ALBANY, N.Y. (WETM) – Healthcare providers are now prohibited from satisfying medical debt by collecting wages or placing liens on patients’ homes under a law signed by Governor Hochul on Wednesday.

The legislation aims to protect tens of thousands of New Yorkers who deal with high medical bills or who are sued for medical debt. It prevents providers from garnishing wages or placing home liens on someone’s residence in order to collect the debt.

“No one should face the threat of losing their home or falling into further debt after seeking medical care,” Governor Hochul said. “I’m proud to sign legislation today that will end this harmful and predatory collection practice to help protect New Yorkers from these unfair penalties. With medical debt a burden for far too many, this is an important step to address this crucial issue.”

According to Hochul, 50,000 New Yorkers have been sued for medical debt over the last five years, especially Upstate. Hochul said the ability for providers to impose liens on someone’s home leads to “housing instability and devastating financial consequences for vulnerable New Yorkers.”

Hochul touched on making healthcare more affordable for New Yorkers in her 2022 State of the State Address.