I just received a letter of indebtedness from DFAS regarding an overweight shipment of HHG on my return from overseas 3 yrs ago. Is there any limit to how long the military has to inform the service member of a debt of this nature? (I am an active duty 0-6)
I spent a good bit of time today trying to find a specific statute of limitations on these types of things, without great success; however, what I have found is cases where the government has either no (e.g., Federal Grant money) or very long (e.g., 10 to 20 years for IRS matters) within which it can collect.What I expect is going to happen is that DFAS will simply collect the debt from your pay (or retired pay if you retire) unless you request and are approved for a waiver or compromise of the claim (there is a waiver/compromise process for over payments that the government wants to collect). That puts the burden on you to sue the government which is generally quite expensive for the individual (which the government knows) so they have all the power and you have quite little.My recommendation would be to see what you could do to explain how/why you did not/nor reasonably could have been expected to know that your HHGs were going to be over the limit (you may need to look at your shipping documents TO overseas and then compare what you brought over there with what you brought back).In any event, I do not believe that 3 years would come close to being outside the realm of government recovery since there is a 5 year statute of limitations within which a service member could be prosecuted for filing a false claim (not saying you are in that situation, just using that for a comparison). So it would appear unreasonable to expect a person could be prosecuted within 5 years, but the government could not administratively collect an overpayment in less than that period of time.Because I could not provide you with a specific statute of limitations, I will just use the "need info" button, vice "answer" - but if this otherwise answers the mail I would appreciate your accepting it as I did spend some time searching for your answer.
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).