Consumers are being charged excessive fees — fees intended to cover the debt-collection costs of government hired special counsel advocates say.
News Story (Ohio)
September 27, 2015
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Tags: Debt Collection
Organizations mentioned/involved: Legal Aid Society of Columbus
When a public university can’t collect overdue tuition from a former student, Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center can’t get a patient to pay medical bills, or a municipal ambulance service has an unreimbursed run, it eventually falls to the Ohio attorney general’s office to go after the debtors.
Officials with the attorney general’s collections-enforcement section say they’re pursuing about $34 billion in government debt owed by consumers and corporations.
That’s a lot of money, and it’s one of the reasons the attorney general’s office says it outsources debt collection to about 70 outside lawyers, called “special counsel,” and half a dozen third-party vendors.
“The fees added on by the attorney general’s office are very, very high,” said Scott Torguson, a Columbus Legal Aid attorney who has represented several people in court who owe government debt.