Sumter City Council approved an ordinance and resolution pertaining to how the city collects delinquent fees, such as late water and sewer fees, during its meeting on Tuesday.
City makes state association claimant for debt collection
Agenda Item: A resolution to authorize the Municipal Association of South Carolina to act as claimant agent for the city of Sumter for the collection of debt in accordance with the Setoff Debt Collection Act.
Background: The Setoff Debt Collection Act allows the South Carolina Department of Revenue to render assistance in the collection of debt owed to political subdivisions of the state.
The debt collection act is really a mechanism to collect delinquent fees for city services, mainly the water and sewer system, Eric Shytle, attorney for the city of Sumter, said.
This resolution, he said, goes along with the ordinance related to the same issue and designates the municipal association as the city's claimant agency, giving the association the authority to take action, based on procedures detailed in the debt collection act, on behalf of the city.
The resolution is just a house cleaning matter, Shytle said, and will not change any procedures.
Vote: Unanimous approval — Councilman Thomas Lowery and councilman Robert Galiano were not present for the vote.
City seeks to collect on debt collection expenses
Reading: Second and final
Agenda Item: An ordinance relating to the recovery of collection costs as part of delinquent debts collected pursuant to the Setoff Debt Collection Act.
Background: The city of Sumter is already a claimant agency participating in the debt collection act and is contracted with the Municipal Association of South Carolina which submits claims on the city's behalf to the state Department of Revenue for an administrative fee.
The ordinance declares the administrative fee charged by the municipal association a collection cost recognized under the act because it is charged through a contract. The ordinance also declares the city's internal costs for preparing and transmitting information to the association a collection cost.
Under the debt collection act, the claimant agent can file a claim and have the amount of delinquent feeds owed to the claimant offset against tax refunds from the customer who has failed to pay fees.
This program is operated by the Municipal Association of South Carolina.
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