(a) Scope and consequences.(1) The Secretary may suspend an institution's participation in a Title IV, HEA program or the eligibility of a third-party servicer to contract with any institution to administer any aspect of the institution's participation in any Title IV, HEA program, if the institution or servicer—
(i) Violates any statutory provision of or applicable to Title IV of the HEA, any regulatory provision prescribed under that statutory authority, or any applicable special arrangement, agreement, or limitation entered into under the authority of statutes applicable to Title IV of the HEA; or
(ii) Substantially misrepresents the nature of—
(A) In the case of an institution, its educational program, its financial charges, or the employability of its graduates; or
(B) In the case of a third-party servicer, as applicable, the educational program, financial charges, or employability of the graduates of any institution that contracts with the servicer.
(2) If the Secretary begins a suspension proceeding against a third-party servicer, the Secretary also may begin a fine, limitation, suspension, or termination proceeding against any institution under whose contract a third-party servicer commits the violation.
(3) The suspension may not exceed 60 days unless—
(i) The institution or servicer and the Secretary agree to an extension if the institution or servicer, as applicable, has not requested a hearing; or
(ii) The designated department official begins a limitation or termination proceeding under § 668.86.
(b) Procedures.(1) A designated department official begins a suspension proceeding by sending a notice to an institution or third-party servicer by certified mail, return receipt requested. In the case of a suspension proceeding against a third-party servicer, the official also sends the notice to each institution that contracts with the servicer. The designated department official may also transmit the notice by other, more expeditious means if practical. The notice—
(i) Informs the institution or servicer of the intent of the Secretary to suspend the institution's participation or the servicer's eligibility, as applicable, cites the consequences of that action, and identifies the alleged violations that constitute the basis for the action;
(ii) Specifies the proposed effective date of the suspension, which is at least 20 days after the date of mailing of the notice of intent;
(iii) Informs the institution or servicer that the suspension will not be effective on the date specified in the notice, except as provided in § 668.90(b)(2), if the designated department official receives from the institution or servicer, as applicable, by that date a request for a hearing or written material indicating why the suspension should not take place; and
(iv) In the case of a suspension proceeding against a third-party servicer, informs each institution that contracts with the servicer of the consequences of the action to the institution.
(2) If the institution or servicer does not request a hearing, but submits written material, the designated department official, after considering that material, notifies the institution or, in the case of a third-party servicer, the servicer and each institution that contracts with the servicer that—
(i) The proposed suspension is dismissed; or
(ii) The suspension is effective as of a specified date.
(3) If the institution or servicer requests a hearing by the time specified in paragraph (b)(1)(iii) of this section, the designated department official sets the date and place. The date is at least 15 days after the designated department official receives the request. The suspension does not take place until after the requested hearing is held.
(4) A hearing official conducts a hearing in accordance with § 668.88.
(c) Expedited proceedings. With the approval of the hearing official and the consent of the designated department official and the institution or servicer, as applicable, any time period specified in this section may be shortened.