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Q: bad credit resulting from medical bills ( Answered,   1 Comment )
Subject: bad credit resulting from medical bills
Category: Health > Seniors
Asked by: chance62-ga
List Price: $25.00
Posted: 26 Sep 2005 00:01 PDT
Expires: 26 Oct 2005 00:01 PDT
Question ID: 572644
I remember years ago that catastropic medical illness should not hurt
your credit because credit reporting agencies sre prohibited from
reporting medical bills.  Is this true?
Subject: Re: bad credit resulting from medical bills
Answered By: nancylynn-ga on 27 Sep 2005 15:22 PDT
Hello chance62-ga:

Your outstanding medical bills may indeed be reported to the credit
bureaus (some medical institutions report such debts, others don?t).
However, the impact of those outstanding expenses won?t necessarily be
devastating to your credit score.

I called EquiFax, one of the three major credit reporting agencies.


I spoke with a customer representative at Equifax: outstanding medical
bills can affect your credit score, but the impact will likely be
negligible. Equifax is far more lenient regarding medical bills, as
opposed to a debtor who went on a reckless shopping spree and ran up
exorbitant charges they then couldn?t pay.

So, while your score may be affected by outstanding medical bills,
those debts won?t weigh all that heavily against you. According to
Equifax, that shouldn?t have any significant impact on your score and
shouldn?t affect you if you are, say, hoping to get a home loan.

Furthermore, the credit bureaus wouldn?t receive any information on
the specifics of your illness or treatment.

I also contacted another major credit reporting bureau, TransUnion:

Mr. Clifton M. O'Neal, Director of Corporate Communications for
TransUnion, replied to my inquiry. Here?s his response:

? . . . ?reporting information to credit reporting companies is
voluntary.  Some medical institutions may report the status of a
person's financial obligation or account to the credit bureaus, which
in turn could be reflected on a person's credit report and score.

?Additionally, if unpaid medical bills are turned over to a collection
agency and the collection agency reports information to the credit
bureaus, or if an unpaid medical debt results in a judgment or lien
being filed, then that information similarly could be included on a
person's report and reflected in the score.
?However, all medical information is coded and seen only as a general
financial obligation or collection account to anyone with a
permissible purpose under the law to view a person's credit report.

?The nature of the medical services and the medical service provider's
name are masked from display to anyone but the consumer himself,
except where the law expressly permits disclosure of that information
and where the consumer's consent has been obtained by the user of the

I hope you find this information helpful.

Best Regards,
Google Answers Researcher

Clarification of Answer by nancylynn-ga on 27 Sep 2005 17:02 PDT
I apologize for the weird characters in my answer. 

I didn't see any problem in my Word document as I was typing the
answer; however I was fiddling with Word last night and, apparently, I
messed up some settings without realizing it. (We think we've
corrected the problem!)
Subject: Re: bad credit resulting from medical bills
From: beauzeaux-ga on 26 Sep 2005 13:43 PDT
It depends on where you live. What state?

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