United States Code/Title 39/Chapter 26

United States Code, Title 39
the United States Government
Chapter 26. Debts and Collection

§2601. Collection and adjustment of debtsEdit

(a) The Postal Service—

(1) shall collect debts due the Postal Service;

(2) shall collect and remit fines, penalties, and forfeitures arising out of matters affecting the Postal Service;

(3) may adjust, pay, or credit the account of a postmaster or of an enlisted person of an Armed Force performing postal duties, for any loss of Postal Service funds, papers, postage, or other stamped stock or accountable paper; and

(4) may prescribe penalties for failure to render accounts.


The Postal Service may refer any matter, which is uncollectable through administrative action, to the Government Accountability Office for collection. This subsection does not affect the authority of the Attorney General in cases in which judicial proceedings are instituted.

(b) In all cases of disability or alleged liability for any sum of money by way of damages or otherwise, under any provision of law in relation to the officers, employees, operations, or business of the Postal Service, the Postal Service shall determine whether the interests of the Postal Service probably require the exercise of its powers over the same. Upon the determination, the Postal Service on such terms as it deems just and expedient, may—

(1) remove the disability; or

(2) compromise, release, or discharge the claim for such sum of money and damages.

§2602. Transportation of international mail by air carriers of the United StatesEdit

(a) The Postal Service may offset against any balances due another country resulting from the transaction of international money order business, or otherwise, amounts due from that country to the United States, or to the United States for the account of air carriers of the United States transporting mail of that country, when—

(1) the Postal Service puts into effect rates of compensation to be charged another country for transportation; and

(2) the United States is required to collect from another country the amounts owed for transportation for the account of the air carriers.


(b) When the Postal Service has proceeded under authority of subsection (a) of this section, it shall—

(1) give appropriate credit to the country involved;

(2) pay to the air carrier the portion of the amount so credited which is owed to the air carrier for its services in transporting the mail of the other country; and

(3) deposit in the Postal Service Fund that portion of the amount so credited which is due the United States on its own account.


(c) The Postal Service may advance to an air carrier, out of funds available for payment of balances due other countries, the amounts determined by the Postal Service to be due from another country to an air carrier for the transportation of its mails when—

(1) collections are to be made by the United States for the account of air carriers; and

(2) the Postal Service determines that the balance of funds available is such that the advances may be made therefrom.


Collection from another country of the amount so advanced shall be made by offset, or otherwise, and the appropriation from which the advance is made shall be reimbursed by the collections made by the United States.

(d) If the United States is unable to collect from the debtor country an amount paid or advanced to an air carrier within 12 months after payment or advance has been made, the United States may deduct the uncollected amount from any sums owed by it to the air carrier.

(e) The Postal Service shall adopt such accounting procedures as may be necessary to conform to and carry out the purposes of this section.

§2603. Settlement of claims for damages caused by the Postal ServiceEdit

When the Postal Service finds a claim for damage to persons or property resulting from the operation of the Postal Service to be a proper charge against the United States, and it is not cognizable under section 2672 of title 28, it may adjust and settle the claim.

§2604. Delivery of stolen money to ownerEdit

When the Postal Service is satisfied that money or property in the possession of the Postal Service represents money or property stolen from the mails, or the proceeds thereof, it may deliver it to the person it finds to be the rightful owner.

§2605. Suits to recover wrongful or fraudulent paymentsEdit

The Postal Service shall request the Attorney General to bring a suit to recover with interest any payment made from moneys of, or credit granted by, the Postal Service as a result of—

(1) mistake;

(2) fraudulent representations;

(3) collusion; or

(4) misconduct of an officer or employee of the Postal Service.