H.R. 5330 would amend the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) to require debt collectors to wait at least two years after the first payment of a medical debt is due before engaging in activities to collect that debt. Under the bill, consumer reporting agencies (CRAs) would be prohibited from assembling consumer reports that contain information about a medical debt arising from a medically necessary procedure or a medical debt placed for collection less than one year preceding the report’s creation. The bill would place similar prohibitions upon entities that furnish information about medical debt to CRAs.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is primarily responsible for enforcing violations of the FDCPA. Using information from the FTC, CBO estimates that it would cost the FTC less than $500,000 over the 2021-2025 period to enforce potential violations of the amended statute. Any spending would be subject to the availability of appropriated funds.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is responsible for issuing regulations to implement the FDCPA. Using information from the CFPB, CBO estimates that the bureau would require three employees at a cost of $220,000 per employee to issue rules prohibiting debt collectors and CRAs from engaging in the newly restricted activities under the bill. On that basis, CBO estimates that enacting H.R. 5330 would cost the CFPB $1 million over the 2021-2030 period. The CFPB has permanent authority, not subject to annual appropriation, to spend amounts transferred from the Federal Reserve.