the debt or not, you deserve to be treated with respect and fairness. Contact our California Debtor Protection Law Firm with your questions, comments, and concerns, or for a free consultation. Speak to a CA credit card lawsuit and collection harassment lawyer at our firm today.
Posted in: Debt Collections