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State considering ways to boost debt collection

State officials are looking at ways to beef up efforts to collect hundreds of millions of dollars in debts owed to agencies across Louisiana government.

Louisiana doesn't have a centralized collection agency that handles all state government debts.

Lawmakers authorized the creation of a two-year pilot program that would let the state sell or auction off long-term delinquent accounts to companies that believe they can collect some of the money owed.

Commissioner of Administration Paul Rainwater told a cash management panel Thursday that his office was considering the pilot program idea and would have recommendations within two months.

Rep. Chris Broadwater, sponsor of the legislation, said in the fourth quarter of 2011 state agencies had more than $753 million in accounts receivable more than 180 days old.

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