NEW JERSEY – The Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee in New Jersey passed a bipartisan bill that would prevent debt collectors from seizing any government financial aid residents receive during the coronavirus crisis.

The proposal, which was sponsored by the President of the Senate Commerce Committee, Senator Nellie Pou, Senator Joe Cryan, Senator Steve Oroho and Senator Joseph Vitale, will now go to the Senate for consideration.

Bill S-2330 would also ban rating agencies from negatively affecting the credit scores of people affected by the pandemic and would ensure that Medicaid covers the cost of COVID-related treatments. 19. In addition, it would allow more professionals to conduct tests. and extend the period of time before legal action can be taken to collect, among other things, any medical debt related to coronavirus.

“The whole country faces a
deep financial instability, we have record unemployment and people struggle
for staying healthy and having a plate of food on the table, “said the
Senator Pou. “When a crisis occurs it is the government’s obligation to guarantee
so that our residents can overcome the situation in the safest way
possible; that means preventing debt collectors from getting your
government assistance, giving them time to pay their medical bills, and
ensure that your financial future is not adversely affected by
circumstances beyond their control. “

The only provision in this bill that is permanent, and does not depend on the current state of emergency, is that it prohibits a medical creditor or debt collector from taking legal action for 180 days after the first bill is sent.

“Medical debt is one of the
leading causes of bankruptcy in the nation, “said Senator Vitale.
“The measures in this bill will give our residents the time
necessary to help them avoid that kind of financial catastrophe. “

Another pillar of the bill
would avoid executing judgments against consumers in lawsuits
I charge, with some exceptions, during the state of emergency and 90 days
then.

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