The Sept. 2 oral argument will focus on the appeal to the Nevada medical debt law from the Nevada Collectors Association and other stakeholders.
06/28/2022 1:00 P.M.
2.5 minute read
The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has set a date for oral argument in the lawsuit challenging S.B. 248, the Nevada medical debt law that took effect in July 2021.
The oral argument will be at 9 a.m. PST Sept. 2, in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. Each side in the case will have 15 minutes for their arguments. At this time, it appears the oral argument hearing will be in person. ACA International will monitor the schedule and provide updates for members as the hearing date approaches.
ACA is pleased to see the appeal will have an oral argument for the parties involved to present their case.
The appeal stems from the lawsuit pending in the U.S. District for the District of Nevada challenging S.B. 248.
The Nevada Collectors Association (NCA) and other stakeholders (plaintiffs-appellants) filed the appeal brief with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in April 2022.
The plaintiffs-appellants are appealing the district court’s order denying their motion for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction to delay enforcement of S.B. 248, ACA previously reported.
Since the initial appeal brief was filed, the plaintiffs-appellants’ also filed a reply brief addressing arguments advanced by Sandy O’Laughlin, commissioner of the Nevada Financial Institutions Division (NFID), in the appellate brief, ACA previously reported.
The plaintiffs’ original lawsuit arguing that S.B. 248 prohibits debt collectors from engaging in truthful communication with consumers and is preempted by federal law is pending in the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada.
The reply brief reinforces the original arguments that S.B. 248 is unconstitutional because it is preempted by federal law (i.e., the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the Fair Credit Reporting Act) and the Nevada medical debt law violates the plaintiffs’ First Amendment rights when it comes to debt collectors’ truthful communications with consumers.
Meanwhile, in March 2022, the NFID advanced regulations on medical debt collection after taking more public comments from stakeholders, including ACA members and Senior Counsel Colin Winkler, ACA previously reported.
The regulations were reviewed by the Nevada Legislative Commission (NLC), which is comprised of 12 legislators: six from the Nevada Assembly and six from the Nevada Senate.
The regulations were approved by the NLC and took effect June 13.
Of note, the regulations require, as originally stated in S.B. 248, that debt collectors provide medical debtors with a 60-day notice of placement or assignment before taking any “action to collect” a medical debt, ACA previously reported. The law requires that a 60-day notice be sent by certified or registered mail. In addition, the law restricts certain medical debt collection practices, including limitations on civil actions (lawsuits) to collect medical debt, restraints on credit reporting medical debt, and caps on collection fees (including attorney’s fees) that creditors may collect on delinquent medical debt balances sent to legal collections.
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