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Debt Collection Agency IRS Calls Slated to Start

By Joshua Doubek

Back in December 2015, Congress passed a law called, “Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act.” Oddly enough (or maybe not so strange, since legislative bills often have unrelated riders), the bill requires the Internal Revenue Service to use third-party debt collection agencies. The agencies are supposed to collect back taxes from folks the IRS has given up on.

In its announcement, the IRS said that debt collection agencies could start contacting consumers as early as Spring 2017, which is just around the corner. The agency has contracted with four debt collection agencies: ConServe, Pioneer Credit Recovery, Peformant Financial Corporation, and CBE Group. The IRS is adamant that the debt collectors will be required to follow the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, which outlines unacceptable collection tactics like harassment, telling others about a debt, and calling early in the morning or late at night. The FDCPA also gives consumers the right to sue debt collection agencies that violate the law, and the chance to recover up to $1,000.

The IRS says that it will send taxpayers written notification that their accounts are being turned over to debt collection agencies. This is supposed to be a workaround for IRS telephone scams that demand immediate payment. When debt collection agencies call, they are to instruct folks about electronic payment options and the option to send a check directly to the IRS.

Not all delinquent accounts will be turned over to the four debt collection agencies. Accounts of minors, those who are deceased, those who are in active disaster areas, and those in combat zones are examples of those not assigned to the agencies.

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