N.C. AG Suspends Collection of Debts Owed to State

The attorney general of North Carolina has suspending all collection efforts by the state’s Department of Justice, which collects debts for a number of state agencies, including universities, and the health and transportation departments.

Josh Stein, the Attorney General of North Carolina, is also calling on local utilities to commit to not shutting off anyone’s power, water, or gas during the coronavirus pandemic.

“North Carolinians who are struggling with their health, have been laid off from their job, or are facing cuts to their income in the wake of COVID-19 should not have to bear additional burdens that will further harm their health or their finances,” Stein said in a statement. “That’s why I’m suspending the Department of Justice’s debt collection efforts and why I’m asking local and municipal utilities to ensure that North Carolinians have continued access to water, gas, and power. Now, more than ever, we must do the right thing for fellow North Carolinians.”

The prohibitions in North Carolina extend to all debt collection activities, with the exception of meeting the statute of limitations or other court-imposed deadlines.

A number of cities and states have taken action to suspend different types of debt collection during the crisis. New York, for example, has put into place similar measures that North Carolina enacted. Other states, like Ohio and South Carolina, have called for moratoriums on different types of debt collection. Nevada has asked all licensed collection agencies to close and all collection activity toward individuals in that state to be stopped. And Massachusetts has enacted restrictions on what collectors can do during the state of emergency.

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