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Due Process Guidelines

Most statutes authorizing the use of a particular debt collection tool require that the agency attempting to collect the debt provide the debtor with prior written notice of the nature and amount of the debt and a description of how the debtor can dispute the debt or the proposed collection action.  The chart below summarizes the due process requirements for some of the most commonly used collection tools. 

In addition to the due process requirements summarized below, debtors may also be entitled to additional rights, such as the right to enter into a reasonable repayment agreement in accordance with the debtor’s ability to pay or the right to review the agency’s records regarding the debt. 

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Debt Collection Tool Notice Opportunity to Dispute
Administrative wage garnishment 30 days prior to garnishment Hearing with agency official or any qualified individual
Consumer credit bureau reporting 60 days prior to reporting Review with agency official
Administrative offset - offset of federal nontax payments (other than salary payments) and state payments Prior to offset, but no specific timeframe Review with an agency official
Salary offset -  offset of federal salary payments 30 days prior to offset Hearing with hearing official not under the control of the agency
Tax refund offset – offset of federal tax refund payments 60 days prior to offset Review with an agency official
Treasury Offset Program – centralized offset of federal and state payments, including administrative, salary, and tax refund offset 60 days prior to referral of debt to the Treasury Offset Program Review and/or hearing, as appropriate

View information regarding due process for the denial of federal financial assistance to individuals who owe delinquent child support obligations.

Last modified 02/06/19