Governor Andrew Cuomo and Attorney General Letitia James announced on Tuesday that a 30-day freeze on collections of medical and student debt owed to the State of New York and referred to the Attorney General's Office (OAG) for collection would begin starting March 16, 2020. The temporary suspension on collections runs through April 15, 2020 and may be extended as the OAG continues to assess the needs of residents, and as the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to unfold.
During the temporary freeze, interest accrual and collection of fees on the outstanding medical and student debt will also be suspended. This decision affects more than 165,000 debts, such as those owed to State University of New York campuses or to the five state hospitals and veterans' homes. For any other types of debt that are both owed to the State of New York and referred to the OAG for collection, the OAG is accepting applications for their suspension as well. To apply for this type of temporary collection freeze, individuals can either fill out an application online or call the OAG hotline at 1-800-771-7755.
Keep in mind that the temporary collection freeze does not apply to debt owed to the Federal government or to private lenders, so borrowers should review their loans carefully to assess their qualification status. For more information and state updates, visit the OAG's dedicated coronavirus website.
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