Controller says state owed $147 million in back debts

Controller Kathy Augustine says Nevada is owed more than $147 million in debts which are at least two months old. The data was contained in the controller's office quarterly receivables report dated Sept. 26.

Augustine has been working to convince different state agencies to contract with her office to provide debt collection services. She has said as much as three-quarters of the back debts owed the state can be collected if pursued.

Her first effort in that battle is now in progress. Letters to several thousand people who owe money to the Department of Motor Vehicles will go out next week advising them that, unless they pay, their case will be turned over to a contract collection agency headquartered in Sacramento.

Augustine was granted money by the Interim Finance Committee last week to send those letters. She said legal advisers say the state can't turn a debt over to collection until a formal letter has been sent to the person or company owing the money.

Augustine said those DMV debts total nearly $4 million.

She has also reached agreements with the Department of Business and Industry, Wildlife and the Agriculture Department to act as their collection agent.


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