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Topics addressed on August 20, 2008:
Medical collection accounts on a credit report
I have a customer who is trying to resolve a credit issue. I work for a bank. The account entry says “Medical Payment Data.” He does not know how to contact these people to pay the account. Can you help me help this customer?
It is illegal for credit reports provided to lenders or other businesses to include medical information that identifies illnesses or treatments because of the privacy implications. However, medical collection accounts can be part of a credit report.
For that reason, Experian simply lists a collection account for medical debts as “medical collection” on credit reports provided to businesses.
Clearly, the consumer has a right to know the name of the company collecting a medical debt, and how to contact that company. That information is provided to the consumer on their personal credit report when they request it directly from Experian.
Your customer can get a free copy of her credit report by requesting it at www.annualcreditreport.com.
If adverse action was taken, your bank must provide specific instructions for contacting the credit reporting company they used in making their decision. If adverse action is taken as a result of the information in an Experian report, she can get a free copy directly from Experian.
If you do not have that contact information available, she should visit www.experian.com/reportaccess and select “Get my report now.” If your bank’s inquiry to Experian is present in her credit history, she can complete the information for “Adverse Action” and receive a free report.
Thanks for asking.
- The "Ask Experian" team