CIVIL COLLECTIONS Department
The CIVIL COLLECTIONS DEPARTMENT is responsible for the following:
Processing the monthly billing for civil cases
Collection of court costs on closed cases
Point of contact for parties referred to the Office of Debt Recovery (ODR)
THE COLLECTION PROCESS EXPLAINED
COURT COSTS ARE ASSIGNED TO PARTIES BY THE COURT
The Judge in a case determines a specific % owed by each party, and costs are "cast" (finalized) by our office. Court costs will include the fees assessed for the processing of all documents involved in the case. (Even if the party filed "In Forma Pauperis" / AKA Pauper, court costs are not waived. They are only delayed until after the case has concluded.)
PAYMENT NOTICES ARE SENT BY MAIL
Our office makes every effort to notify parties by mail that court costs are owed. Notices are sent by mail to the individual directly to the address on record or the attorney's address on record. (Attorneys are responsible for providing these notices to clients.) Failure to receive a mailed payment notice does not negate court costs owed. Louisiana statute requires parties involved in suits to keep the Clerk of Court informed of any change of address until the case is closed and all costs are paid.
PAYMENT ARRANGEMENTS CAN BE MADE WITH THE BOOKKEEPING, COST, OR COLLECTIONS DEPARTMENTS
When an individual receives a payment notice, s/he should contact our office. Payments can be made in full, or a payment plan can be arranged. As long as an individual demonstrates effort to make payment on court costs, the debt will not be surrendered to the Office Of Debt Recovery.
UNPAID COURT COSTS ARE SUBMITTED TO THE LOUISIANA OFFICE OF DEBT RECOVERY
After every reasonable effort has been made by our office to inform the party by mail that court costs are due, unpaid debts are submitted to the Louisiana Office of Debt Recovery (ODR). Once ODR has received a submission of debt, our office is no longer the collection agent. The party will need to contact ODR directly.
WHAT IS THE LOUISIANA OFFICE OF DEBT RECOVERY (or "ODR") ?
In 2013, the Louisiana Legislature formed the Office of Debt Recovery, a joint agency between the LA Attorney general and the LA Dept of Revenue. ACT 399 through LA R.S. 47:1676 requires the Clerk of Court to forward all unpaid debts to ODR. The ODR office has the authority to suspend an individual's driver's license, hunting license, garnish wages, garnish tax refunds, or seize bank accounts. A significant processing fee is added to the original debt cost by ODR.
I HAVE RECEIVED A NOTICE THAT MY DEBT WILL BE SENT TO LOUISIANA OFFICE OF DEBT RECOVERY
If you have received a notice that your court costs are going to be submitted to the LA Office of Debt Recovery, contact our Civil Collections office for more information and/or remedies to avoid this final step or BOOKKEEPING to make payment arrangements. Once a debt has been submitted officially to ODR, our office is no longer authorized to be of assistance.