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Colorado Legislation Would Create Earnings Exemption for Medical Debt

Colorado House Bill 19-1089, introduced on Jan. 14, would amend the Colorado Revised Statutes dealing with property and earnings exemptions by adding a new definition for “medical debt,” which would mean “any obligation or alleged obligation of a person to pay money arising out of the provision of health care services as defined in section 10-16-102(33).”

Under the legislation, “the earnings of an individual whose family income does not exceed four hundred percent of the current federal poverty guidelines, adjusted for family size, are not subject to garnishment or levy under execution of attachment if the writ is the result of a judgment for medical debt entered on or after January 1, 2020.”

Thus, for a household with three persons, the earnings would be exempt under the January 2019 poverty guidelines if less than or equal to $85,320.

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Eric Rosenkoetter is a principal at Maurice Wutscher LLP, where he provides counsel to businesses and consumer financial services firms nationwide. For many years, he has focused his practice on various aspects of financial services law. As a litigation attorney, he has conducted every aspect of the litigation process, including countless depositions, motion proceedings, bench and jury trials, and appeals in various courts. In addition, he has significant experience as a compliance and transactional attorney, providing strategic, business growth, legislative, compliance and regulatory advice to national corporations and trade associations. For example, he has drafted consumer contracts and disclosures designed to state-specific statutory requirements, and developed “Best Practices” guides and state-by-state compliance grids, for national financial services companies. He also conducted research and crafted a metrics report for a national trade association with analysis designed to counter the claims of advocacy groups. Eric’s experience also includes working for a national corporation as Executive Counsel, Chief Compliance and Ethics Officer, and Director of Legislative Affairs, and as a federal lobbyist and Director of Government and Public Affairs for a national financial services trade association. In the government sector, Eric presided over approximately 6,000 state administrative hearings, served as a staff attorney for the Missouri Senate, and handled litigation in 33 counties as a regional managing attorney. Eric frequently speaks to audiences on topics relevant to the financial services industry including regulatory compliance, data privacy law and related advocacy initiatives. For more information, see

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