Massachusetts town may enlist professional debt collectors to chase school lunch debts
May 28, 2011 Mike Garretson
The town of Wellesley, Massachusetts, is considering appointing debt collection constables to collect unpaid school lunch fees from local families, according to the Wellesley Patch. Currently, the school district is owed more than $36,000 by nearly 60 accounts. Approximately two-thirds of the accounts are inactive, and the families responsible for them cannot be located, the source notes. However, the other 20 accounts - which are responsible for $26,700 of the debt - belong to families with students who are still in the school system and continue to purchase lunches. The school committee is set to vote on Superintendent Bella T. Wong's proposal of using constables for collecting debts. In the meantime, the 20 families with active accounts will be receiving phone calls over the next few days, and registered letters asking the families to contact the school department will be sent out within a week. Last month, a school in the Liverpool area of England threatened to bring in debt collectors to deal with parents who owed hundreds of pounds in lunch debts to the educational institution, according to the Liverpool Echo. The news source reports that school principal Gary Crockett said the threat appeared to have worked on resolving most families' outstanding lunch bills, but collectors may still be brought in to chase remaining debts.