FICO and credit scores: Taking a close look at medical bills
On behalf of The Rollins Law Firm posted in Chapter 7 on Wednesday, August 13, 2014.
It’s quite likely that no Mississippi consumer would deem it fair if his or her credit score summarily plummeted owing to an unexpected avalanche of medical-related expenses.
After all, who can ever reasonably expect to be solvent one day and financially overwhelmed the next by medical bills that were entirely unforeseen?
Medical debt is more than just a bit unusual when considered alongside other forms of financial obligations, which can be planned for, with money set aside to make timely payments.
That is seldom the case with medical debt, which often surfaces suddenly and can quickly threaten a consumer and his or her family with financial ruin.
The national credit-scoring company FICO understands that unique aspect attaching to medical bills and states that it will begin accounting for it in consumers’ credit scores.
In other words: Persons with reports that indicate payment obligations solely for medical treatment will not be dinged as harshly on their scores going forward as has typically been the case until now.
That is obviously a nice change that recognizes how differentiated medical debt truly is from other forms of payment obligations, but much more needs to be done to help the many millions of Americans who struggle mightily with prohibitively high medical bills.
As has been widely noted over the past several years, that source of debt is a major catalyst for Chapter 7 bankruptcy filings. Indeed, the remedies provided for under federal and state law for debtors overwhelmed by medical bills and other forms of unsecured debt are a lifeline for many strapped consumers that enable them to regain financial solvency.
A proven Chapter 7 bankruptcy attorney can provide further information regarding debt-relief strategies.
Source: CNN Money, “Got medical debt? Your FICO score may go up,” Blake Ellis, Aug. 7, 2014