31 U.S.C. § 3728 - U.S. Code - Unannotated Title 31. Money and Finance § 3728. Setoff against judgment

(a)  The Secretary of the Treasury shall withhold paying that part of a judgment against the United States Government presented to the Secretary that is equal to a debt the plaintiff owes the Government.

(b)  The Secretary shall--

(1)  discharge the debt if the plaintiff agrees to the setoff and discharges a part of the judgment equal to the debt;  or

(2)(A)  withhold payment of an additional amount the Secretary decides will cover legal costs of bringing a civil action for the debt if the plaintiff denies the debt or does not agree to the setoff;  and

(B)  have a civil action brought if one has not already been brought.

(c)  If the Government loses a civil action to recover a debt or recovers less than the amount the Secretary withholds under this section, the Secretary shall pay the plaintiff the balance and interest of 6 percent for the time the money is withheld.

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