- State Updates: New York
- RMAI Legislative Fund
- RMAI COVID-19 Resources
State Updates: NY Court Operations and Debt Collection Status
More New York State In-Person Courthouse Operations Restored
More good news from the State of New York. Chief Judge DiFiore announced five of the state’s upstate regions have entered Phase 3 of the state’s economic reopening. As a result of this progression, on Wednesday, June 17, the courts in the 5th, 6th and 7th Judicial Districts will begin hearing an expanded number of in‐person matters in their courthouses, including:
- Child support proceedings;
- Selected plea and sentencing proceedings for defendants at liberty;
- Preliminary hearings in criminal cases for defendants being held in jail on felony complaints;
- Arraignments of defendants who have been issued desk appearance tickets; and
- A limited number of bench trials, in civil matters.
So, what does this mean? Notwithstanding this announcement, courthouse operations will not return to business as usual. Those who practice law in the State of New York, should expect courts in the 5th, 6th and 7th Judicial Districts to employ staggered scheduling of court appearances, court calendars and courtroom usage in order to limit and control the number of people in our courthouses. No more than half of the courtrooms in these districts will be used at any given time, and there will be a modest increase in nonjudicial staffing levels.
Attorney General James and Governor Cuomo Again Renew Suspension of State Debt Collection
For the third time since declaring a state of emergency in New York state due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Attorney General and Governor have suspended the collection of student and medical debt owed to the State of New York and referred to the attorney general’s office. The Order took effect on Wednesday, June 17, 2020, and will run through Thursday, July 16, 2020. After this 30-day period, the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) will reassess the needs of state residents for another possible extension. Additionally, the OAG will accept applications for suspension of all other types of debt owed to the State of New York and referred to the OAG for collection.
A total of more than 165,000 matters currently fit the criteria for a suspension of state debt collection, including, but not limited to:
- Patients that owe medical debt due to the five state hospitals and the five state veterans’ homes;
- Students that owe student debt due to State University of New York (SUNY) campuses; and
- Individual debtors, sole-proprietors, small business owners, and certain homeowners that owe debt relating to oil spill cleanup and removal costs, property damage, and breach of contract, as well as other fees owed to state agencies.
The policy to suspend collections on outstanding state medical and student debt referred to New York’s OAG for collection is temporary. During this time, the accrual of interest and the collection of fees on such debt shall be automatically suspended.
So, what does this mean? Members who collect debt from New York residents for the OAG should be mindful of the potential impact of this Order on non-medical or non-student debt owed to the state. Consumers may apply to the state to temporarily halt the collection of state owed debt by completing an online application or visiting the OAG’s coronavirus website.
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RMAI COVID-19 Resources
RMAI provides timely and informative updates to members through Member Alerts (like this one) and webinars. RMAI members have complimentary access to all recorded webinars.
RMAI’s Commitment to Consumers and FAQs. The communication is posted in the Resources for Businesses, Employers and Consumers section of the COVID-19 resource page as well as on the Consumers page of the RMAI website.
This alert is intended for members of the Receivables Management Association International and is for informational purposes only and is in no way intended to provide legal advice. Members are encouraged to consult with an attorney of their choice for legal advice concerning this matter.