Skip to main content

New bill at Capitol would tighten rules for debt collectors

  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

New legislation backed by Minnesota's attorney general would create tougher requirements for debt collection companies operating in the state.

Attorney General Lori Swanson says too many companies that buy debts from creditors have flimsy information about what is owed by whom and sometimes wind up going after the wrong person. The new bill would require companies to show proof that they're suing the right person for the right amount of money when they go to court.

Last month Swanson's office reached an out of court settlement with one of the country's biggest debt buyers, Midland Funding. Swanson says in many of the 15,000 lawsuits Midland filed in Minnesota during a four-year period, the company targeted the wrong people for debt collection.

A higher-profile case came earlier last year, when Swanson took on Accretive Health Services over the tactics it was using to collect hospital bills. That led to a $2.5 million settlement and a ban on Accretive doing business in the state for at least two years.

Next Up

Screen Shot 2022-08-14 at 10.24.22 AM

Teen driver crashes into parked payloader; 16-year-old passenger dies

The crash happened early Saturday morning in Waconia.

Screen Shot 2022-08-14 at 10.10.50 AM

Barrage of gunfire injures boy in Brooklyn Park; vehicles, apartments damaged

Police say they recovered evidence that more than 40 rounds were fired in the shooting.

Screen Shot 2022-08-14 at 9.15.07 AM

Minnesota Wild back away from thin blue line T-shirt giveaway

The giveaway backfired when word of it reached social media.

Screen Shot 2022-08-13 at 1.26.13 PM

Workers at Minneapolis Trader Joe's become 2nd in nation to unionize

The vote was certified by the National Labor Relations Board Friday.

ATV, all-terrain vehicle

Driver killed in ATV crash in Brooklyn Park

The crash occurred in Monroe Park Friday night.

ambulance

Woman killed by suspected drunk-driver in St. Louis County

The crash occurred on Highway 21 in Embarrass Township Friday night.

Jaelyn Campbell

11-year-old girl missing from Mille Lacs County

Jaelyn Campbell was last seen in Onamia.

Screen Shot 2022-08-12 at 1.58.08 PM

2 ejected, 1 killed in crash that closed southbound I-35

The State Patrol says neither were wearing seat belts.

best buy

Best Buy makes job cuts weeks after warning of soft sales

The Richfield retailer has been dealing with a shift in consumer trends.

Screen Shot 2022-08-12 at 10.26.20 PM

Man makes 'vague comments' about Jewish people, smashes own car with club

It happened at a course that was founded as a Jewish country club 100 years ago.

Screen Shot 2022-08-12 at 9.59.07 PM

4 abandoned puppies found in a bucket in Willmar

The puppies were in good health when they were discovered.

Minneapolis police

Suspect of home invasion, murder in Minneapolis arrested in Wisconsin

There have been 57 deaths reported as homicides in Minneapolis this year.

Related

Lori Swanson: Medical bill collector overly aggressive

Minnesota's Attorney General released an investigative report Tuesday into Accretive Health Inc. It accuses the Chicago-based consultant, who was hired by Fairview Health System, of imposing collection quotas and pressuring hospital employees to collect money from patients before treatment.

Accretive Health to answer questions on Capitol Hill

Executives from the medical debt collector will be in Washington, D.C. on Friday to address concerns about the companies practices. Last week, Minnesota Attorney General accused the Chicago-based firm of using aggressive collection tactics at Fairview Health Services. Accretive Health has denied any wrong doing.

Minnesota cracks down on debt collector

The West Central Tribune reports the Commerce Department is ordering a debt collection company to revamp its hiring process after an investigation found the firm was employing felons. NCO Financial Systems operates 49 debt agencies nationwide.

Bill that would rein in moratoriums on land use returns to Capitol

Limiting the ability of cities and counties to impose moratoriums on land use is an idea that's failed to gain ground in previous sessions. But its sponsor calls it a property rights issue and thinks its time has come. Local governments seem unconvinced.

Debt collector sees shares drop 40 percent after Minnesota A.G.'s report

Shares in Accretive Health plummeted after the company was accused of routinely pressuring patients to pre-pay for services. The debt collection agency is defending its work with hospitals in the wake of Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson's investigation.

Regulators: Billing practices at Fairview violated federal patient-protection laws

The aggressive practices used by the Chicago-based Accrective Health to collect debt from patients could put Fairview's University of Minnesota Medical Center at risk of being terminated from Medicare and Medicaid, according to the Star Tribune. Federal documents obtained by the newspaper show patients and their relatives were subjected to "abuse and harassment'' from debt collectors while waiting for treatment.

House lawmakers debut anti-bullying bill

Democratic Attorney General Lori Swanson first proposed the legislation that would require educators to promptly report bullying and discipline students involved. Minnesota's current anti-bullying statute is only 37 words. The Star Tribune reports the bipartisan bill was introduced in the House Thursday.