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Debt Management

Debt Collection Authorities:
Public Laws, Statutes and Other Authorities Related to the Collection of Delinquent Debts Owed to the Government

The Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996 (DCIA) provides that any non-tax debt or claim owed to the U.S. Government that is 180 days delinquent, with certain exceptions, will be referred to the Department of the Treasury for collection. Debt that is in litigation or foreclosure, with a collection agency or designated federal debt collection center, or that will be disposed of under an asset sales program, is exempt from transfer to the Secretary.

Separately, agencies are required to notify Treasury of all nontax debts that are 120 days delinquent for purposes of administrative offset. There are no exemptions.

Legal Authorities By Program

Debt Collection Legal Authorities Quick Reference Charts.

Statutory Debt Collection Authorities

Debt Collection Public Laws

Debt Collection Statutes

Executive Orders

Regulatory Debt Collection Authorities

Code of Federal Regulations

Treasury Financial Manual:
Treasury Financial Manual Index
Part 4-Chapter 4000 Debt Management Collection of Delinquent Nontax Debt (T/L 668)
  Background | Frequently-Asked Questions
Part 4-Chapter 4100 Debt Management Reports (T/L 635)

Managing Federal Receivables

Guide to the Federal Credit Bureau Program

Payments Exempt from Offset by Action of the Secretary of the Treasury
31 U.S.C. 3716(c)(3)(B)

Treatise on Federal Nontax Debt Collection Law

Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular No. A-129
Policies for Federal Credit Programs and Non-Tax Receivables
(Updated January 2013)

Other Links

Digital Accountability and Transparency Act of 2013 (DATA Act)

Supplemental Background and Summary Information on DCIA-Related Regulations

Memorandum from the Secretary of the Treasury:
Compliance with the Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996

Congressman's Horn's Comments on the Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996 - April 25, 1996

Last modified 07/14/23