18C-134. Setoff for debt collection against lottery prizes.

(a) Purpose. - The Commission must establish a debt set-off program by which lottery prize payments may be used to satisfy a debt owed or collected by a claimant agency that is at least fifty dollars ($50.00). The collection remedy under this section is in addition to and not in substitution for any other remedy available by law.

(b) Notification. - A claimant agency is automatically enrolled in the Commission's debt set-off program if it is enrolled in the Department of Revenue debt set-off program. To provide for more efficient operations, the Department of Revenue shall provide to the Commission on a periodic basis all updates to its debt set-off program as soon as practicable.

(c) Setoff. - The Commission must match the information submitted by the claimant agency with persons who are entitled to a State lottery prize payment in an amount of six hundred dollars ($600.00) or more. If there is a match, the Commission must set off the debt against the lottery winnings to which the debtor would otherwise be entitled. When there are multiple claims to be set off, the priority in claims to set off is the same as provided in G.S. 105A-12. The winnings that exceed the amount of the debt, if any, must be paid to that person. The Commission must mail the debtor written notice that the setoff has occurred and must transfer the net proceeds collected to the claimant agency. If the claimant agency is a State agency, that agency must credit the amount received to a nonreverting trust account and must follow the procedure set in G.S. 105A-8.

(d) Collection Assistance Fee. - To recover the costs incurred by the Commission in collecting debts under this section, a collection assistance fee of five dollars ($5.00) may be imposed on each debt collected through setoff. The Commission must collect this fee as part of the debt and retain it. To recover the costs incurred by local agencies in submitting debts for collection under this section, a collection assistance fee of fifteen dollars ($15.00) may be imposed on each local agency debt collected through setoff. The Commission must collect this fee as part of the debt and remit it to the clearinghouse that submitted the debt. The collection assistance fees do not apply to child support debts. If the Commission is able to collect only part of a debt through setoff, the Commission's collection assistance fee has priority over the local collection assistance fee and over the remainder of the debt. The local collection assistance fee has priority over the remainder of the debt.

(e) Confidentiality. - Notwithstanding any confidentiality statute of a claimant agency, the exchange of information among the Commission, the Department of Revenue, the claimant agency, the organization submitting debts on behalf of a local agency, and the debtor necessary to implement this section is lawful. The information an agency or organization obtains from the Commission in accordance with the exemption in this subsection may be used by the agency or organization only in the pursuit of its debt collection duties and practices.

(f) Definitions. - The definitions in G.S. 105A-2 apply in this section. (2005-344, s. 1; 2005-276, s. 31.1(k1); 2009-357, ss. 9, 10.)