The last phase of a three year agreement is coming into effect this September. The three largest Credit Reporting Agencies (CRA’s) Trans Union, Equifax, and Experian entered into an agreement with state and federal regulators to make significant changes to their collection and reporting of consumer credit data. The project began in 2015 and the last of the changes go into effect September 15, 2017.
One of these changes affect collection agencies reporting medical debt. ALL medical debts will not be able to be reported on a consumer’s credit report until 180 days AFTER the date of delinquency. The date of delinquency is usually 60 to 120 days after the last date of service, depending on the individual office’s financial policy. For example: if a patient is seen in your office for the last time on March 14, 2017 and your policy is a debt becomes delinquent and can be sent to collections after 90 days of non-payment, the debt could be placed for collection June 13th. 180 days later is mid-December, so if the debt is still unpaid it can be placed onto the consumer’s credit report effective January 1, 2018.
Another significant change will be the requirement for ALL debts to include the full social security number and date-of-birth. It has been Southern’s policy to not report accounts without a full SS# for quite some time, but not all of our clients have historically provided the DOB at time of placement. Accounts without a DOB will be deleted or not-reported after September 15, 2017.
These changes are intended to make credit bureau data better for all consumers and lessen complaints and problems that many people have encountered over the years. It will also give people with medical debts in collection a significant increase in time to pay their debts to keep it from going onto their credit report.