It’s hard to believe, but I’ve been practicing Indiana bankruptcy law for more than 25 years. But, do you know what’s really unbelievable to me as a longtime debt consolidation lawyer? Debt collectors harassing emergency room and hospital bedridden patients, that’s what!
Unfortunately, that’s happening, I’m learning. Breaking federal and state laws, employees of Chicago-based Accretive Health Co. are harassing patients inside hospital walls.
All of us attorneys in the four Zuckerberg bankruptcy law offices have worked to be sure debt collectors follow the rule. What rule? The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, a federal law that protects debtors. Now, not all bill collectors are law breakers; in fact, most are simply trying to do their jobs.
But, as a debtor, you have rights. And there to protect those rights you have a lot of resources, beginning with me as your lawyer for bankruptcy in Indiana. Your allies also include the Better Business Bureau, the Indiana Attorney General, all the way up to the Federal Trade Commission.
I like the way one of my colleagues, a Columbus bankruptcy lawyer, puts it: Your finances may be out of control to the point that you’re considering filing personal bankruptcy in Indiana or small business bankruptcy in Indiana, but debt collection efforts – those should not be allowed to get out of control.
Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson (Minnesota is where the Accretive collectors went into hospitals) definitely agrees. In a six-volume report, Swanson accused Accretive of using
“heavy-handed, even illegal, tactics to pressure patients before, during, and after their hospital stays.”
I didn’t think anything would make me more indignant than abusive payday lenders, but this story about the hospital patients being harassed by creditors has really gotten to me. To my mind, a big part of my offering Indiana bankruptcy help involves defending victims of debt collection abuse. Could this have anything to do with Indiana? Lori Swanson told TIME Moneyland that Accretive has a new partnership with a hospital network that spans eleven states.
With medical debt playing such a large role in individual bankruptcy in Indiana, I can envision myself, in addition to offering payday loan debt help, student loan debt help, and help to stop foreclosure, now adding help for debt collection victims still in the hospital! I tell you, that’s enough to make me feel sick!
Categorised in: Bankruptcy Indiana
This post was written by Mark Zuckerberg