New Jersey Goes After Woman For $73 Debt From 1977

Thirty-five years ago, the state of New Jersey accidentally overpaid on a teenager’s unemployment claim to the tune of $73. Now the Garden State wants that money back.

The woman being hit up for the ancient debt says she was working at a bakery at the time. The Teamsters went on strike, which resulted in her being laid off for a few weeks, all the while collecting unemployment.

“Being in high school, I thought that was pretty cool,” she tells the Newburyport News. “What blows me away is that any time or energy went to collecting a $73 debt. Surely, there’s something more lucrative for the state to pursue.”

The woman says she never received a single notice about the debt until last fall.

But a rep for the New Jersey Dept. of Labor tells the News that “Once a debt is established, it remains in effect until repaid. When we get a new, valid address, we send a refund notice to that new address.”

Given the sheer number of years since the state made the error, and the lack of any real explanation for how the error was discovered, the woman says she has no intention of paying that $73 back to New Jersey.

NJ has Amesbury woman on hook for decades-old $73 debt [Newburyportnews.com]