The CFPB Dives Deep Into the Cost of Debt in Rural Appalachia

Nearly a quarter of rural Appalachians have medical debt in collections, compared to 17 percent nationally.  This comes from an in-depth investigation by the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, an agency created in 2011 to monitor the practices of banks, debt collectors, and other financial companies.  The report finds that the rural Appalachians with medical debt have more than double the rates of other types of delinquencies, including mortgages, auto loans, credit cards, and student loans.  Higher debt increases the likelihood that a consumer uses higher-interest services such as payday, pawn, or auto title loans.  This report is part of the CFPB’s Rural Initiative, which is focused on financial issues facing rural America.  TODAY, at 2:00 pm ET, CFPB Director Rohit Chopra will host a virtual discussion with advocates, service providers, community leaders, and members of the public on nursing home debt collection. The field hearing is a chance for the CFPB to hear from consumers and their advocates from