Chicago-Based Accretive Settles Minnesota Hospital Debt Collections Lawsuit

Chicago-Based Accretive Settles Minnesota Hospital Debt Collections LawsuitAccording to the Chicago Tribune, Accretive Health Inc., a Chicago-based collection agency, has settled a lawsuit filed by the Minnesota Attorney General over its allegedly overly aggressive collection tactics on behalf of several Minnesota hospitals. Minnesota filed the lawsuit against Accretive in January, 2012, alleging violations of several federal and state laws.

Although the settlement does not require Accretive to admit to any wrongdoing, it does require Accretive to cease doing any business in the state of Minnesota by November, 2012, and refrain from doing any business in the state for at least six years. The settlement also requires Accretive to pay $2.5 million to set up a restitution fund for patients, and return all patient data to the respective hospitals in Minnesota. Despite these provisions, Accretive still characterizes Minnesota’s allegations as “baseless” and “exaggerated”.

Both federal and state laws govern what businesses can and cannot do in collecting debts for services or merchandise that consumers owe to them. When businesses potentially run afoul of these laws, there can be negative consequences, such as fines and lawsuits. As the Accretive settlement shows, the financial fallout can be quite severe.

If you own your own business, and you have delinquent accounts, you must seek legal advice before proceeding to collect debts on your own, so that you do not violate any state or federal laws. Our Naperville business law attorneys are here to help. If you take precautions to ensure that you follow all applicable collections laws, then you will not risk having to pay fines or being the target of the increasing number of lawsuits brought by consumers, consumer advocate groups, and state attorney generals’ offices. Contact our business lawyers in Naperville, Illinois today.