In 2022, the Consumer Protection Financial Bureau (CFPB) received 8,500 complaints relating to medical debt collections including issues of already paid medical bills, bills not owed by patient or family, inaccurate amounts, or collections for bills decades after care. In some instances, collecting debts that are actually not owed or collecting wrong amounts may violate the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act or the Consumer Financial Protection Act. If you receive a medical bill from a debt collector, you can send a verification request to receive more information about the debt. Once verification is received, it is important to request an explanation of benefits from your health insurer to see if you actually owe the debt to the health care provider or contact the health care provider directly if you have more questions about the debt owed. If you dispute the debt, you should inform the debt collector in writing of the dispute. You can also request that the debt collection cease communicating with you, but that must be in writing as well. If you believe a debt collector is collecting on an improper debt, you can make a complaint with the New York State Attorney General on its website or by calling 1-800-771-7755 or with the Consumer Protection Financial Bureau on its website or by calling 1-855-411-2372.
NSLS’ Consumer Debt Legal Assistance Project provides legal assistance to persons who are experiencing consumer debt problems, especially in the matters of medical and credit card debt. Services may include litigation defense and representation, phone advice, and/or referral for further services, including bankruptcy where appropriate.
Suffolk residents can call (631) 232-2400. Nassau residents can call (516) 292-8100.
All of our offices are now open to the public and accepting walk-ins.