County Collection Policy: Administrative Memo D-10

ADMINISTRATIVE MEMORANDUM

COUNTY OF SAN MATEO

NUMBER: D-10

SUBJECT: County Collection Policy

RESPONSIBLE DEPARTMENT: Employee & Public Services

APPROVED: County Manager

DATE: August 8,2000

This memorandum establishes guidelines and procedures for the disposition of delinquent accounts receivable for County funded programs.

Delinquent Accounts/Returned Checks

An account is delinquent when:

1) a check is returned unpaid;

2) payment has not been received 60 days after the first billing;

3) the bill is returned to the County because of a change of address;

4) a County department has reason to believe that the debtor will not make payment.

All delinquent accounts should be turned over to Revenue Services. If the department has questions about referral of accounts, Revenue Services will consult with and advise the department of its options. The only exceptions are accounts valued at less than $50. These accounts are generally the responsibility of the department. However, Revenue Services can assist in collections of amounts under $50 ,if the department desires.

Collections Information

Departments shall provide Revenue Services with all requested information concerning an account unless prevented by law

The information required by Revenue Services includes but is not limited to:

  • name;
  • case number;
  • address;
  • telephone number;
  • history of other names and past addresses;
  • service provided;
  • amount of charges;
  • driver’s license number;
  • Social Security number;
  • name of spouse;
  • financial credit analysis;
  • determination of ability to pay;
  • payment history; and
  • employer’s name.

Transmittal of Accounts

Revenue Services provides Account Transmittal Forms for those departments not equipped to transfer accounts electronically. Accounts transmitted on paper or tape must be summarized on an Accounts Transmittal Control Sheet, also available through Revenue Services. The Control Sheet summarizes the transmittal for audit purposes. A copy must be retained by the user department.

Referrals must be submitted to Revenue Services by Friday of the third week of an accounting period to ensure that the transfer of accountability is properly recorded in both sets of records during the same accounting period.

Revenue Services will acknowledge and summarize each transmittal of accounts by budget unit and will provide the user department -with a listing and total of accounts received.

Other Services

When requested, Revenue Services will provide original billing and collection services to County departments. Revenue Services is available and encourages consultations with departments concerning sliding fee scales and other matters which may ultimately involve Revenue Services. Credit reports may be available to departments requiring credit information of clients.

Court Orders

Revenue Services may act as the collection agent for court ordered reimbursements and fines, even if the account has not been classified as delinquent. In these cases, Revenue Services will set up a payment schedule with defendants in accordance with court order. Revenue Services will adhere to all such terms and notify the appropriate sources should the defendant fail to satisfy the court order.

Compromises

Any compromises of debts from individuals must be recommended by the Revenue Services Manager and County Couns el and approved by the Department Head

Relief of Accountability

Unless otherwise agreed with the transmitting department, Revenue Services will seek relief of accountability from the Board of Supervisors when the statute of limitations has expired or when the debtor has declared bankruptcy.

 

Departmental Charges

For any type of service rendered to a department by Revenue Services, one of the following charge systems is used. Departments will be charged a percentage of the total revenue collected for their organization or the department will be directly charged at a predetermined hourly rate which will be applied on the basis of time spent working on items relating to the requested department.

The method used to calculate service charges between the Revenue Services Division and other County departments will be negotiated and agreed upon at the beginning of the fiscal year and remain in effect for the duration of that year.

 

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