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Collections Officer

Salary: $16.11-$19.67 hourly / $2,802-$3,421 monthly / Range: 4906

DEFINITION: Under general supervision, collects debts owed to various County departments; performs collection and investigation activities for the secured, unsecured, and supplemental tax rolls; provides tax information to the public; and performs related duties as required.

DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS: Collections Officer I is the entry-/journey-level class in the Collections Officer flex-class series. This paraprofessional class is located in the Treasurer-Tax Collector-Public Administrator's Office. Incumbents are primarily responsible for office collections, including general collections and secured and supplemental taxes. However, Collections Officer I may occasionally collect less complex, unsecured taxes.

Collections Officer II is an advanced journey-level, paraprofessional classification. It is distinguished from Collections Officer I by its responsibility for field collections and enforcement activities relating to unsecured taxes, including the authority to seize property. Collections Officer II is further distinguished by the complexity of the collections and investigations performed. Additionally, incumbents at the II level work with greater independence and their work has a higher consequence of error.

EXAMPLES OF DUTIES:

1. Reviews general collection accounts and delinquent unsecured and supplemental tax bills to determine which accounts require the initiation of collection and investigative actions; applies codes, procedures, and rules to determine feasibility of securing revenue; determines best methods of locating debtors; and determines and verifies debtors' whereabouts, employment, earnings, liabilities, assets, and ability to pay by performing skiptracing activities and by contacting County departments, external agencies, and other sources by telephone, letter, electronic communications, and conducting in-person interviews.
2. Interprets and explains bills to taxpayers and debtors; provides information to the public on property tax and revenue collection rules, regulations, policies, and laws; explains legal obligations and penalties to taxpayers and debtors for non-payment of taxes or debt owed; and acts as liaison with other County departments for collection of revenues owed.
3. Investigates, evaluates, and analyzes financial statements related to debtor income, assets, and employment history in order to determine ability to pay; sets terms and methods of repayment; completes financial forms with information received from the debtor, credit reports, and other creditors; and uses computerized collection programs to monitor payment schedules for compliance.
4. Determines when collection actions for restitution accounts have not been effective and refers them to the District Attorney for legal action; determines which delinquent accounts should be referred to Small Claims Court, County Counsel, or discharged from accountability; prepares legal documents, garnishes wages, and executes against debtors' savings and checking accounts.
5. Gathers information and evidence to be used in civil and criminal proceedings to obtain liens, abstracts of judgments, and other legal actions; agrees to arbitration when appropriate; and testifies in court and arbitration hearings on behalf of the county regarding collection matters.

EMPLOYMENT STANDARDS:

1. One year of collections experience, including direct public contact; or,
2. a combination of training, education, and experience that is equivalent to the employment standard listed above and that provides the required knowledge and abilities.

Knowledge of: current collection procedures, regulations, and laws; investigative procedures applicable to the collection of delinquent accounts; interviewing techniques used to obtain factual information; basic arithmetic and financial record keeping; English grammar and usage; and computer applications and software applicable to record keeping and collection of delinquent accounts.

Ability to: learn and apply government codes, procedures, and regulations pertaining to collection of delinquent taxes; read, understand, interpret, and explain laws, ordinances, rules, regulations, and property descriptions; evaluate situations and select the appropriate course of action; locate and research information on individuals or entities having delinquent accounts; conduct effective interviews; evaluate financial statements; compose letters and convey facts and information in a courteous, tactful, and firm manner; gather and summarize data; prepare clear and comprehensive reports; respond tactfully and in a timely fashion to inquiries from the public, including upset taxpayers and debtors; establish and maintain effective working relationships with those contacted during the performance of duties; learn and apply courtroom etiquette and procedures associated with the collection of accounts; maintain fairness and objectivity; represent the County with tact and diplomacy; set priorities and adjust to workload changes; and use a keyboard and operate a personal computer.



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