What can I do about an alleged overpayment by department of human services?

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What can I do about an alleged overpayment by department of human services?

My father was contacted by the U.S. Treasury concerning an alleged overpayment from 1986-87 from the IL Dept. of Human Services.I spoke with a representative of the Treasury and she said that the letter only referenced the foodstamps portion and there was another for cash in the amount of $10,500.She also said that their was no legal recourse available like negotiations, arbitration, etc. If he did not accept the payment plan his SS payments would be garnished starting immediately.

Asked on February 24, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Illinois

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

1) If your father disputes the payment, he should first take it through the internal agency appeals or review process, then, if necessary, appeal it to court. If he doesn't believe he owes this amount, he can force the government to prove it.

2) If the amount is accurate, you father has to repay it. A creditor, including a state government, does not have to accept a payment plan or settle the debt for less--they can hold out for payment in full, immediately--though usually they will be willing to work out something.

Your father should contact an attorney with experience working with your state agencies. The attorney can help him contest the amount, if that's what he wants to do, or will likely have better success in negotiating a plan or a settlement.


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