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Regulators try to stop unlawful nursing home debt collection

Man in suit stands at a podium, his hands up around chest level. A flag and a blue background are behind him.
Jacquelyn Martin
/
AP
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Rohit Chopra, speaks from the South Court Auditorium on the White House complex in Washington, April 11, 2022. Nursing homes and debt collectors are flouting a law that prohibits them from requiring friends and family of care home residents to shoulder the costs of the facilities, according to a federal report issued Thursday.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau says friends and family members have had to declare bankruptcy, had wages garnished and their homes repossessed after signing unenforceable “admission agreements.”

A federal report says nursing homes and debt collectors are flouting a law that prohibits them from requiring friends and family of care home residents to be responsible for costs of the facilities.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau says friends and family members have had to declare bankruptcy, had their wages garnished and their homes repossessed. That's after they signed unenforceable contracts called “admission agreements” with nursing facilities, resulting in them being held liable as third parties for their loved ones’ nursing home stays.

Distraught relatives and lawyers for families told federal regulators Thursday about collectors seeking tens of thousands of dollars — even hundreds of thousands — in unpaid nursing home fees.

Rohit Chopra, director of the consumer bureau, held a virtual public hearing with advocates, nursing home administrators and people affected by what they say are unlawful debt collection practices.

Click here to read more of this article from the Associated Press.

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