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Financial Litigation Unit - Frequently Asked Questions

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Q: Where do I make my payments?

A1: Criminal restitution, fine, and special assessment payments should be mailed to the Clerk of the Court where you were prosecuted:

  • If you were prosecuted in Seattle, make your check or money order payable to "Clerk, U.S. District Court" and mail your payment to:

United States District Court Clerk's Office - Seattle
U.S. Courthouse
700 Stewart Street - Lobby Level
Seattle, WA 98101

*Be sure to write your name and court number on the check or money order.

  • If you were prosecuted in Tacoma, make your check or money order payable to "Clerk, U.S. District Court," and mail your payment to:

Unite States District Court Clerk's Office - Tacoma
U.S. Courthouse
1717 Pacific Avenue, Room 3100
Tacoma, WA 98402-3200

*Be sure to write your name and court number on the check or money order.

A2: If you were involved in a civil case and owe a federal debt, make your check or money order payable to "U.S. Department of Justice," and mail your payment to:

U.S. Department of Justice Lockbox
Nationwide Central Intake Facility
P.O. Box 790363
St. Louis, MO 63179-0363

*Be sure to write your name and the U.S. Attorney's Office ("USAO") number on your check or money order and make sure to include it with your payment coupon. Unsure of your assigned USAO number? Please contact the Financial Litigation Unit at (206) 553-1866 for assistance.

 

Q: I have not received any billing statements lately. Why?

A1: Have you moved? If you have moved, or are planning to move, be sure to inform our office of your new address. Please contact the Financial Litigation Unit at (206) 553-1866, or mail your new address to our office at:

U.S. Attorney's Office
Western District of Washington
Attn: Financial Litigation Unit
700 Stewart Street, Suite 5220
Seattle, WA 98101

A2: Have you missed a few payments? You must immediately contact the Financial Litigation Unit to be reinstated in the monthly statement cycle program. REMINDER: Just because you are not receiving billing statements does not forgive your debt or release you from your obligation to make your monthly payments. If you become delinquent in your payments, you will likely face federal litigation.

 

Q: I want to pay off my debt. What is my current balance?

A: For information regarding your current balance, please call the Financial Litigation Unit at (206) 553-1866.

 

Q: Why does my statement say my payment is overdue when I know I am current?

A: Our office receives notice of all payments made to the Clerk of the Court or the Lockbox on a weekly basis. If your payment does not reach the Clerk of the Court or the Lockbox by the 7th day of the month (if your payment is due on the 1st) or the 21st (if your payment is due on the 15th), your statement may indicate that your payment is overdue.

 

Q: Why is a Department of Justice Notice of Lien showing up on my title report?

A: Whenever a judgment is entered in U.S. District Court, it acts as a lien against property. In cases where a debtor owes any amount of restitution and/or a fine and special assessment equaling more than $2,500.00, our office files a lien in the debtor's county of residence, and any other county where real property might be found.

 

Q: There is no federal judgment against me, but there is a lien filed against my property. What do I do?

A: A judgment debtor may have lived at your property at the time a judgment was entered against the debtor. If the judgment debtor has not had an interest in your property, we can lift the lien. Please call our office at (206) 553-1866 for assistance.

 

Q: A lien is showing up against me, but I paid the debt off long ago. Why?

A: When a debt is paid in full, our office files a Satisfaction of Monetary Imposition (in criminal cases) or a Satisfaction of Judgment (in civil cases). We then mail two Court certified copies of the Satisfaction to the debtor. These documents are proof that the debt is paid in full. Additionally, we may file a Release of Lien in the County where the original lien was filed.

 

Q: My family member, who owed a debt to the government, has died. What is the status of the debt?

A: Please provide our office with a copy of the death certificate and we will close the case in our office. In most instances, the debt dies with the debtor.

 

Q: Interest is accruing on my debt, but the judge said no interest is applicable. What should I do?

A: Please call our office at (206) 553-1866 and be sure to have your court number handy. We will review your case to determine if interest has been waived.

 

Q: Has my student loan debt been referred to your office?

A: Please call our office at (206) 553-1866. Be prepared to provide us with your name, social security number, date of birth, and college attended. If the debt is not with our office, we can contact the U.S. Department of Education, or U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, to determine who is collecting your debt.

 

Q: My debt is owed jointly and severally with other debtors. What does that mean?

A: Joint and several liability means that debtors are responsible to pay a debt, both individually and as a group, up to the amount listed on a debtor's individual judgment. For example, if a victim is owed $500.00 and there are five debtors who are jointly and severally responsible to pay the $500.00 debt, each debtor makes payments until the $500.00 is paid in full. The victim is not owed $500.00 from each debtor, nor does each of the five debtors only owe $100.00. If one debtor makes a single payment of $500.00, the other four debtors are considered paid in full.

 

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