April 05, 2011 | Uncategorized

School District to Hire Debt Collectors for Overdue Lunch Money

A Pennsylvania school district is considering hiring a debt collection agency to pursue children who owe lunch money. The school district is owed a total of about $3,000 for school lunches that were given to children on credit. The district has apparently forwarded their own reminder notices to the children’s parents, but some accounts remain unpaid. The district has indicated that there are at least 35 children who owe money.  The district recognizes that many of these children may be poor, and may actually qualify for free or reduced-fee lunches. But since the indigent children have not filed the appropriate forms, they are currently obligated to pay their outstanding lunch room tabs.

Considering the financial condition of most state and local governments, it’s understandable that school districts are examining their accounts receivable (though one wonders how much of an impact this $3,000 could have on their budget).  What is notable here however is the apparent excitement this proposed new business niche is causing in the collection industry. There are apparently at least three collection agencies vying for the right to go after the lunch money. Whether appropriate or not, the images of the school yard bully stealing a kid’s lunch money cannot be avoided. The collection industry has not missed this potential problem either.  An article in a leading collection industry trade journal recently noted the potential “PR nightmare” involved with trying to collect children’s lunch money. The article however also notes how using debt collectors to go after lunch money could be viewed as another example of how the collection industry helps strengthen our communities.

If you are a New York resident and you feel you have been harassed or abused by a debt collector, contact the Law Office of Joseph Mauro to arrange for a consultation.