Debt Management Services
Debt Management Services (DMS) helps federal agencies and state governments collect debt (the money owed to them).
Did you get a notice from a federal or state agency about owing money?
See these question and answer pages:
- General questions about dealing with your overdue debt
- If money was taken from your tax refund, federal paycheck, or federal benefits
- If your wages are being garnished (money is being held back from your pay)
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Economic Impact Payments and the Treasury Offset Program
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on the Collection of Federal Nontax Debts through the Cross-Servicing Program during COVID-19
Debt Collection Improvement Act
The legal foundation for much of the work that DMS does is the Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996 (DCIA). Under this law:
- Treasury collects delinquent (overdue) nontax federal debt on behalf of federal agencies.
- Federal agencies generally must refer delinquent nontax debt to Treasury for collection and report those debts to credit bureaus.
- Federal agencies may garnish the non-federal wages of employees who owe delinquent nontax debts without a court order. (Garnish means to withhold money from someone's pay.)
- Delinquent debtors are generally barred from getting federal loans or loan guarantees until they resolve those debts.
Looking for Specific Information for DMS Programs?
Watch our informative video about Debt Management Services:
Learn about all DMS programs, or visit specific programs using the options below:
Do Not Pay
Detects and prevents improper payments made by federal agencies.
Centralized Receivables Service
Assists federal agencies in managing accounts receivable.
Treasury Offset Program
Collects delinquent debts, including unpaid loans, overpayments, fines, penalties, and child support obligations, by offsetting eligible federal and state payments, including federal benefit, tax refunds, salary, civil service and limitary retirement, and vendor payments.
Collects delinquent, nontax debts through various means, including administrative wage garnishment and credit bureau reporting.