The Nevada Legislature enacted a new law targeting medical debt collections. The new law takes effect on July 1, 2021. The law defines a “medical debt” broadly to include financing or extension of credit if the sole purpose for the credit is to purchase goods or services from a health care facility or provider.
The new law prohibits debt collectors from taking any action to collect a medical debt for the first 60 days. During this period, the collector must send the consumer a written notification by registered or certified mail that includes the name of the medical facility, the date of service, the principal amount of the debt, the collection agency’s name, and whether the agency purchased the debt or it is collecting it on behalf of the medical provider.
The collection agency may accept voluntary payments during the 60-day notice period only if the consumer initiates the contact and the collection agency tells the debtor that they are not required to pay during the notice period and that it will not report the debt to the credit agencies. The law does not provide the delivery method for this notice. If a consumer chooses to make a voluntary payment toward the medical debt, such a payment does not extend the statute of limitations, admit liability, or waive any defense to the debt.
Finally, under the new law, debt collectors may not take confessions of judgment, file civil lawsuits for less than $10,000, or charge collection fees of more than 5% of the debt.
If you face medical collections, you should discuss your legal rights with a Las Vegas debt collection lawyer to ensure you are protected.