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Facts & Statistics – Government Collections

The U.S. Department of Education, the Department of Health and Human Services and Department of Treasury’s Bureau of Financial Management Service have each established contracts with private collection agencies (PCAs) to collect non-tax debts owed to the Federal Government. (Source: Department of Treasury Fiscal Year 2011 Report to the Congress—U.S. Government Receivables and Debt Collection Activities of Federal Agencies.)

PCAs assist federal agencies in many ways, including establishing repayment agreements and resolving debts administratively by determining that a debtor is deceased, disabled, bankrupt, or out of business (Source: Department of Treasury Fiscal Year 2011 Report to the Congress—U.S. Government Receivables and Debt Collection Activities of Federal Agencies.)

In fiscal year 2012, PCAs under contract with the departments of Education, HHS and Treasury had referrals in delinquent federal debt. Treasury PCAs collected $81.4 million a decrease of $6.5 million (7.4%) from FY 2011. Federal creditor agencies referred 7,109 cases totaling $13.1 billion to DOJ for enforced collection. (Source: Department of Treasury Fiscal Year 2012 Report to the Congress—U.S. Government Receivables and Debt Collection Activities of Federal Agencies.)

The Department of Education contracts with PCAs to assist in collecting defaulted student loan debts. In fiscal year 2012, the department’s PCAs collected $2.9 billion, an increase of 11.3% over fiscal year 2011. (Source: Department of Treasury Fiscal Year 2012 Report to the Congress—U.S. Government Receivables and Debt Collection Activities of Federal Agencies.)

Health and Human Services Program Support Center (PSC) contracts with a PCA to collect delinquent debts. PSC’s PCA collected $1.7 million, a decrease of $1.2 million or 41.4% from FY 2011. (Source: Department of Treasury Fiscal Year 2012 Report to the Congress—U.S. Government Receivables and Debt Collection Activities of Federal Agencies.)

The U.S. Department of Education relies heavily on private collection agencies and refers every eligible debt as quickly as possible to one of its PCAs. In fiscal year 2012, delinquent education debt collection totaled $13.1 billion, an increase of $1.1 billion or 9% from FY 2011. (Source: Department of Treasury Fiscal Year 2012 Report to the Congress—U.S. Government Receivables and Debt Collection Activities of Federal Agencies.)

Forty-three states, the majority of federal agencies and thousands of cities and counties have used PCAs for the collection of delinquent taxes and other receivables. (Source: ACA International research.)

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