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Delinquent Debts FAQ


Questions Most Frequently Asked by the Public

Why am I receiving a delinquent debt notice?

The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Bureau of the Fiscal Service (Fiscal Service) is authorized to collect delinquent, non-tax debts on behalf of other federal agencies. If a federal agency informs Fiscal Service that you owe a delinquent nontax debt, Fiscal Service will send you a letter regarding your debt. That letter will list the federal agency to which you owe a debt and provide information regarding your payment options.

How do I make a payment?

You can make a secure payment online by visiting www.pay.gov and following the instructions to use debit card or bank account information. You can also pay by phone at (888) 826-3127, and providing the debt recovery analyst with your debit card or bank account information. You may also pay by mailing your payment to:

   U.S. Department of the Treasury
   P.O. Box 979101
   St. Louis, MO 63197-9000

If paying by mail, it is very important to include the Treasury Case Number or Account Number in the memo section of your check or money order.

Is there a way to pay my debt in installments?

Yes, if you believe that you are unable to pay the debt in one payment, please contact a debt recovery analyst at (888) 826-3127 to discuss whether you qualify to pay your debt in installments. You will be required to provide information regarding your financial situation.

What if I am unable to make payments under an installment agreement that I previously entered into with Fiscal Service?

If you previously entered into a payment agreement with Fiscal Service but are no longer able to make payments on the agreed-upon schedule, please contact a debt recovery analyst at (888) 826-3127.

If I am in a payment agreement and making payments, will that stop me from being offset?

Establishing a payment agreement and making required payments under the agreement does not prevent collections through the Treasury Offset Program, unless otherwise specified in your agreement. If you have questions regarding the terms of your payment agreement, please contact a debt recovery analyst at (888) 826-3127. For more information about the Treasury Offset Program, please visit the TOP Frequently Asked Questions page.

Can I make a compromise offer on the debt balance?

Yes, if you believe that you are unable to pay the full amount of the debt over time, please contact a debt recovery analyst to determine whether you are eligible for a compromise agreement. You will be required to provide information regarding your financial situation. A compromise agreement is an agreement to fully satisfy your debt by paying less than the full amount of the debt. If your request for a compromise is approved, you must pay the agreed-upon amount and abide by the agreement terms to fulfill the agreement. The amount of the debt that is forgiven pursuant to the compromise agreement may be reported to the Internal Revenue Service as income to you on a Form 1099-C.

Will the debt balance increase if I do not pay the debt now?

Generally, federal agencies must accrue and assess interest, penalties, and administrative costs on delinquent debts. See 31 U.S.C. § 3717. Therefore, your debt balance may increase if the debt is not paid in a timely manner.

Can Treasury deduct money from my paycheck for a debt I owe?

Yes, Treasury can utilize administrative wage garnishment (AWG), a process that allows a federal agency to order an employer to withhold up to 15 percent of an employee's disposable pay in order to satisfy a delinquent non-tax debt. AWG can be initiated without a court order.

How can I find out more about administrative wage garnishment?

For more information about administrative wage garnishment, please visit the Administrative Wage Garnishment Frequently Asked Questions page.

How will this delinquent debt impact my credit score and ability to obtain additional credit?

If you owe a delinquent nontax debt to a federal agency, the federal agency is generally required to report the debt to a credit bureau. This may impact your credit score and your access to favorable credit terms.

Can I request proof that I owe the debt?

Yes, you can request proof that you owe the debt by contacting a debt recovery analyst at (888) 826-3127. Fiscal Service will obtain the documents from the federal agency where the debt originated and send you the documents.

Can I dispute the debt? What are the potential outcomes?

Yes, you can dispute that you owe the debt by submitting a request in writing. The letter should include your reason for filing a dispute, along with any supporting documentation. Fiscal Service will request that the agency that referred your debt review your dispute and provide Fiscal Service with a response. While your dispute is being reviewed, collection action will continue unless the agency requests that Fiscal Service suspend collection.

Once the agency reviews your dispute, the agency may confirm the debt is valid and collection activity will continue or the agency may determine there was an error and the agency will correct the error, which includes possibly directing Fiscal Service to cease collections.

Whom do I contact about my debt?

To discuss your debt, please contact a debt recovery analyst at (888) 826-3127. If you prefer to contact us in writing, please send your correspondence to:

   U.S. Department of the Treasury
   P.O. Box 830794
   Birmingham, AL, 35283-0794

What happens to my debt if I have declared bankruptcy?

If you have filed for bankruptcy protection, please immediately contact a debt recovery analyst at (888) 826-3127. If you prefer to contact us in writing, please send your information to:

   U.S. Department of the Treasury
   P.O. Box 830794
   Birmingham, AL, 35283-0794

What are my options in regard to my debt if I am experiencing a financial hardship?

If you feel you are experiencing a financial hardship, please contact a debt recovery analyst at (888) 826-3127 for further information.

What happens to my debt if I am incarcerated? Or the person listed on the letter is deceased?

If you have received notice that Fiscal Service is attempting to collect against a person who is incarcerated or deceased, please contact a debt recovery analyst at (888) 826-3127. You may submit documentation to support these statuses and the documentation will be reviewed by Fiscal Service. Documentation can be submitted to:

   U.S. Department of the Treasury
   P.O. Box 830794
   Birmingham, AL, 35283-0794

Can Treasury waive a debt?

No, Fiscal Service does not have authority to waive debts referred by another federal agency for debt collection services. If you believe that you qualify for a waiver, please contact a debt recovery analyst at (888) 826-3127.

Return to Index of Frequently Asked Questions.



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