Prohibited Collection Activities for State Collection Agents

So, briefly I'd like to talk a little bit about what procedures are in bound and out bounds for state collection agents. For the most part, state collection agents are expected to be courteous, they are expected to expeditiously move their cases through the state collections procedures and they are expected to try and work with the tax payer to facilitate a resolution. In practice, some agents are more difficult to deal with than others. It is often times a lot harder to work with an agent who is on a state level because a lot of times there's not that face to face contact that you have with the IRS or you get a state collection agent who is under external pressures to collect revenue or to enforce the collection action much more severely, that coupled with the fact again, there are very few tax payer rights, makes things a little bit more difficult to do it.

However, there is a general standard for house state collection agents are supposed to behave. There is a published list of prohibited collection activities. All state collection agents are required to comply with the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. State collections agents are prohibited from harassment, they're prohibited from using obscene or profane language, for making threats against the tax payer, to tell them that they've committed a crime, to tell them that they will disclose confidential information to outside parties. They are also prohibited from providing false or misleading information. State collection agents cannot state that they're attorneys. They cannot state that they are criminal investigatory agents. They cannot that they are going to come and arrest you.


Sam Brotman, JD, LLM, MBA

Owner and Director of Legal
Brotman Law