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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 Pascack Valley Hospital
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 Pascack Valley Hospital 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 Pascack Valley Hospital 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 Pascack Valley Hospital 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.

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