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Debt Collection

PVH Debt Collection Efforts


A number of former PVH patients have received debt collection calls from Pinnacle Financial Group on behalf of International Portfolio Inc. (IPI) claiming an outstanding debt to the former Pascack Valley Hospital (PVH).  Previously old claims made in 2008 and 2009 were claimed by another debt collection agency, Rubin and Raine.  


Certainly one should take these claims seriously and at the very least insist on receiving the claim in writting, and IMMEDIATELY RESPOND in writting, and definitely within 30 day, preferably by certified letter. If one chooses to dispute the debt claim, either because one has heard that many were out of date (> 6 years old) or erroneous, or because one believes bill was already paid, by the person, or an insurance company, or medicare, then include supporting information in your letter and consider getting professional advice. 


Failure to do so within 30 days of one's receipt of the debt collection letter will result in an assumption on the part of the debt collector that the claim is valid.


I recommend you also start by looking at the following resources:


"Tips on dealing with hospital debt collections" - A letter to the Editor from the Honorable Bergen County Representative Charlotte Vandervalk containing key information and links for assistance.


This is verbatim from the NJ State Department of Law & Public Safety: 


 Division of Consumer Affairs
 Press Release

Attorney General
Anne Milgram

                   Division of Consumer Affairs, Director
                    David Szuchman



For Immediate Release:
June 3, 2009

                    For Further Information Contact:
                    Jeff Lamm, 973-504-6327


Settlement Reached With PascackValleyHospital
Debt Collectors


NEWARK - The Office of the Attorney General, through its Division of Consumer Affairs, has reached settlement with companies that are contacting former patients of the now-closed PascackValleyHospital in Westwood for the collection of owed debts.


Rubin & Raine, Inc. and Rubin and Raine of New Jersey, LLC (“Rubin & Raine”), located in Eatontown, and International Portfolio, Inc. of Conshocken, Pa., who have admitted no wrongdoing in connection with the collection of the debts, have agreed to comply with the state's Consumer Fraud Act and Collections Agency Statute and federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act in their operations.


Rubin & Raine also agreed to not purse any collection efforts of any PascackValleyHospital accounts receivable for which the statute of limitations expired on or before September 19, 2008. The company also agreed to use all reasonable efforts to verify the age, amount and accuracy of an accounts receivable before sending a collection notice.


“This settlement addresses concerns raised by former patients about supposed balances that they owed to the hospital, some dating back many years,” Attorney General Anne Milgram said. “These companies must use reasonable efforts to confirm the amounts that are owed and to comply with applicable laws and regulations.”


Under terms of the Assurance of Voluntary Compliance, Rubin & Raine must establish a Pascack Valley Accounts Receivable Dispute Resolution Team for a one-year period. The team is responsible for attempting to resolve any consumer disputes that arise.


Any person receiving a delinquency notice from Rubin & Raine must be provided at least 20 days time to contact the dispute resolution team.


“This settlement provides recourse to consumers who wish to dispute the delinquency notice and sets specific terms that must be adhered to,” said David Szuchman, Consumer Affairs Director.


International Portfolio purchased the accounts receivable of the former PascackValleyHospital in bankruptcy proceedings. If International Portfolio retains another company for collection, the terms of the agreement are binding on that company.


Assistant Attorney General James J. Savage represented the state in this matter.