DENVER (CBS4)– State lawmakers are targeting creditors who go after people too poor to pay their medical debt. A new bill would prevent creditors from going after debtors in some circumstances.
The bill proposed at the state Capitol would keep creditors from garnishing a person’s wages to pay medical bills, if their income is less than 400 percent of the federal poverty limit.
One of the sponsors of the bill was motivated by personal experience. He lost his job during the recession and says creditors took the rest.
“I fell into that same situation, where I was unable to make my obligations and they came after me through the court system. I didn’t have the money to start with so I didn’t have the money to defend myself. Judgments were issued and then I didn’t have the ability to afford a lawyer to protect myself and before I knew it they were garnishing my bank account,” said Rep. Alex Valdez, a Democrat representing Denver. “The little money that I did have was taken.”
Valdez said that people don’t choose to get sick or hurt and creditors take advantage of that. The bill will be presented in committee on Tuesday.