Debt collection

Debt collection refers to the pursuing of debts that individuals owe in taxes, duties, maintenance or other fees that TAKS and other authorities administer.

Debt collection has three stages.

1. Payment reminders

When an individual falls behind on a debt, the first thing that happens is that TAKS' bookkeeping department sends out a reminder of the outstanding debt. This reminder lays clear the type and amount of the debt, and what the consequences of not paying are. If the individual does not respond within 10 days after receiving the reminder, the case is brought to TAKS' bailiff.

2. Summons

When an individual still has not paid their outstanding debt, TAKS' bailiffs will summon them. In cases of major debts, the individuals will be summoned immediately.

The summons is a letter that instructs the individual to appear at a specific time at the nearest TAKS office. The letter also specifies the amount owed, and what happens if the person does not appear when under obligation to appear.

At the time of the appearance, the first thing that happens is that the individual is asked if they can pay the outstanding debt. If the individual can make payment arrangements, the case is dropped. If the individual cannot make the payment, the case will escalate further.

3. Debt collection

If the debtor still cannot make the owed payments, the bailiff may pawn assets of the debtor, such as cash, property, vehicles, inventory and the like. When an asset is pawned, it means that it cannot be handed over or sold without the approval of the pawn holder, in this case, TAKS.

If there are no assets, or if they are too small to be pawned, the pawning has been futile. When an asset has been pawned, or if the pawning was futile, the limitation period has been breached and a new limitation period starts for the next five years.

In special cases, the bailiff can pawn at the debtors' residence, for example, if the debtor doesn't show up when summoned.