B-156650, MAY 6, 1965

B-156650: May 6, 1965

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CANTRELL IS ALSO OBLIGATED TO PAY THIS DEBT. IT IS OUR RESPONSIBILITY TO SETTLE THE CLAIMS FOR AND AGAINST THE UNITED STATES AND. IT IS OUR DUTY TO EXERCISE THE COMMON LAW RIGHT OF SETOFF IN SITUATIONS WHERE A PARTY IS BOTH A DEBTOR AND CREDITOR OF THE UNITED STATES. WITH REGARD TO YOUR STATEMENT THAT OUR OFFICE HAS IN THE PAST ALLOWED YOUR FORMER HUSBAND TO CONTINUE RECEIVING CERTAIN VETERANS' BENEFIT PAYMENTS AT THE SAME TIME COLLECTION EFFORTS WERE BEING MADE ON THIS SAME DEBT. VETERANS' BENEFITS ARE GENERALLY NOT AVAILABLE FOR SETOFF. THERE IS NO SIMILAR PRECLUSION WITH REGARD TO THE CIVIL SERVICE RETIREMENT FUND. THAT YOUR FORMER HUSBAND IS EMPLOYED BY THE PHILLIPS PETROLEUM COMPANY AND THAT HE SHOULD BE MADE TO SHARE IN THE PAYMENT OF THIS DEBT.

B-156650, MAY 6, 1965

TO MRS. ELENOR M. PETTET:

BY LETTER DATED APRIL 13, 1965, YOU IN EFFECT REQUESTED THAT OUR OFFICE AUTHORIZE RELEASE OF $918.09 WHICH REPRESENTS YOUR CREDIT IN THE CIVIL SERVICE RETIREMENT FUND. THIS AMOUNT HAS BEEN SET OFF AGAINST AN AMOUNT OWED BY YOU AS CO-OBLIGATOR WITH YOUR FORMER HUSBAND, DONALD RICHARD PETTET. THE INDEBTEDNESS INVOLVED AMOUNTS TO $1,392.99 PLUS INTEREST AND REPRESENTS THE BALANCE DUE ON A CLAIM PAID BY THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION BECAUSE OF DEFAULT OF GUARANTEED LOAN NO. LH-107482-TEX-D. OUR FILES SHOW THAT ONE ARTHUR L. CANTRELL IS ALSO OBLIGATED TO PAY THIS DEBT, PRESUMABLY AS AN ASSUMPTOR.

WE MUST ADVISE THAT OUR OFFICE CANNOT HONOR YOUR REQUEST. IT IS OUR RESPONSIBILITY TO SETTLE THE CLAIMS FOR AND AGAINST THE UNITED STATES AND, AS AN ADJUNCT THERETO, IT IS OUR DUTY TO EXERCISE THE COMMON LAW RIGHT OF SETOFF IN SITUATIONS WHERE A PARTY IS BOTH A DEBTOR AND CREDITOR OF THE UNITED STATES.

WITH REGARD TO YOUR STATEMENT THAT OUR OFFICE HAS IN THE PAST ALLOWED YOUR FORMER HUSBAND TO CONTINUE RECEIVING CERTAIN VETERANS' BENEFIT PAYMENTS AT THE SAME TIME COLLECTION EFFORTS WERE BEING MADE ON THIS SAME DEBT, OUR FILES DO NOT REFLECT THIS TO BE THE CASE. WE WOULD LIKE TO POINT OUT HOWEVER THAT, UNDER THE LAW, VETERANS' BENEFITS ARE GENERALLY NOT AVAILABLE FOR SETOFF. THERE IS NO SIMILAR PRECLUSION WITH REGARD TO THE CIVIL SERVICE RETIREMENT FUND.

YOU STATED IN A LETTER OF MARCH 25, 1965, THAT YOUR FORMER HUSBAND IS EMPLOYED BY THE PHILLIPS PETROLEUM COMPANY AND THAT HE SHOULD BE MADE TO SHARE IN THE PAYMENT OF THIS DEBT. IF YOU HAVE THE ADDRESSES OF EITHER YOUR FORMER HUSBAND OR ARTHUR L. CANTRELL, IT WOULD BE TO YOUR INTEREST TO FURNISH SAME TO THIS OFFICE. WHILE PAYMENT BY EITHER OF THESE ON THIS DEBT WILL NOT AFFORD A BASIS FOR RELEASING THE AMOUNT IN YOUR CIVIL SERVICE RETIREMENT ACCOUNT, UNTIL SUCH TIME AS THE DEBT, INCLUDING ACCRUED INTEREST THEREON IS PAID IN FULL, EACH OF YOU IS LIABLE INDIVIDUALLY FOR THE BALANCE REMAINING DUE.

IT IS REGRETTED THAT A MORE FAVORABLE REPLY CANNOT BE MADE TO YOUR REQUEST AS OBVIOUSLY THE OBLIGATION FOR THE REPAYMENT OF THIS DEBT HAS FALLEN, SO FAR, ON YOU ALONE. HOWEVER, WE MUST ADVISE THAT ANY RELIEF AVAILABLE TO YOU IN THE MATTER MUST LIE IN ARRANGEMENTS BETWEEN YOU, YOUR FORMER HUSBAND, AND ARTHUR L. CANTRELL. NEITHER THIS OFFICE NOR ANY OTHER AGENCY OF THE UNITED STATES CAN AUTHORIZE PAYMENT TO YOU OF YOUR CREDITS IN THE CIVIL SERVICE RETIREMENT FUND UNTIL THE DEBT IS PAID IN FULL FROM OTHER SOURCES.