Montana Code Annotated 2023



Part 1. Debt Collection Service

Collection Of Claims By Department

17-4-103. Collection of claims by department. (1) (a) The department may examine the collection of money due an agency and institute suits:

(i) in its name for official delinquencies in relation to the assessment, collection, and payment of the revenue;

(ii) against persons who possess public money or property and fail to pay over or deliver the money or property; and

(iii) against debtors of the agencies.

(b) The courts of the county where the seat of government is located have jurisdiction, without regard to the residence of the defendants, over the collection suits authorized by this section.

(2) Whenever a person has money or other personal property that belongs to the state by escheat or otherwise or has been entrusted with the collection, management, or disbursement of money, bonds, or interest accruing from the money or bonds, belonging to or held in trust by the state, and fails to render an account of the money or personal property to and make settlement with the department within the time prescribed by law or, when a particular time is not specified, fails to render an account and make settlement or fails to pay into the state treasury the money belonging to the state, upon being required to do so by the department, within 20 days after the requisition, the department shall state an account with that person, charging 25% damages and interest at the rate of 10% a year from the time of the failure. A copy of the account in a suit is prima facie evidence of the things stated in the account, but when the department cannot for want of information state an account, the department may in an action aver that fact and allege generally the amount of money or other property due or belonging to the state.

(3) (a) The department may assist in the collection of a delinquent account owing to an agency and may separately charge the agency for the cost of assistance. The department may enter into an agreement with an agency to assist in the collection of a delinquent account. The department may designate the percentage of collected proceeds to be retained for the cost of assistance. The cost of assistance for collecting personal property taxes that would otherwise be collected by the county treasurer must be allocated in the same manner in which the taxes are distributed.

(b) A delinquent personal property tax usually collected by the county treasurer may be collected by the department only on request of the board of county commissioners. The request must be accompanied by proof of the amount of tax due and proof of the delinquency. The board shall also provide proof that, at least 30 days before making the request, the county has notified the delinquent taxpayer by mail of the board's intention to request assistance from the department.

(4) The department may provide a collection service for the general purpose of centralizing the collection of all debts owed to agencies.

History: (1)En. Sec. 420, Pol. C. 1895; re-en. Sec. 170, Rev. C. 1907; re-en. Sec. 151, R.C.M. 1921; Cal. Pol. C. Sec. 433; re-en. Sec. 151, R.C.M. 1935; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 94, L. 1969; amd. Sec. 98, Ch. 326, L. 1974; Sec. 79-101, R.C.M. 1947; (2)En. Sec. 424, Pol. C. 1895; re-en. Sec. 174, Rev. C. 1907; re-en. Sec. 155, R.C.M. 1921; Cal. Pol. C. Sec. 437; re-en. Sec. 155, R.C.M. 1935; Sec. 79-105, R.C.M. 1947; (3)En. 84-7103 by Sec. 3, Ch. 118, L. 1974; Sec. 84-7103, R.C.M. 1947; (4)En. 84-7101 by Sec. 1, Ch. 118, L. 1974; Sec. 84-7101, R.C.M. 1947; R.C.M. 1947, 79-101(12), 79-105, 84-7101, 84-7103; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 419, L. 1989; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 97, L. 1991; amd. Sec. 13, Ch. 325, L. 1995; amd. Sec. 16, Ch. 529, L. 1995; amd. Secs. 3, 7, Ch. 589, L. 1995; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 39, L. 2023.