San Diego

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Program Overview and History

In 1983, the Delinquent Accounts Program, formerly called Collection Program, was created to carry out the Office of the City Treasurer's responsibility to collect delinquent amounts owed to the City of San Diego. The program has become one of the most successful and productive municipal government collection programs in the nation. The program's use of the following has contributed greatly to that success:

  • State of the art technology
  • Well-trained staff with private-sector experience
  • Aggressive, cost efficient collection agency approach
  • High standards of customer service

The program includes a staff of 30, including the following positions:

  • Program Manager
  • Collection Investigator I, II, III
  • Sr. Clerk Typist
  • Clerical Assistant II

Working within a PDF icon budget of $3.74 million, the program collects more than $30 million annually. To date, the program has collected 85% of the unpaid receivables referred for collections. How is the money collected? The focus is on creating consequences for not paying. These may include:

  • Penalties and interest for late payers
  • Credit reporting
  • Telephone calls and letters
  • Liens on property
  • Offset of state income tax and/or lottery winnings
  • Legal action

The Delinquent Accounts Program works hand in hand with the Office of the City Attorney on larger balance accounts requiring legal action beyond the Small Claims Court. The City Attorney's Office also advises staff on legal issues as they occur.