The ECO system selects delinquent programmatic debts and refers these debts for external
collection action. The system will then send the debtor’s information (taxpayer identification
number or SSN) to any external collection tool that meets the criteria of eligible
To determine if we referred a debt to our external collection tools, please refer
01114.007, ECO Master Query.
NOTE: Effective May 12, 2017, SSA no longer refers Title II, Title VIII, or Title XVI debts
that have a delinquency date of May 19, 2002 or earlier. There is no manual action
necessary to prevent TOP selection because the selection is automated. Rather, our
automated ECO system no longer selects these debts for external collection. Debts
with a delinquency date after May 19, 2002 remain eligible for TOP referral.
IMPORTANT: Do not diary cases that will NOT be selected for TOP or credit bureau reporting.
Instead, move those cases along to the next step in the process.
The system will not select Title II cases if:
The Title II debtor is in ledger account file (LAF) “S” or any LAF other than “T,
U, X, N, or P”;
The debt was established before the debtor attained age 18;
The debt shows an indication that Department of Justice (DOJ) is involved, such as
a TC-31, TC-32 or TC-70 (see SM
The person billed is a representative payee;
The Title II debt is a type of event (TOE) 29 or 31; or
The debtor is deceased with no representative payee on the record.
The system will not select Title XVI cases if:
The debt has a future payment status (PSTAT) code of "C01," which indicates that the
former recipient will soon go into current pay status; or
The payment status is different from "N" or "T."
The criteria above are not all-inclusive. If you have questions about a case, consult
with the subject matter expert in your office. For additional information about ECO,