Presentation on theme: "COLLECTION HOT TOPICS WV HMFA Winter Educational Conference January 15, 2015."— Presentation transcript:
COLLECTION HOT TOPICS WV HMFA Winter Educational Conference January 15, 2015
DISCLAIMER This presentation is for informational and educational purposes only. The content of this presentation is not intended to serve as legal or other advice and should not replace the advice of your own legal counsel.
MEDICAL DEBT The CFPB found in a study that consumer’s credit reports contain unpaid medical debts far more than any other kind of unpaid bills. 52% of all unpaid debt entries listed on credit reports is from medical expenses. 1 in 5 adults have an unpaid medical debt on their credit report. (43 million people)
CFPB What is the CFPB? Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was created by the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010. Has the power to make rules independent of Congress, has examination authority and is responsible for oversight of consumer complaints about debt collection.
CFPB ANPR – issued late 2013. Comments were due early 2014. Been evaluating all comments from various groups, including ACA International. Rules forthcoming possibly June/July 2015 with additional comment period. Possible take affect 2016.
CFPB Field Hearing on December 11, 2014 – Oklahoma City. Focused specifically on Medical Debt. CFPB announced new requirements for consumer credit reporting agencies to provide regular accuracy reports about consumer’s medical debt records.
CFPB Published White Paper on collection of medical debt. Medical Debt Collection Task Force, which was comprised of 15 members, including members from ACA International and HFMA, to establish best practices in patient billing, collections and credit reporting is referenced in the CFPB White Paper.
CFPB Possible changes to the Bureau from the change in Congress. (Republican majority) Possible proposed legislation to maybe bring it under Congressional oversight could surface ?? Switching the leadership of the Bureau from sole director to a commission of 5 people ??
TCPA Telephone Consumers Protection Act of 1991. Enacted to address telemarketing calls and certain practices found to be an invasion of consumer privacy. Includes a provision that prohibits the use of automated telephone systems without the consumer’s prior consent when calling a wireless phone.
TCPA The facts – In 1991, wireless phones not a dominant form of communication. Today, more Americans are going mobile and ditching landline phones. 54% of all American households are now exclusively or predominately wireless.
TCPA The problem ? We are relying on rules enacted in 1991 that have created a barrier to one of the most fundamental aspects of consumer debt collection – COMMUNICATION.
TCPA The Solution ?? ACA International and other industry groups have signed and submitted to the FCC a petition for TCPA Reform. Some type of action by the FCC in the next 30 to 60 days. The action could be a declaratory ruling or open up for a new rule to be drafted or combination of the 2.
IRS REGULATIONS 501 (C) (3) The IRS finalized its Affordable Care Act requirements for tax-exempt hospitals on December 29, 2014. Finalized the requirements for charitable hospital organizations relating to financial assistance, billing and collections, and community health needs assessments, among other policies.
IRS REGULATIONS The regulations “adopt the same framework of proposed regulations but simplify the compliance process for charitable hospitals, while continuing to provide meaningful guidance on protections for patients and requirements to assess community health needs.” Rule published December 31 in the Federal Register.
STATE WV 2014 saw changes to the WV Consumer Credit and Protection Act. HB 4360 Modifications/Amendments to HB 4360 “Zombie” Debt Bill to adopted and passed Bill.
STATE What Changed? Section 46A-2-128 Unfair or unconscionable means. New section added. (Section F) When the debt is beyond the statute of limitations for filing a legal action for collection, failing to provide the following disclosure informing the consumer in its initial written communication with such consumer that:
STATE (1) When collecting on a debt that is not past the date of obsolescence provided for in Section 605 (a) of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, 15 U. S. C. 1681c “The law limits how long you can be sued on a debt. Because of the age of your debt, (Insert Owner Name) cannot sue you for it. If you do not pay the debt (Insert Owner Name) may report or continue to report it to credit reporting agencies as unpaid.” and
STATE (2) When collecting on debt that is past the date for obsolescence provided for in Section 605 (a) of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, 15 U. S. C. 1681c “ The law limits how long you can be sued on a debt. Because of the age of your debt, (Insert Owner Name) cannot sue you for it and (Insert Owner Name) cannot report it to any credit reporting agencies.
STATE These changes were effective June 6, 2014. Legislative Study of The WV Consumer Credit and Protection Act – October 2014. Legislation from the study ?? Changes in the makeup of the Legislature (Republican majority) will determine.
STATE Proposed or passed legislation in one state could have a definite effect on other states. ACA International and the State Units of ACA International are constantly monitoring and reacting to proposed and pending legislation that affect the collection industry.