New York State debt collection suspended for 13th time

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$20 bills are counted in North Andover, Mass. on June 15, 2018. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File)

NEW YORK (WWTI) — New York State debt collection was suspended for the 13th time on the first day of April.

New York State Attorney General Letitia James announced that the state again halted the collection of medical and student debt owed to the State of New York, specifically referred to the Office of the Attorney General. This suspension will now remain in effect through April 30, 2021.

“Increased vaccine distribution and expanded eligibility across our state may soon mean a return to normalcy, but hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers are still struggling to make ends meet,” said Attorney General James. “The aftershocks of the recession continue to reverberate throughout New York state, which is why we are, again, renewing the suspension of state and medical debt collection referred to my office for another month.

This order was temporary first made in March 2020 and renewed last April and every month since then up until April 1, 2021.

The OAG added that this suspension includes over 165,000 matters that fit into the following criteria:

  • Patients that owe medical debt due to the five state hospitals and the five state veterans’ homes
  • Students that owe student debt due to State University of New York (SUNY) campuses
  • Individual debtors, sole-proprietors, small business owners, and certain homeowners that owe debt relating to oil spill cleanup and removal costs, property damage, and breach of contract, as well as other fees owed to state agencies

This temporary suspension also automatically suspends the accrual of interest and the collection of fees on all outstanding state medical and student debt referred to the Office of the Attorney General for collection.

Additionally, the Office of the Attorney General will now accept applications for suspension of all other types of debt owed to the state of New York and referred to the OAG for collection. Individuals seeking to apply for this temporary relief can fill out an application online or visit the OAG’s coronavirus website.

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