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Attorney General James suspends medical and student loan debt collection for fifth time

August 17, 2020 Rob Abruzzese
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A day after the U.S. reported 1,470 deaths due to COVID-19, New York state’s Attorney General Letitia James announced that the state will renew its order to stop the collection of medical and student debt on Sunday.

The new order will cover the time period from Aug. 16 until Sept. 4, when James would need to renew the extension for a sixth time. The Attorney General’s Office will accept applications for the suspension of all other types of debt owed to the state and referred to it for collection.

“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 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.”

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The AG’s office pointed out that more than 3.4 million New Yorkers have filed for unemployment since the pandemic started. The order suspending debt collection in the Attorney General’s office was first made in March and has been extended every month since.

In addition to medical and student loan debt, the Attorney General’s Office also handles state debt collection for people, small business owners and some homeowners who owe debt relating to oil spill cleanup and removal costs, property damage and breach of contract, plus other fees owed to state agencies.

This policy suspends the accrual of interest on all debts outstanding. To seek temporary relief, fill out an application on the AG’s coronavirus website.

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