Given that nonprofit hospitals are tax-exempt, the general view is that their primary focus should be on providing care for those who need it rather than making using the court system to make those patients pay up. Almost all of these hospitals have programs to reduce bills for people living below or near the poverty line, but some are suing poor patients without ever telling them about these options. [More]
Being in debt can be paralyzing, leaving some people with the feeling like they’ll never climb their way out of the hole. So when a company promises it can help ease that burden, it might some like a good idea to spend even more money in the hope that you’ll ultimately be pointed in the right financial direction. Federal regulators say one debt relief operation took in $67 million from customers in need of help, but most of that money just went to the firm’s fees while the customers’ debts continued to pile up. [More]
Over at AmericanBanker.com, there is the story of a Maryland woman who spent several years fending off debt collectors even though she had proof in writing that the Bank of America credit card account in question had already been paid off. And in a related investigation, it looks like she may be one of many BofA customers to end up in such a trap.