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Medical debt collectors cannot garnish wages, file liens on homes: How common is this in the Finger Lakes?

In the last five years more than 50,000 New Yorkers have been sued for medical debt.

Now thanks to a measure signed into law by Governor Kathy Hochul, home liens and wage garnishment will not be options for medical debt collectors.

Medical debt collectors cannot garnish wages, file liens on homes: How common is this in the Finger Lakes?

Around 9% of the American population, or 23 million people, carry medical debt, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation analysis.

“No one should face the threat of losing their home or falling into further debt after seeking medical care,” Hochul said in a statement.


There were two major takeaways from the data provided to Governor Hochul’s office. First, that many of the home liens in New York have targeted patients across the Southern Tier, Central New York, and Finger Lakes regions. Second, that while more than 50,000 have been sued over medical debt in New York – nearly half of all Americans struggle to afford healthcare costs.

In our region, Schuyler and Steuben counties saw the highest rates of liens on primary residences.



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