A debtor who is active or potentially active in the Treasury Offset Program/External
Collection Operation (TOP/ECO) will need to have a properly coded hearing request
in DMS to prevent collection by Tax Refund Offset (TRO), Administrative Offset (AO),
Administrative Wage Garnishment (AWG), Federal Salary Offset (FSO), as well as Credit
Bureau Reporting. In other words the nonrecoop/terminated debtor can enter into a
repayment agreement with SSA while the hearing is pending but none of the ECO methods
of recovery will apply. For more information on the Treasury Offset Program (TOP)
see GN 02201.029.
IMPORTANT: Because SSA does not refer debts with any pending protests to the Department of Treasury,
it is important that the debtor’s request for a hearing be coded immediately and correctly
to prevent erroneous offsets and/or withholdings.