ALBANY, N.Y. — For the fifth time since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, the New York State Attorney General's office is suspending the collection of medical and student debt referred to the office.
In 30 days, the AG's office will determine whether or not another extension is necessary.
“Although New York has had remarkable success in containing the coronavirus, too many New Yorkers are still enduring the financial hardships of this pandemic,” said Attorney General James. “We have the power to help tens of thousands of New Yorkers who are struggling to make ends meet, which is why we are again suspending the collection of state student and medical debt referred to my office. As we continue our work to stop the spread of this virus, we must also work to rebuild our economy and help New Yorkers get back on their feet, and that starts with ensuring our state’s residents are not unnecessarily burdened with additional debt payments at this time.”
The Attorney General's office is responsible for collecting certain debts owed to the state through settlements and lawsuits brought on behalf of New York State. More than 165,000 matters currently fit the criteria for a suspension of collection, including but not limited to:
- 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; and
- 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.
The temporary policy also automatically suspends the accrual of interest payments and fees connected to the outstanding debts.