Health

New York Attorney General Suspends Medical/Student Debt During Coronavirus Outbreak

“In this time of crisis, my office will not add undue stress or saddle New Yorkers with unnecessary financial burden.”

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New York Attorney General Letitia James has temporarily suspended medical and student debt owed to her office for at least 30 days in light of the coronavirus outbreak. 

“In this time of crisis, my office will not add undue stress or saddle New Yorkers with unnecessary financial burden,” James said in a statement. “New Yorkers need to focus on keeping themselves safe and healthy from the coronavirus, and therefore can rest assured that state medical and student debt referred to my office will not be collected against them for at least 30 days."

According to the statement, The Office of the Attorney General (OAG) collects certain state-owed debts via settlements and lawsuits brought on behalf of the state and state agencies. The criteria for suspension fits for over 165,000 debt matters.

After the 30-day period, the OAG will reassess whether to extend the suspension or not. It will also accept applications for suspension of all other types of debt owed to the State of New York.

To offer further aid during the pandemic, James also said that she has sent multiple cease and desist letters to individuals and companies marketing sham treatments or cures for the coronavirus, including Alex Jones, the Silver Edge Company, and televangelist Jim Bakker. She has also sent cease and desist documents to several New York businesses overcharging for products like hand sanitizers and disinfectants. 

To curb the spread of the novel coronavirus, countries around the world, including the U.S. have implemented many bans against crowds and social gatherings, meaning bars, restaurants, shops and venues have suspended their services. Because of this many service, retail, and other customer-facing employees have found themselves suddenly without work and anxious about how they will make ends meet.

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