Collection of Debts Owed the Veterans Administration

Gao ID: 111985 April 1, 1980

The amount of money owed the Federal Government is enormous and growing. Many of the factors which impede Veterans Administration (VA) debt collection efforts are common throughout the Government. The Federal agencies have not been aggressive in pursuing collection; not enough resources are devoted to this effort; and collection methods are slow, expensive, and inefficient. In an effort to strengthen debt collection, the Federal agencies have been instructed to: (1) establish procedures for reporting debtors to credit bureaus; (2) charge interest on delinquent debts; (3) take over full responsibility for collection, including litigation; (4) offset debt amounts from continuing benefits originally overpaid, civil service retirement annuities or contributions, final salary, lump-sum leave payments, and severance pay of Federal employees, amounts due indebted contractors, and judgments against the United States; and (5) use the Internal Revenue Service locator service for names and addresses of debtors.

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