34 CFR 674.48 - Use of contractors to perform billing and collection or other program activities.

§ 674.48 Use of contractors to perform billing and collection or other program activities.
(a) The institution is responsible for ensuring compliance with the billing and collection procedures set forth in this subpart. The institution may use employees to perform these duties or may contract with other parties to perform them.
(b) An institution that contracts for performance of any duties under this subpart remains responsible for compliance with the requirements of this subpart in performing these duties, including decisions regarding cancellation, postponement, or deferment of repayment, extension of the repayment period, other billing and collection matters, and the safeguarding of all funds collected by its employees and contractors.
(c) If an institution uses a billing service to carry out billing procedures under § 674.43, the institution shall ensure that the service—
(1) Provides at least quarterly, a statement to the institution which shows—
(i) Its activities with regard to each borrower;
(ii) Any changes in the borrower's name, address, telephone number, and, if known, any changes to the borrower's Social Security number; and
(iii) Amounts collected from the borrower;
(2) Provides at least quarterly, a statement to the institution with a listing of its charges for skip-tracing activities and telephone calls;
(3) Does not deduct its fees from the amount is receives from borrowers;
(4)
(i) Instructs the borrower to remit payment directly to the institution;
(ii) Instructs the borrower to remit payment to a lock-box maintained for the institution; or
(iii) Deposits those funds received directly from the borrower immediately in an institutional trust account that must be an interest-bearing account if those funds will be held for longer than 45 days; and
(5) Maintains a fidelity bond or comparable insurance in accordance with the requirements in paragraph (f) of this section.
(d) If the institution uses a collection firm, the institution shall ensure that the firm—
(1)
(i) Instructs the borrower to remit payment directly to the institution;
(ii) Instructs the borrower to remit payment to a lockbox maintained for the institution; or
(iii) Deposits those funds received directly from the borrower immediately in an institutional trust account that must be an interest-bearing account if those funds will be held for longer than 45 days, after deducting its fees if authorized to do so by the institution; and
(2) Provides at least quarterly, a statement to the institution which shows—
(i) Its activities with regard to each borrower;
(ii) Any changes in the borrower's name, address, telephone number and, if known, any changes to the borrower's Social Security number;
(iii) Amounts collected from the borrower; and
(3) Maintains a fidelity bond or comparable insurance in accordance with the requirements in paragraph (f) of this section.
(e) If an institution uses a billing service to carry out § 674.43 (billing procedures), it may not use a collection firm that—
(1) Owns or controls the billing service;
(2) Is owned or controlled by the billing service; or
(3) Is owned or controlled by the same corporation, partnership, association, or individual that owns or controls the billing service.
(f)
(1) An institution that employs a third party to perform billing or collection services required under this subpart shall ensure that the party has and maintains in effect a fidelity bond or comparable insurance in accordance with the requirements of this paragraph.
(2) If the institution does not authorize the third party to deduct its fees from payments from borrowers, the institution shall ensure that the party is bonded or insured in an amount not less than the amount of funds that the institution reasonably expects to be repaid over a two-month period on accounts it refers to the party.
(3) In the institution authorizes the third party performing collection services to deduct its fees from payments from borrowers, the institution shall ensure that—
(i) If the amount of funds that the institution reasonably expects to be paid over a two-month period on accounts it refers to the party is less than $100,000, the party is bonded or insured in an amount equal to the lesser of—
(A) Ten times the amount of funds that the institution reasonably expects to be repaid over a two-month period on accounts it refers to the party; or
(B) The total amount of funds that the party demonstrates will be repaid over a two-month period on all accounts of any kind on which it performs billing and collection services; and
(ii) If the amount of funds that the institution reasonably expects to be repaid over a two-month period on accounts it refers to the party is more than $100,000, the institution shall ensure that the party has and maintains in effect a fidelity bond or comparable insurance—
(A) Naming the institution as beneficiary; and
(B) In an amount not less than the amount of funds reasonably expected to be repaid on accounts referred by the institution to the party during a two-month period.
(4) The institution shall review annually the amount of repayments expected to be made on accounts it refers to a third party for billing or collection services, and shall ensure that the amount of the fidelity bond or insurance coverage maintained continues to meet the requirements of this paragraph.
(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control number 1845-0023)
(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 424, 1087cc)
[52 FR 45555, Nov. 30, 1987, as amended at 53 FR 49147, Dec. 6, 1988; 59 FR 61412, Nov. 30, 1994; 64 FR 58315, Oct. 28, 1999]

Title 34 published on 2014-07-01

no entries appear in the Federal Register after this date.