The Best Friends Club Tackle Nevada SB248
Best Friend 1: What's the consensus on the phrase "take any action to collect" in this [redacted] medical debt bill?
[The other Best Friends pretend like they didn't see the email, have no idea what Nevada is, and would prefer to remain uninformed about anything legislation-related]
Best Friend 1: Guys? Seriously. Does it refer to basically anything? Asking for a payment? Legal actions? EXISTING IN TIME AND SPACE?
Best Friend 2 (a kind man, handsome, but doesn't know it): We've started -- just yesterday -- doing some digging.
The initial consensus on yesterday's call is that this is any attempt, not just a legal action. If that is the case, don't we then we run into a bunch of FDCPA problems?
1) Is that NV requirement a communication in connection with the collection of a debt?
2) Does sending this trigger a VN requirement within 5 days?
3) This notice has to be sent by registered/certified mail. If you send it and the consumer declines or refuses to sign, have you still met the requirement to send? Or is the requirement that the consumer receive.
Best Friend 1: We'd have to send this required Nevada letter along with the validation notice. And the mini-Miranda on the validation notice? That's going to get us in trouble, right? Because if we can't start collection efforts until after we've sent that notice*, but we also have to send the validation notice after a communication, and the validation notice has the "we're a debt collector attempting to collect a debt"?
[Editor's Note: In NV SB248, to collect medical debt in Nevada, you have to send a certified or registered letter and then wait 60 days before any collection attempts.]
Best Friend 2: I'm really worried about the clause before taking any action to collect a medical debt.
1) Nevada appears to think that their required notice, sent 60 days before attempts can be attempted, is not an attempt (or action) to collect.
2) Their required notice is almost literally the MVN in Reg F; however, as you say Best Friend 1, there's no clause in this law that requires a mini-Miranda, and the MVN has that requirement.
3) So if you send the NV notice, NV doesn't see this as an attempt to collect; it appears they see this as an information letter.
4) But the FDCPA might see that NV notice as an attempt, and would require that it have the mini-Miranda
5) So you are, then, sending an attempt to collect because you're literally saying this is an attempt to collect a debt.
6) Which is why I think we should all quit our jobs and open up a Paint Your Own Pottery place and spend our days day-drinking.
[The Best Friends All Quit Their Jobs and Open a Paint Your Own Pottery Business]
Best Friends: MIKE WE DID NOT DO THAT.
Best Friend 3: And we still don't know if we need to send the notice on our existing inventory or just new placements.
Best Friend 1: In the case of mini-Miranda requirements, wouldn't federal law trump contradictory state law?
Best Friend 3: I would not feel comfortable relying on that at all.
Best Friend 4: I just read through the whole thing...what about this piece????
[The Best Friends all agree that they wish they had not seen this image]
Best Friend 2: The other question we all worried over was: Is this only for Nevada residents, or anyone who received medical treatment in Nevada? (I'm imagining lots of Cirque muscle-pulls and uncomfortably-lodged feathers.)
Best Friend 1: NV has recordings of all of the hearings related to this bill on their website.
Best Friend 3: Another question that needs to be addressed – 7.5 requires disclosures if a consumer wants to make a payment. On its face, this seems to apply to a payment over the phone. But if the payment is by mail, do we need to send out another letter explaining those rights?
Best Friend 3: Also, the 7.5 disclosures require a statement that the agency will not credit report during the first 60 days. But what if they never report the debt? Wouldn’t that disclosure create a false impression that the debt will be reported? At the very least create confusion?
Best Friend 3: And then there's--
[All the Best Friends burn the computer of Best Friend 3 because it is all Very Too Much.]
So, I'm going to listen to the hearings. And I'll have an explainer for everyone next week. Meanwhile, you have until 7/1 to get this all understood. I AM SORRY.
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