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Fri Jul 15, 2016, 04:47 AM

Debt recovery center to start collecting for state courts

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) A new collections center to recover money owed to state agencies and programs will begin pursuing debt for the state court system when it goes online Friday.

The Unified Judicial System will be first to send bad debt to the Obligation Recovery Center, with state agencies joining the fold over the next six months. The court system is initially submitting about 17,000 cases worth about $7 million to the center to recover difficult-to-collect debt such as restitution and fines, State Court Administrator Greg Sattizahn said.

Recovered funds would go to crime victims, schools and counties, among other recipients, he said. The Bureau of Administration estimated in 2015 that people owe South Dakota agencies more than $50 million.

"I feel that we are doing taxpayers a service by trying to collect debts and save money," said Democratic Rep. Peggy Gibson, a member of the Obligation Recovery Center Advisory Group. "You can't just throw it under the carpet forever and just hope people will pay at some point in time."

Read more: http://www.thepublicopinion.com/news/associated_press/south_dakota/debt-recovery-center-to-start-collecting-for-state-courts/article_4b03b8cd-074f-558f-bc56-ca5332b931c6.html

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