About 7,500 retirees in Maryland received notice in error threatening to garnish their pensions.
A woman named Deborah received a letter saying a debt "has been referred to the U.S. Department of Treasury" and "up to 25 percent" of her pension would be withheld to pay the debt.
Deborah said she does owe the state money but is on a payment plan and in good standing.
She said when she contacted the Maryland comptroller's office, they told her they didn't know anything about the letter.
The comptroller’s office said they didn’t know the letter had been sent out until NBC4 Responds contacted them. They said federal pensions will not be garnished.
They said a miscommunication between the comptroller’s office and the Treasury Department is to blame for the letters going out.
Some states do choose to garnish federal pensions, but Maryland does not.
Federal retirees in Maryland who received one of the letters do need to contact the state to come up with a plan to pay off debt.