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the debtor filed a timely request under $ 30.23(a).

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3(a)(1) and 1226a1, 31 U.S.C. 3720A)

PROCEDURES FOR REPORTING DEBTS TO

CONSUMER REPORTING AGENCIES

$ 30.35 What procedures does the Sec

retary follow to report debts to con

sumer reporting agencies? (a)(1) The Secretary reports information regarding debts arising under a program or activity of the Department and held by the Department to consumer reporting agencies, in accordance with the procedures described in this section.

(2) The term consumer reporting agency, as used in this section, has the same meaning as provided in 31 U.S.C. 3701(a)(3).

(b) Before reporting information on a debt to a consumer reporting agency, the Secretary follows the procedures set forth in 30.33.

(9) Costs charged by other Governmental agencies.

(b) Notwithstanding any provision of State law, if the Secretary uses a collection agency to collect a debt on a contingent fee basis, the Secretary charges the debtor, and collects through the agency, an amount sufficient to recover

(1) The entire amount of the debt; and

(2) The amount that the Secretary is required to pay the agency for its collection services.

(c)(1) The amount recovered under paragraph (b) of this section is the entire amount of the debt, multiplied by the following fraction:

1

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3(a)(1) and 1226a1, 31 U.S.C. 3711, $16023, 16029, Pub. L. 99–272)

1-cr. (2) In paragraph (c)(1) of this section, cr equals the commission rate the Department pays to the collection agenсу.

(d) If the Secretary uses more than one collection agency to collect similar debts, the commission rate (cr) described in paragraph (c)(2) of this section is calculated as a weighted average of the commission rates charged by all collection agencies collecting similar debts, computed for each fiscal year based on the formula

Subpart D[Reserved]

Subpart E-What Costs and Pen

alties Does the Secretary Impose on Delinquent Debtors?

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$ 30.60 What costs does the Secretary

impose on delinquent debtors? (a) The Secretary may charge a debtor for the costs associated with the collection of a particular debt. These costs include, but are not limited to—

(1) Salaries of employees performing Federal loan servicing and debt collection activities;

(2) Telephone and mailing costs;

(3) Costs for reporting debts to credit bureaus;

(4) Costs for purchase of credit bureau reports;

(5) Costs associated with computer operations and other costs associated with the maintenance of records;

(6) Bank charges; (7) Collection agency costs; (8) Court costs and attorney fees; and

where

(1) Xi equals the dollar amount of similar debts placed by the Department with an individual collection agency as of the end of the preceding fiscal year;

(2) Yi equals the commission rate the Department pays to that collection agency for the collection of the similar debts;

(3) Z equals the dollar amount of similar debts placed by the Department with all collection agencies as of the end of the preceding fiscal year; and

(4) N equals the number of collection agencies with which the Secretary has placed similar debts as of the end of the preceding fiscal year.

(e) If a debtor has agreed under a repayment or settlement agreement with the Secretary to pay costs associated

with the collection of a debt at a speci- collection of administrative costs or fied amount or rate, the Secretary col- penalties, iflects those costs in accordance with (1) Compromise of these amounts is the agreement.

appropriate under the standards for (f) The Secretary does not impose compromise of a debt contained in 4 collection costs against State or local CFR part 103; or governments under paragraphs (a)

(2) The Secretary determines that through (d) of this section.

the charging of interest or the collec

tion of administrative costs or pen(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3(a)(1) and 1226a1, 31 U.S.C. 3711(e), 3717(e)(1), 3718))

alties is

(i) Against equity and good con$ 30.61 What penalties does the Sec- science; or retary impose on delinquent debt

(ii) Not in the best interests of the ors?

United States. (a) If a debtor does not make a pay- (c) The Secretary may exercise waivment on a debt, or portion of a debt, er under paragraph (b)(1) of this section within 90 days after the date specified without regard to the amount of the in the first demand for payment sent to debt. the debtor, the Secretary imposes a (d) The Secretary may exercise waivpenalty on the debtor.

er under paragraph (b)(2) of this section (b)(1) The amount of the penalty im- ifposed under paragraph (a) of this sec- (1) The Secretary has accepted an intion is 6 percent per year of the stallment plan under 4 CFR 102.11; amount of the delinquent debt.

(2) There is no indication of fault or (2) The penalty imposed under this

lack of good faith on the part of the section runs from the date specified in

debtor; and the first demand for payment to the

(3) The amount of interest, adminisdate the debt (including the penalty) is

trative costs, and penalties is such a paid.

large portion of the installments that (c) If a debtor has agreed under a re

the debt may never be repaid if that payment or settlement agreement with

amount is collected. the Secretary to pay a penalty for fail

(e)(1) The Secretary does not charge ure to pay a debt when due, or has such

interest on any portion of a debt, other an agreement under a grant or con

than a loan, owed by a person subject tract under which the debt arose, the

to 31 U.S.C. 3717 if the debt is paid Secretary collects the penalty in ac

within 30 days after the date of the cordance with the agreement, grant, or first demand for payment. contract.

(2) The Secretary may extend the pe(d) The Secretary does not impose a

riod under paragraph (e)(1) of this secpenalty against State or local govern

tion if the Secretary determines that ments under paragraphs (a) and (b) of

the extension is appropriate. this section.

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3(a)(1) and 1226a(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1221e-3(a)(1) and 1226a

1, 31 U.S.C. 3711(e)) 1, 31 U.S.C. 3711(e)) § 30.62 When does the Secretary forego Subpart What

FWhat Requirements interest, administrative costs, or Apply to the Compromise of penalties?

a Debt or the Suspension or (a) For a debt of any amount based Termination of Collection Acon a loan, the Secretary may refrain

tion? from collecting interest or charging administrative costs or penalties to the $ 30.70 How does the Secretary exerextent that compromise of these cise discretion to compromise a amounts is appropriate under the debt or to suspend or terminate col.

lection of a debt? standards for compromise of a debt contained in 4 CFR part 103.

(a) The Secretary uses the standards (b) For a debt not based on a loan the in the FCCS, 4 CFR part 103, to deterSecretary may waive, or partially mine whether compromise of a debt is waive, the charging of interest, or the appropriate if

(1) The debt must be referred to the Department of Justice under this section; or

(2) The amount of the debt is less than or equal to $20,000 and the Secretary does not follow the procedures in paragraph (e) of this section.

(b) The Secretary refers a debt to the Department of Justice to decide whether to compromise a debt if

(1) The debt was incurred under a program or activity subject to section 452(f) of the General Education Provisions Act and the initial determination of the debt was more than $50,000; or

(2) The debt was incurred under a program or activity not subject to section 452(f) of the General Education Provisions Act and the amount of the debt is more than $20,000.

(c) The Secretary may compromise the debt under the procedures in paragraph (e) of this section if

(1) The debt was incurred under a program or activity subject to section 452(f) of the General Education Provisions Act; and

(2) The initial determination of the debt was less than or equal to $50,000.

(d) The Secretary may compromise a debt without following the procedure in paragraph (e) of this section if the amount of the debt is less than or equal to $20,000.

(e) The Secretary may compromise the debt pursuant to paragraph (c) of this section if

(1) The Secretary determines that,

(i) Collection of any or all of the debt would not be practical or in the public interest; and

(ii) The practice that resulted in the debt has been corrected and will not recur;

(2) At least 45 days before compromising the debt, the Secretary publishes a notice in the FEDERAL REGISTER stating

(i) The Secretary's intent to compromise the debt; and

(ii) That interested persons may comment on the proposed compromise; and

(3) The Secretary considers any comments received in response to the FEDERAL REGISTER notice before finally compromising the debt.

(f)(1) The Secretary uses the standards in the FCCS, 4 CFR part 104, to de

termine whether suspension or termination of collection action is appropriate.

(2) The Secretary

(i) Refers the debt to the Department of Justice to decide whether to suspend or terminate collection action if the amount of the debt at the time of the referral is more than $20,000; or

(ii) May decide to suspend or terminate collection action if the amount of the debt at the time of the Secretary's decision is less than or equal to $20,000.

(g) In determining the amount of a debt under paragraphs (a) through (f) of this section, the Secretary excludes interest, penalties, and administrative costs.

(h) Notwithstanding paragraphs (b) through (f) of this section, the Secretary may compromise a debt, or suspend or terminate collection of a debt, in any amount if the debt arises under the Guaranteed Student Loan Program authorized under title IV, part B, of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, or the Perkins Loan Program authorized under title IV, part E, of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended.

(i) The Secretary refers a debt to the General Accounting Office (GAO) for review and approval before referring the debt to the Department of Justice for litigation if

(1) The debt arose from an audit exception taken by GAO to a payment made by the Department; and

(2) The GAO has not granted an exception from the GAO referral requirement.

(j) Nothing in this section precludes

(1) A contracting officer from exercising his authority under applicable statutes, regulations, or common law to settle disputed claims relating to a contract; or

(2) The Secretary from redetermining a claim.

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1082(a) (5) and (6), 1087hh, 1221e-3(a)(1), 1226a-1, and 1234a(f), 31 U.S.C. 3711(e))

(53 FR 33425, Aug. 30, 1988)

Subpart G [Reserved]

enter into a repayment agreement under this part.

(Authority: 5 U.S.C. 5514; 31 U.S.C. 3711; 31 U.S.C. 3716)

PART 31-SALARY OFFSET FOR FED

ERAL EMPLOYEES WHO ARE INDEBTED TO THE UNITED STATES UNDER PROGRAMS ADMINISTERED BY THE SECRETARY OF EDUCATION

$ 31.2 Definitions.

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(a) General. The Secretary establishes the standards and procedures in this part that apply to the offset from disposable pay of a current or former Federal employee or from amounts payable from the Federal retirement account of a former Federal employee to recover a debt owed the United States under a program adminstered by the Secretary of Education.

(b) Exclusions. This part does not apply to

(1) Offsets under 34 CFR part 32 to recover for overpayments of pay or allowances to an employee of the Department;

(2) Offsets under 34 CFR part 30; or

(3) Offsets under section 124 of Pub. L. 97-276 to collect debts owed to the United States on judgments.

(c) Reports to consumer reporting agency. The Secretary may report a debt to a consumer reporting agency after notifying the employee, in accordance with 34 CFR 30.35, of the intention to report the debt, and after providing the employee an opportunity to inspect documents, receive a hearing, and

As used in this part:
Agency means

(1) An Executive agency as defined in 5 U.S.C. 105, including the U.S. Postal Service and the U.S. Postal Rate Commission;

(2) A military department as defined in 5 U.S.C. 102;

(3) An agency or court in the judicial branch, including a court as defined in 28 U.S.C. 610, the District Court for the Northern Mariana Islands, and the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation;

(4) An agency of the legislative branch, including the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives; and

(5) Any other independent establishment that is an entity af the Federal Government.

Days refer to calendar days.

Department means the Education Department.

Disposable pay means the amount that remains from an employee's pay after required deductions for Federal, State, and local income taxes; Social Security taxes, including Medicare taxes; Federal retirement programs; premiums for basic life insurance and health insurance benefits; and such other deductions that are required by law to be withheld.

Employee means a current or former employee of an agency. In the case of an offset proposed to collect a debt owed by a deceased employee, the references in this part to the employee shall be read to refer to the payee of benefits from the Federal retirement account or other pay of the employee.

Federal retirement account means an account of an employee under the Civil Service Retirement System or the Federal Employee Retirement System.

Offset means a deduction from the pay of an employee, or a payment due from the Federal retirement account of an employee, to satisfy a debt.

Pay means basic pay, special pay, incentive pay, retired pay, retainer pay, or, in the case of an individual not entitled to basic pay, other authorized

pay, including severance pay or lump sum payments for accrued annual leave, and amounts payable from the Federal retirement account of an employee.

Secretary means the Secretary of the Department of Education or an official or employee of the Department acting for the Secretary under a delegation of authority.

(Authority: 5 U.S.C. 5514; 31 U.S.C. 3716)

$31.3 Pre-offset notice.

(a) At least 65 days before initiating an offset against the pay of an employee, the Secretary sends a written notice to the employee stating

(1) The nature and amount of the debt;

(2) A demand for payment of the debt;

(3) The manner in which the Secretary charges interest, administrative costs, and penalties on the debt;

(4) The Secretary's intention to collect the debt by offset against

(i) 15 percent of the employee's current disposable pay; and

(ii) If the debt cannot be satisfied by offset against current disposable pay, a specified amount of severance pay, a lump sum annual leave payment, a final salary check, or payments from the Federal retirement account of the employee;

(5) The amount, frequency, approximate beginning date and duration of the proposed offset;

(6) The employee's opportunity to

(i) Inspect and copy Department records pertaining to the debt;

(ii) Obtain a pre-offset hearing before a hearing official who is not under the control or supervision of the Secretary regarding the existence or amount of the debt, or the proposed offset schedule; and

(iii) Enter into a written agreement with the Secretary to repay the debt;

(7) The date by which the employee must request an opportunity set forth under paragraph (a)(6) of this section;

(8) The grounds for objecting to collection of the debt by offset;

(9) The applicable hearing procedures and requirements;

(10) That the Secretary grants any request for access to records, for a

hearing, or for a satisfactory repayment agreement made by an employee;

(11) That the Secretary does not delay the start of the proposed offset, or suspend an offset already commenced, unless

(i) An employee makes the request for access to records or for a hearing, or enters into a repayment agreement that is acceptable to the Secretary, before the deadlines described in this part; or

(ii) An employee requests a hearing after the deadlines established in $31.5(a), but submits evidence satisfactory to the Secretary that the request was not made in a timely manner because the employee did not have notice of the proposed offset, or was prevented from making the request by factors beyond his or her control, until after the deadlines had passed;

(12) That a final decision on the hearing will be issued not later than 60 days after the date on which the employee files a request for a hearing under 831.5, unless a delay in the proceedings is granted at the request of the employee;

(13) That submission by the employee of knowingly false statements, representations or evidence may subject the employee to applicable disciplinary procedures, or civil or criminal penalties; and

(14) That any amounts paid or collected by offset on a debt later determined to be unenforceable or canceled will be refunded to the employee.

(b)(1) In determining whether an employee has requested an opportunity set forth under paragraph (a)(6) of this section in a timely manner, the Secretary relies on

(i) A legibly dated U.S. Postal Service postmark for the employee's request; or

(ii) A legibly stamped U.S. Postal Service mail receipt for the employee's request.

(2) The Secretary does not rely on either of the following as proof of mailing:

(i) A private metered postmark.

(ii) A mail receipt that is not dated by the U.S. Postal Service.

(c) Payment by offset under this part of all or part of a debt does not constitute an acknowledgment of the debt

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