If your local government had previously enrolled in the State Assisted Local Debt Recovery Program (DRP), you should have received correspondence recently from the State Comptroller’s office regarding an amendment form to the Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA).
There are several changes. Here are some of the highlights:
- Duty to Remove Debt Listings for Debts with Property Liens: The government unit must remove a debtor from its collection list if the government has placed a lien against property for the same debt (or also if a warrant is issued against the person relating to the debt).
- Duty to Keep DRP Login Information Confidential: This amendment expressly limits access to the login and certification information to the chief officer of the local government and not a third party vendor, such as a collection agency.
- Duty to Notify of Changed Chief Officer: This amendment requires the local government to notify the Comptroller if the previously named chief officer indicated in the IGA is no longer in the position. Until such a time that a new chief officer is named and certified, debts cannot be certified.
- Fee Increase: The transaction fee charged to the debtor is now increased to up to $20 without the previous maximum fee if the debt is less than $30. Also, debts under $10 are no longer restricted, so someone could theoretically get charged a $20 transaction fee payable to the Comptroller for a municipal debt of $2, for example.
- Municipal Duty to Refund Comptroller Fees on Erroneous Debts: The Comptroller is making the Village responsible for refunding the administrative fees the Comptroller already collected on any debt that was collected in error. The Comptroller’s concern was that certain governments were only doing monthly reviews of their debtor file, and so state employees on the debtor file who were paid semi-monthly were routinely being charged for debts that were already deducted in the previous pay cycle.
- Duty to Review Additionally Identified Matches: The Comptroller may use a third party vendor to help find debt matches. If they do so, the municipality would be given 30 days to review the additional matches and add them to their debt list. The Village must indicate if it needs more time to review. This seems like a good thing for the municipality because more municipal debtors will be identified by the Comptroller, although it does create an additional review task.
If your local government has not yet enrolled in the DRP but is interested in learning more, please contact our office to discuss the process. See also our earlier article highlighting the Village of Lake In The Hills success with the DRP.
Author: Brad Stewart