Majority of American families have come into contact with debt, whether its their own, or surrounding members of their family or community. With that realized, what if the burden of a family members debt was pushed on to younger relatives, without choice?
This is what one Food and Drug Administration employee was surprised find out when her tax refund was confiscated by the U.S. Treasury. Why?
According to the U.S. Treasury, Mary Grice’s federal and state refund of $4,500 was taken from her because the Social Security Administration over payed her family’s death benefits in 1960 when her father had died. Grice was just 5 years old at the time.
In short, the government realized their mistake 54 years later and without notice, to a debt that was not Grice’s, seized her refund.
“To be honest, I was ticked off,” Grice said. “I’m like ‘how can they intercept or take my funds without my first being notified about it?'”
Her attorney Robert Vogel has sued, demanding the government stop these collections.
“The government should not be in the business of trying to collect 30+ year-old debts from people,” Vogel said. “There is no way that people have any reason to keep their records for that long.”
Congress quietly passed legislation in 2011 lifting the former 10-year statute of limitations on money owed to the government, allowing the Government to collect debts going back decades. The measure also allows the government to collect from debtors’ children and grandchildren.
Former Justice Department attorney J. Christian Adams calls it “classic abuse”
As for Grice, she is just on of many holding the burden. Congress was quick to take action after Grice’s story was first published. Senators Barbara Boxer & Barbara Mikulski are opposing the statute decision and are ordering Congress to stop this debt manhunt of children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and brothers & sisters.
The Social Security agency claims that they have contacted their “new” debtors multiple times before seizing tax refunds. Whats odd is that Mary Grice is a government employee, it shouldn’t be so hard to contact her right?