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U.S. rebates redirected to pay debts

WASHINGTON, June 25 (UPI) -- Almost 2 million tax rebate checks from the U.S. government were used by recipients to cover child support, back taxes and student loans, the government said.

Fifty-five percent of the diverted funds, totaling nearly $1 billion, have gone to pay child support, USA Today reported Wednesday. Thirty-nine percent has gone to student and farm loans, while 6 percent has been diverted to pay unpaid state taxes.

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"It's a nice bonus for the children and families in need," Mike Adams, of the Tennessee Department of Human, told the newpsaper.

In Tennessee, $8.5 million has gone to child support on a balance of $20 million in unpaid child support bills, the newspaper reported.

Dean Balamaci, director of debt collections at the U.S. Treasury Department said to USA Today, "We're proud that we're sending money back to families who need it" noting the department had received "a few complaints but not many."

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