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Who collects restitution and penalties?

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    The U.S. Attorney General is responsible for collection of an unpaid fine or restitution under the authority of 18 U.S.C. §3612(c). However, there are several options available to the courts in the event of a default. The court may: 1) revoke or modify the terms of supervised release or probation; 2) resentence; 3) place a taxpayer in contempt of court; 4) enter a restraining order or injunction; 5) order a forced sale of a Defendant’s property; 6) accept a performance bond; 7) adjust the payment schedule; or 8) take “any other action necessary to obtain compliance.”

    Moreover, when taking such an action the court must take into consideration the financial circumstances of the taxpayer. To adequately make such an assessment, the court must evaluate the defendant’s employment status, earning ability, financial resources, and any other circumstances that may have a bearing on a defendant’s ability or failure to comply with the order. Upon notification of a change in a defendant’s financial circumstances, “the court may, on its own motion, or the motion of any party, including the victim, adjust the payment schedule, or require immediate payment in full, as the interest of justice require.”


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