34 CFR Part 682, Appendix C to Part 682 - Procedures for Curing Violations of the Due Diligence in Collection and Timely Filing of Claims...Loans and for Repayment of Interest and Special Allowance Overbillings [Bulletin L-77a]

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Appendix C to Part 682—Procedures for Curing Violations of the Due Diligence in Collection and Timely Filing of Claims Requirements Applicable to FISLP and Federal PLUS Program Loans and for Repayment of Interest and Special Allowance Overbillings [Bulletin L-77a]
Note:
The following is a reprint of Bulletin L-77a, issued on January 7, 1983, with minor modifications made to reflect changes in the program regulations since that date. All references to “the date of this bulletin” refer to that date. All references made to the Federal Insured Student Loan Program (FISLP) shall be understood to include the Federal PLUS Program. The bulletin includes references to the 120- and 180-day default periods that used to apply to FFELP and PLUS Program loans. Public Law 99-272 established new default periods of 180 and 240 days (as set out in 34 CFR 682.200 of these regulations) for all new loans and many existing ones. Although the discussion in this appendix C refers to the 120- and 180-day default periods, it is equally applicable to the new 180- and 240-day default periods.
Introduction
This bulletin prescribes procedures for lenders to use (1) to cure violations of the requirements for due diligence in collection (“due diligence”) and timely filing of claims under the Federal Insured Student Loan Program (FISLP), and (2) to repay interest and special allowance overbillings made on loans evidencing such violations. See 34 CFR 682.507, 682.511.1 These procedures allow for the reinstatement of a lender's eligibility for interest and special allowance and claim payments on loans evidencing such violations, under specified circumstances. These procedures apply to loans for which the first day of the 120-day or 180-day default period occurred on or after October 21, 1979 (the effective date of the September 17, 1979 regulations), whether or not the loans have previously been submitted as claims to the Secretary.
The due diligence and timely filing requirements governing the FISLP were established in response to requests from some lenders for more detailed regulatory guidance on the proper handling of FISLP loans. Despite the promulgation of these provisions, a number of lenders have failed to exercise the requisite care in their treatment of these loans, thereby increasing the risk of default thereon and, in many cases, prejudicing the Secretary's ability to collect from the borrowers. At the time the current due diligence and timely filing rules were issued, the Secretary anticipated that violations of these rules would be so infrequent as to permit requests for cures to be handled individually. However, the unexpectedly high incidence of violations of these rules has made continued case-by-case treatment of all cure requests administratively unmanageable. After carefully considering the views of lenders and other program participants, the Secretary has decided to exercise his authority under 20 U.S.C. 1082(a)(5), (6), and institute uniform procedures by which lenders with loans involving violations of the due diligence or timely filing requirements may cure these violations.
Due Diligence
Collection activity is required to begin immediately upon delinquency by the borrower in honoring the repayment obligation. This holds true whether or not the borrower received a repayment schedule or signed a repayment agreement. Under 34 CFR 682.200, default on a FISLP loan occurs when a borrower fails to make a payment when due, provided this failure persists for 120 days for loans payable in monthly installments, or for 180 days for loans payable in less frequent installments. If, however, the lender has added the optional provision to the promissory note requiring the borrower to execute a repayment agreement not later than 120 days prior to the expiration of the grace period, the loan entered repayment prior to September 4, 1985 (see 50 FR 35970), the lender sends the agreement to the borrower 150 days or more before the end of the grace period, and the agreement is not executed before the end of the grace period, default occurs at that time. One exception to this rule is as follows: If the holder of the loan is not the lender that made the loan, the holder may choose to forego enforcement of the optional 120-day provision in the note.
The 120/180 day default period applies regardless of whether payments were missed consecutively or intermittently. For example, if the borrower, on a loan payable in monthly installments, makes his January 1st payment on time, his February 1st payment two months late (April 1st), his March 1st payment three months late (June 1st), and makes no further payments, the default period begins on February 1st, with the first delinquency, and ends on August 1st, when the April 1st payment becomes 120 days past due. The lender must treat the payment made on April 1st as the February 1st payment, since the February 1st payment had not been made prior to that time. Similarly, the lender must treat the payment made on June 1st as the March 1st payment, since the March payment had not been made prior to that time.
Note:
Lenders are strongly encouraged to exercise forbearance, prior to default, for the benefit of borrowers who have missed payments intermittently but have otherwise indicated willingness to repay their loans. See 34 CFR 682.211. The forebearance process helps to reduce the incidence of default, and serves to emphasize for the borrower the importance of compliance with the repayment obligation.
Timely Filing
The 90-day filing period applicable to FISLP default claims is set forth in 34 CFR 682.511(e) (1) and (3). The 90-day filing period begins at the end of the 120/180 day default period. The lender must file a default claim on a loan in default by the end of the filing period, unless the borrower brings the account current before the end of the filing period. In such a case, the lender may choose not to file a claim on the loan at that time.
In addition, for any loan less than 210 days delinquent on the date of this bulletin, the lender need not file a claim on that loan before the 210th day of delinquency (120-day default period plus 90-day filing period) if the borrower brings the account less than 120 days delinquent before such 210th day. Thus, in the above example, if the borrower makes the April 1st payment on August 2nd, the 90-day filing period continues to run from August 1st, unless the loan was less than 210 days delinquent on the date of this bulletin. If the loan was less than 210 days delinquent on the date of this bulletin, then the August 2nd payment makes the loan 91 days delinquent, and the lender may, but need not file a default claim on the loan at that time. If, however, that loan again becomes 120 days delinquent, the lender must file a default claim within 90 days thereafter (unless the loan is again brought to less than 120 days delinquent prior to the end of that 90 day period). In other words, for any loan less than 210 days delinquent on the date of this bulletin, the Secretary will permit a lender to treat payments made during the filing period as “curing” the default if such payments are sufficient to make the loan less than 120 days delinquent.
If a lender fails to comply with either the due diligence or timely filing requirements, the affected loan ceases to be insured; that is, the lender loses its right to receive interest benefits, special allowance and claim payments thereon. Some examples of violations of the due diligence requirements are set out in section I.C. below.
I. Cure Procedures
A. Definitions
The following definitions apply to terms used throughout Section I of this bulletin.
Full payment means payment by the borrower, or another person (other than the lender) on the borrower's behalf, in an amount at least as great as the monthly payment amount required under the existing terms of the loan, exclusive of any forbearance agreement in force at the time of the default. (For example, if the original repayment schedule or agreement called for payments of $30 per month, but a forbearance agreement was in effect at the time of default that allowed the borrower to pay $15 per month for a specified time, and the borrower defaulted in making the reduced payments, a “full payment” would be $30, or two $15 payments in accordance with original repayment schedule or agreement.)
Reinstatement with respect to insurance coverage means the reinstatement of the lender's right to receive default, death, disability, or bankruptcy claim payments for the unpaid principal balance of the loan and for unpaid interest accruing on the loan after the date of reinstatement. Upon reinstatement of insurance, the borrower regains the right to receive forbearance or deferments, as appropriate. For purposes of this bulletin, “reinstatement” with respect to insurance on a loan does not include reinstatement of the lender's right to receive interest and special allowance payments on that loan. Reinstatement of the lender's right to receive interest and special allowance payments is addressed in section I.B.1, below.
B. General
1. Resumption of Interest and Special Allowance Billing on Loans Involving Due Diligence or Timely Filing Violations. For any loan on which a cure is attempted under this bulletin, the lender may resume billing for interest and special allowance on the loan only for periods following the earlier of (1) its receipt of the equivalent of three full payments thereon, after the date of this bulletin or the date of the violation, whichever is later, or (2) receipt by the borrower of an authorized deferment, after reinstatement of insurance coverage.
2. Reservation of the Secretary's Right to Strict Enforcement. While this bulletin allows cures to be attempted for particular violations in specified ways, the Secretary retains the option of refusing to permit or recognize cures in cases where, in the Secretary's judgment, a lender has committed an excessive number of severe violations of the due diligence or timely filing rules, and in cases where the best interests of the program otherwise require strict enforcement of these requirements. More generally, this bulletin states the Secretary's general policy and is not intended to limit in any way the authority and discretion afforded the Secretary by statute or regulations.
3. Applicability of the Cure Procedures to Particular Classes of Loans. The cure procedures outlined in this bulletin apply only to a loan for which the first day of the 120/180 day default period that ended with default by the borrower occurred on or after October 21, 1979, and which involve violations only of the due diligence and/or timely filing requirements.
The cure procedures applicable to loans involving due diligence violations also apply to loans involving violations of both the timely filing and due diligence requirements.
4. Excusal of Certain Due Diligence Violations. A lender whose claim was previously denied solely for violation of the timely filing rule, and who is permitted to cure that violation under the procedures set out in this bulletin, will not be required to utilize the procedures for curing due diligence violations, or to repay interest and special allowance improperly received from the Secretary as a result of a due diligence violation for periods prior to the timely filing violation. This applies even if, upon submission of the “cured” claim, the Secretary discovers that evidence of due diligence violations appeared in the file of the previously rejected claim.
The Secretary will also excuse a due diligence violation by a lender if the account was brought current by the borrower (or another, other than the lender, on the borrower's behalf) prior to the 120th/180th day of the delinquency period during which the violation occurred.
5. Treatment of Accrued Interest on “Cured” Claims—a. Due Diligence Violations. For any default claim involving “cured” violations of the due diligence rules, the Secretary will not reimburse the lender for any unpaid interest accruing after the first day of the 120/180 day period that culminated in default, and prior to the date of reinstatement of insurance coverage.
For any loan involving “cured” due diligence violations, the lender may capitalize unpaid interest accruing on the loan from the commencement of the 120/180 day default period to the date of the reinstatement of insurance coverage. See sections I.C. and D. below. However, if the lender later files a claim on that loan, the lender must deduct this capitalized interest from the amount of the claim. This deduction must be reflected in column 15 on the ED Form 1207, Lender's Application for Insurance Claim on Federal Insured Student Loan, filed with the claim evidencing the cure.
b. Timely Filing Violations. For any default claim involving “cured” violations of the timely filing rules, the Secretary will not reimburse the lender for unpaid interest accruing after the end of the 120/180 day default period that culminated in default, and prior to the date of reinstatement of insurance coverage.
For any default claim involving a “cured” timely filing violation, if insurance coverage is later reinstated, the lender may capitalize unpaid interest accruing on the loan from the commencement of the original 120/180 day default period to the date of the reinstatement of insurance coverage. See sections I.C. and D. below. However, if the lender later files a claim, on that loan, the lender must deduct this capitalized interest from the amount of the claim, except that the lender need not deduct from the claim unpaid interest that accrued on the loan during the original 120/180 day default period. This deduction must be reflected in Column 15 of the ED Form 1207, Lender's Application for Insurance Claim on Federal Insured Student Loan, filed with the claim evidencing the cure.
Some timely filing cures will not reinstate insurance coverage. For treatment of accrued interest in such cases, see Section I.D.1.c.
6. Documents to be Submitted with “Cured” Claims. The Secretary requests that any lender submitting a claim on a loan involving “cured” violations identify the claim as such with a note in the claim file stapled to the new ED Form 1207.
For all “cured” claims, the lender must submit:
• For loans on which a claim was previously rejected, all documents sent by the regional office with the original claim (when the claim was rejected and returned to the lender), including without limitation, the original ED Form 1207 and all documents showing the reason(s) for the original rejection;
• All documents ordinarily required in connection with the submission of a default claim, including, without limitation, the promissory note, which must bear a valid assignment to the United States of America;
• A new ED Form 1207; and
• All documents showing that the lender has complied with the applicable cure procedures and requirements.
C. Cures for Violations of the Due Diligence in Collection Requirements (34 CFR 682.507)
A violation of the due diligence in collection rules occurs when a lender fails to meet requirements found in 34 CFR 682.507. For example, a violation occurs if the lender fails to:
• Remind the borrower of the date a missed payment was due within 15 days of delinquency;
• Attempt to contact the borrower and any endorser at least 3 times at regular intervals during the rest of the 120/180 day default period;
• Request preclaims assistance from the Department of Education;
• Request skip-tracing assistance from the Secretary, if required, or
• Send a final demand letter to the borrower exercising the option to accelerate the due date for the outstanding balance of the loan, unless the lender does not know the borrower's address as of the 90th day of delinquency.
1. Reinstatement of Insurance Coverage. In the case of a due diligence violation, the lender may utilize either of the two procedures described below for obtaining reinstatement of insurance coverage on the loan. After the date of this bulletin, or after the date of the violation, whichever is later:
(a) The lender obtains a new repayment agreement signed by the borrower which complies with the ten and fifteen year repayment limitations set out in 34 CFR 682.209(a)(7); or
(b) The lender obtains 3 full payments. If the borrower later defaults, the lender must submit evidence of these payments (e.g., copies of the checks) with the claim.
2. Borrower's Deemed Current As of Date of Cure. On the date the lender receives a signed copy of the new repayment agreement, or receives the third (curing) payment, insurance coverage on the loan is reinstated, and the borrower shall be deemed by the lender to be current in repaying the loan and entitled to all rights and benefits available to FISLP borrowers. If the borrower later becomes delinquent in repayment, the lender shall follow the collection procedures set out in 34 CFR 682.507, and the timely filing requirements set out in 34 CFR 682.511.
D. Cures for Violations of the Timely Filing Requirements (34 CFR 682.511)
1. Default Claims.—a. Reinstatement of Insurance Coverage. In order to obtain reinstatement of insurance coverage on a loan in the case of a timely filing violation, the lender must first locate the borrower after the date of this bulletin, or after the date of the violation, whichever is later (see section I.D.1.d. for description of acceptable evidence of location). Then, the lender must send to the borrower, at the address at which the borrower was located, (i) a new repayment agreement, to be signed by the borrower, which complies with the ten and fifteen year repayment limitations set out in 34 CFR 682.209(a)(7), along with (ii) a collection letter indicating in strong terms the seriousness of the borrower's delinquency and its potential effect on his or her credit rating if repayment is not commenced or resumed.
If, within 30 days after the lender sends these items, the borrower fails to make a full payment or to sign and return the new repayment agreement, the lender shall, within 5 working days thereafter, send the borrower a copy of the attached “48 hour” collection letter, on the lender's letterhead. (See attachment A.)
b. Borrower Deemed Current Under Certain Circumstances. If, within 45 days after the lender sends the new repayment agreement to the borrower for signature, the borrower makes a full payment or signs and returns the new repayment agreement, insurance coverage on the loan is reinstated. The borrower shall be deemed by the lender to be current in repaying the loan and entitled to all rights and benefits available to FISLP borrowers. If the borrower later becomes delinquent in repayment, the lender shall follow the collection steps in 34 CFR 682.507 and the timely filing requirements in 34 CFR 682.511.
c. Borrower Deemed in Default Under Certain Circumstances. If the borrower does not make a full payment, or sign and return the new repayment agreement, within 45 days after the lender sends the new repayment agreement, the lender shall deem the borrower to be in default. The lender shall then file a default claim on the loan accompanied by acceptable evidence of location (see I.D.I.d below), within 30 days after the end of such 45-day period. Although insurance coverage is not reinstated on loans involving these circumstances, the Secretary will honor default claims submitted in accordance with this paragraph on the outstanding principal balance of such loans, and on unpaid interest accruing on the loan during the 120/180 day default period.
d. Acceptable Evidence of Location. Only the following documentation is acceptable as evidence that the lender has located the borrower:
(i) Postal receipt signed by the borrower not more than 25 days prior to the date on which the lender sent the new repayment agreement, indicating acceptance of correspondence from the lender by the borrower at the address shown on the receipt; or
(ii) A completed “Certification of Borrower Location” form (Attachment B).
2. Death, Disability, and Bankruptcy Claims. Lenders may immediately resubmit any death or disability claim which was rejected solely for failure to meet the 60 day timely filing requirements (see 34 CFR 685.511(e)(2)). However, the Secretary will not pay any such claim if, before the date the lender determined that the borrower died or was totally and permanently disabled, the lender had violated the due diligence or timely filing requirements applicable to default claims with respect to that loan. Interest that accrued on the loan after the expiration of the 60-day filing period remains uninsured by the Secretary, and the lender must repay all interest and special allowance received on the loan for periods after the expiration of the 60-day filing period.
The Secretary has determined that, in the vast majority of cases, the failure of a lender to comply with the timely filing requirement applicable to bankruptcy claims causes irreparable harm to the Secretary's ability to contest the discharge of the loan by the court, or to otherwise collect from the borrower. Therefore, the Secretary has decided not to permit cures for violations of the timely filing requirement applicable to bankruptcy claims, except when the lender can demonstrate that the bankruptcy action has concluded and that the loan has not been discharged in bankruptcy. In that case, the lender shall treat the loan as in default. The Secretary will honor a default claim later filed on such a loan only if the lender has met the cure requirements in section I.C. above for due diligence violations.
II. Repayment of Interest and Special Allowance on Loans Evidencing Violations of the Due Diligence or Timely Filing Requirements
A. General Rule
It has always been the Secretary's interpretation of the FISLP statute and regulations that a lender's right to receive interest and special allowance payments on a FISLP loan terminates immediately following the lender's violation of the due diligence or timely filing requirements. This applies whether or not the lender has filed a claim on the loan. In other words, lenders may receive interest and special allowance only on loans which are insured by the Secretary. Since these violations result in the termination of insurance, they also result in the termination of FISLP benefits.
B. Cessation of Billing on Loans Evidencing Violations of the Due Diligence or Timely Filing Requirements
Any lender currently billing the Secretary for interest and special allowance on a loan that the lender knows involves a due diligence or timely filing violation must cease doing so immediately. However, lenders are not required at this time to review their loan portfolios for due diligence and timely filing violations.
C. Determination of Amounts of Interest and Special Allowance That Must Be Repaid
1. Due Diligence Violations. In the case of due diligence violations, it is often difficult to ascertain the precise date on which a violation occurred. For the administrative ease of the Secretary and lenders, the Secretary has decided to waive his right to recoup interest and special allowance payments made to a lender for periods between the date of a due diligence violation and the end of the 120/180 day default period. However, any lender that has received interest or special allowance payments from the Secretary for periods after the end of the 120/180 day default period on a loan that the lender knows involves a due diligence violation must promptly repay those amounts.
2. Timely Filing Violations. In the case of timely filing violations, the lender loses its right to receive interest and special allowance payments as of the expiration of the applicable timely filing period. Therefore, any lender that has received interest or special allowance payments from the Secretary for periods following the end of the applicable timely filing period on a loan that the lender knows involves a timely filing violation must repay those amounts.
3. Situations in Which a Lender May Have Received Interest Benefits for Periods During Which a Loan was Uninsured. Because most due diligence violations, and timely filing violations, occur after termination of the grace period, interest payments are ordinarily not affected by such violations. However, there are three types of situations in which a lender may have received interest payments from the Secretary to which it was not entitled due to a due diligence or timely filing violation.
a. Promissory notes that include a requirement that the borrower sign a repayment agreement no later than 120 days prior to the expiration of the grace period. In such cases, a due diligence violation may occur during the grace period, when the lender may otherwise have been eligible to receive interest benefits. However, the lender need not repay that interest to the Secretary. See II.C.1. above.
b. Deferment Periods. A due diligence violation may occur prior to a deferment period when the lender would otherwise have been eligible to receive interest benefits.
c. Loans Made Prior to December 15, 1968. A loan disbursed prior to December 15, 1968, and which qualified for payment of Federal interest benefits at the time the loan was disbursed, qualifies for payment of a 3 percent interest subsidy on the unpaid principal balance during the entire repayment period, provided the loan remains insured. In the case of such a loan, a due diligence or timely filing violation terminates the lender's eligibility for the 3 percent payments.
D. Procedures for Repayment of Federal Interest Benefits and Special Allowance Received by a Lender for Periods During Which a Loan Was Uninsured
A lender must make the repayments of interest and/or special allowance discussed in II.C. above, by way of an adjustment during the two quarters immediately following the discovery of the violation. These adjustments must be reported on the normal Lender's Interest and Special Allowance Request and Report (ED Form 799). Lenders are requested not to send a check with the adjustment; the overpaid amount will be deducted by the Secretary from the lender's next regular interest and special allowance payment. For five years after any loan for which an adjustment is made is repaid in full, the lender shall retain a record of the basis for the adjustment showing the amount(s) of the overbilling(s), and the date it used for cessation of interest or special allowance eligibility in calculating the overbilled amount. See 34 CFR 682.515(a)(2).
Attachments.
1 All references to the program regulations are to part 682 of title 34 of the Code of Federal Regulations (34 CFR part 682).
Attachment A
Attachment B
Certification of Borrower Location

Title 34 published on 2013-07-01

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  • 2013-11-01; vol. 78 # 212 - Friday, November 1, 2013
    1. 78 FR 65768 - Student Assistance General Provisions, Federal Perkins Loan Program, Federal Family Education Loan Program, and William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program
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      DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, Office of Postsecondary Education
      Final regulations.
      Effective date: These regulations are effective July 1, 2014. Implementation dates: For implementation dates, see the Implementation Date of These Regulations section of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section.
      34 CFR Parts 668, 674, 682, and 685

Title 34 published on 2013-07-01

The following are ALL rules, proposed rules, and notices (chronologically) published in the Federal Register relating to 34 CFR 682 after this date.

  • 2013-11-01; vol. 78 # 212 - Friday, November 1, 2013
    1. 78 FR 65768 - Student Assistance General Provisions, Federal Perkins Loan Program, Federal Family Education Loan Program, and William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program
      GPO FDSys XML | Text
      DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, Office of Postsecondary Education
      Final regulations.
      Effective date: These regulations are effective July 1, 2014. Implementation dates: For implementation dates, see the Implementation Date of These Regulations section of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section.
      34 CFR Parts 668, 674, 682, and 685