CFPB’s targeting of medical debt and card fees may have unintended consequences

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) rules that seek to remove medical debt from credit reports and cap card late fees are proving wildly popular with the general public.

But there may be unintended consequences — upending the ways in which providers and patients interact and upending credit access in general.

The rules have yet to be the law of the land, so to speak — indeed, the credit card late fee shift is still winding its way through the courts — and the ripple effects will take time to play out.

But for at least some consumers, we may see a disincentive to keep payments timely … with significant consequences to healthcare practitioners and card-issuing financial institutions (FIs).


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