WV Attorney General Morrisey gets agreements with hospital, coll - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

WV Attorney General Morrisey gets agreements with hospital, collections company

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Attorney General Patrick Morrisey announced July 30 that his office has reached an agreement with Hampshire Memorial Hospital and its collection agency, Mosaic Finance Solutions, regarding unlawful collection practices.

Morrisey said the hospital and the financial company each will pay West Virginia $7,500 as part of an agreement, called an assurance of discontinuance to end unlawful debt collection practices.

"Catastrophic medical bills sometimes push consumers already facing difficult circumstances over a financial cliff," Morrisey said in a news release. "My office will remain vigilant to ensure that only lawful means are used to collect legitimate debts and that all companies collecting debts in West Virginia are properly licensed to do so."

The Consumer Protection Division in the West Virginia Attorney General's Office investigated Hampshire Memorial and Mosaic and discovered 11,541 West Virginians who signed a form as a condition of receiving medical care, which required agreeing to several conditions, including waiving their homestead exemptions and being liable for Hampshire Memorial's attorney fees of 25 percent of the balance due plus collection expenses.

Mosaic is a North Carolina company that was not licensed to collect debt in West Virginia at the time Hampshire Memorial employed it, according to information from Morrisey's office.

The funds both Hampshire Memorial and Mosaic will pay the state may be used by the Attorney General's Office for consumer protection purposes or for appropriation by the West Virginia Legislature.