Updated:
Original:

New bill at Capitol would tighten rules for debt collectors

Author:

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

Karl-Anthony Towns

Timberwolves' defense fuels win over Pelicans

The Wolves' have bought in on the defensive end as part of a 2-0 start.

Minnesota Wild

Ryan Hartman's OT goal helps Wild stay undefeated

The Wild improved to 4-0 with a win over the Ducks.

Mar'Keise Irving / Gopher Football

Gophers pound Maryland to stay in Big Ten West race

Four different players scored a rushing touchdown in a 34-16 victory over Maryland.

Father Paul Kubista at St. Mary of Czestochowa

Controversy after Delano priest shares vaccine misinformation in church bulletin

Father Paul Kubista is pastor at St. Mary of Czestochowa Catholic Church.

robberies

Mel-O-Glaze, DreamHaven Books robbed at gunpoint minutes apart

The businesses were hit by three robbers just six minutes apart on Oct. 21.

Cambridge house explosion

Explosion destroys house in Cambridge, 5 injured

The explosion occurred early Saturday morning on the 33000 block of Hillary Circle.

MAHMOUD MOHAMED HAMADA

Charges: Lyft driver sexually assaulted woman in her home

The defendant is being held on a $100,000 bond.

Pixabay - black bear

Black bear bites professional baseball player in western Wisconsin

The former MSU-Mankato star was bitten in his back.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Minnesota cracks down on 8 debt collectors

The Minnesota Department of Commerce says the violations include hiring felons, harassing costumers who owe money and stealing personal information. The companies face more than $900,000 in fines collectively.

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.