The IRS Has Hired A Debt Collector That Is Being Sued By The Government

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Media Outlet: Buzzfeed

Ben Barrett was quoted by Buzzfeed News in an article about a company currently under litigation by the federal government, that has also been contracted by the IRS to collect overdue debts:

Ben Barrett, a program associate with the education policy program at the progressive New America foundation, told BuzzFeed News that the government contracting with a private collector poses certain profit incentives that could open up "unsavory practices, illegal practices."
But he also said a private contractor, with IRS oversight, could collect debts with more efficiency than the government. The Treasury Department said in 2016 that its pilot program to collect on defaulted student loans with a gentler approach failed in comparison to private companies.
"Obviously nobody should be doing anything illegal," he said. "You should never cross that line. In so far as they can adhere to the law and get a delinquent taxpayer on the phone through whatever legal means necessary, that’s not necessarily a bad thing."

In the News:

Ben Barrett is a program associate with the Education Policy program at New America, where he is a member of the higher education team.