Shaming “Delinquent” Stamp Puts Montana County in the Dog House

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Turns out, people don’t like it when the government stamps DELINQUENT on their tax envelopes.

Collection agencies have known this. They’re not even allowed to mention that they’re a collection agency on the envelopes they send. However, government agencies aren’t bound by the same rules around third-party disclosure and FDCPA violations. Still, Great Falls, Montana, is taking a bit of a PR hit because of these envelopes and their pesky message of delinquency.

“I knew they were not happy about that,” Cascade County Treasurer Jamie Bailey said. “People need to know it isn’t going to show up on anything else.”

The DELINQUENT stamp is– or, rather, was a new touch. Previous years did not include a shaming stamp. And if Americans hate anything, they hate being shamed: whether it’s over past-due debt, the crap they eat, or their untenable beliefs (those crystal deodorants don’t actually work, you guys, and astrology is not a science, it’s a diagnosis).

“The delinquent stamp is not going to show up the next time around. That was just an error on our part,” Bailey concluded.

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