Top 3 Credit Reporting Agencies Reach Settlement on Medical Debt

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman reached a settlement with the three biggest U.S. credit-reporting agencies in a deal that will change the way they handle errors and treat medical debt.

Under the agreement, set to be announced on Monday, Equifax Information Services LLC, Experian Information Solutions Inc and TransUnion LLC, will be more proactive in resolving disputes over information contained in their reports.

The three credit-reporting agencies (CRAs) collect and provide credit information on more than 200 million consumers in the United States.

The credit reporting agencies have agreed that:

  • Medical debt can only be put on a credit report 180 days after after the bill from the doctor. This will give the insurance company time to pay, and people time to understand the cost. Historically, collection agencies could put a collection items on credit reports at their discretion, and they would.
  • If a medical bill is ultimately paid by an insurance company, the credit reporting agency has to remove the item from the credit report. Too often, slow insurance companies ended up wreaking havoc on people’s credit reports.
  • When a consumer disputes something on their report, the agencies will have a trained employee review all documents submitted by individuals when they submit a dispute.

The three companies launched a plan on Monday and said the implementation will begin over the next few months.

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