NYS suspends collection of state debt referred to AG’s office again

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FILE – In this June 11, 2019, file photo, New York Attorney General Letitia James speaks during a news conference, in New York. New York state, New York City, Connecticut and Vermont have filed a new legal challenge to new Trump administration rules blocking green cards for many immigrants who use public assistance including Medicaid, food stamps and housing vouchers. James, a Democrat, says the change is a “clear violation” of American values and 100 years of case law. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)

ALBANY, N.Y. (WIVB) — State debt collection is frozen for another 30 days, New York State Attorney General Letitia James and Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Friday morning.

New York is renewing a previous order that was issued on March 17. It calls for the temporary pause of collection of medical and student debt that was specifically referred to the Attorney General’s office for collection.

Examples of types of debt that fit this definition are listed below. This kind of debt is not limited to these examples.

  • 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.

“We renewed this order to suspend the collection of debt owed to my office because this crisis is wreaking havoc on our state’s working people and I will do everything in my power to protect their wallets,” James said.

This could be extended again on May 17 if need be.

State residents with non-medical or non-student debt owed to New York, and referred to James’ office, can also apply to temporarily halt debt collection. Call 1-800-771-7755, fill out an online application, or learn more here.

In the five-week period ending April 11, 1.2 million New Yorkers filed for unemployment in response to state regulations prompted by the coronavirus pandemic. They are among the 22 million Americans who were put out of work in the same time period.

Evan Anstey is a digital content producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2015. See more of his work here.

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