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256.9792 ARREARAGE COLLECTION PROJECTS.

Subdivision 1.Arrearage collections.

Arrearage collection projects are created to increase the revenue to the state and counties, reduce public assistance expenditures for former public assistance cases, and increase payments of arrearages to persons who are not receiving public assistance by submitting cases for arrearage collection to collection entities, including but not limited to, the Department of Revenue and private collection agencies.

Subd. 2.Definitions.

(a) The definitions in this subdivision apply to this section:

(b) "Public assistance arrearage case" means a case where current support may be due, no payment, with the exception of tax offset, has been made within the last 90 days, and the arrearages are assigned to the public agency according to section 256.741.

(c) "Public authority" means the public authority responsible for child support enforcement.

(d) "Nonpublic assistance arrearage case" means a support case where arrearages have accrued that have not been assigned according to section 256.741.

Subd. 3.Agency participation.

(a) The collection remedy under this section is in addition to and not in substitution for any other remedy available by law to the public authority. The public authority remains responsible for the case even after collection efforts are referred to the Department of Revenue, a private agency, or other collection entity.

(b) The Department of Revenue, a private agency, or other collection entity may not claim collections made on a case submitted by the public authority for a state tax offset under chapter 270A as a collection for the purposes of this project.

Subd. 4.Eligible cases.

(a) For a case to be eligible for a collection project, the criteria in paragraphs (b) and (c) must be met. Any case from a county participating in the collections project meeting the criteria under this subdivision must be subcommitted for collection.

(b) Notice must be sent to the debtor, as defined in section 270A.03, subdivision 4, at the debtor's last known address at least 30 days before the date the collections effort is transferred. The notice must inform the debtor that the Department of Revenue or a private collections agency will use enforcement and collections remedies and may charge a fee of up to 30 percent of the arrearages. The notice must advise the debtor of the right to contest the debt on grounds limited to mistakes of fact. The debtor may contest the debt by submitting a written request for review to the public authority within 21 days of the date of the notice.

(c) The arrearages owed must be based on a court or administrative order. The arrearages to be collected must be at least $100 and must be at least 90 days past due. For nonpublic assistance cases referred to private agencies, the arrearages must be a docketed judgment under sections 548.09 and 548.091.

Subd. 5.County participation.

(a) The commissioner of human services shall designate the counties to participate in the projects, after requesting counties to volunteer for the projects.

(b) The commissioner of human services shall designate which counties shall submit cases to the Department of Revenue, a private collection agency, or other collection entity.

Subd. 6.Fees.

A collection fee set by the commissioner of human services shall be charged to the person obligated to pay the arrearages. The collection fee is in addition to the amount owed, and must be deposited by the commissioner of revenue in the state treasury and credited to the general fund to cover the costs of administering the program or retained by the private agency or other collection entity to cover the costs of administering the collection services.

Subd. 7.Contracts.

(a) The commissioner of human services may contract with the commissioner of revenue, private agencies, or other collection entities to implement the projects, charge fees, and exchange necessary information.

(b) The commissioner of human services may provide an advance payment to the commissioner of revenue for collection services to be repaid to the Department of Human Services out of subsequent collection fees.

(c) Summary reports of collections, fees, and other costs charged shall be submitted monthly to the state office of child support enforcement.

Subd. 8.Remedies.

(a) The commissioner of revenue is authorized to use the tax collection remedies in sections 270C.32, subdivision 1, 270C.63, 270C.67, 270C.68, 270C.69, 270C.70 to 270C.72, and 270C.728, and tax return information to collect arrearages.

(b) Liens arising under paragraph (a) shall be perfected under the provisions of section 270C.63. The lien may be filed as long as the time period allowed by law for collecting the arrearages has not expired. The lien shall attach to all property of the debtor within the state, both real and personal under the provisions of section 270C.63. The lien shall be enforced under the provisions in section 270C.63 relating to state tax liens.