7 CFR 1403.7 - Collection by administrative offset.

§ 1403.7 Collection by administrative offset.
(a) The provisions of this section shall apply to all debts due CCC except as otherwise provided in this part and part 1404 of this Chapter. This section is not applicable to:
(1) CCC requests for administrative offset against money payable to a debtor from the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund and CCC requests for salary offset against a present or former employee of the Federal Government which shall be made in accordance with regulations at part 3 of this title;
(2) CCC requests for administrative offset against a Federal income tax refund payable to a debtor which shall be made in accordance with § 1403.18;
(3) Cases in which CCC must adjust, by increasing or decreasing, a payment which is to be paid under a contract in order to properly make other payments due by CCC;
(4) Any case in which collection of the type of debt involved by administrative offset is explicitly provided for or prohibited by statute; and
(5) IRS Notices of Levy which shall be honored in accordance with IRS statutes and regulations.
(b) Debts due CCC may be collected by administrative offset from amounts payable by CCC when:
(1) The debtor has been provided written notification of the basis and amount of the debt and has been given an opportunity to make payment. Such written notification and opportunity includes notice of the right to pursue an administrative appeal in accordance with part 780 of this Title or any other applicable appeal procedures, if not previously provided;
(2) The debtor has been provided an opportunity to request to inspect and copy the records of CCC related to the debt;
(3) The debtor has been notified in writing that the debt may be collected by administrative offset if not paid; and
(4) The debt has not been delinquent for more than ten years or legal action to enforce the debt has not been barred by an applicable period of limitation, whichever is later.
(c) Administrative offset shall also be effected against amounts payable by CCC:
(1) When requested or approved by the Department of Justice; or
(2) When a person is indebted under a judgment in favor of CCC.
(d) Debts due CCC from carriers for overcharges shall be offset against amounts due such carriers under freight bills involving shipments if:
(1) The carrier, without reasonable justification, has declined payment of the debt or has failed to pay the debt after being given a reasonable opportunity to make payment; and
(2) The period of limitation prescribed at 49 U.S.C. 11706(f) has not expired.
(e) Debts due CCC from carriers for loss or damage shall be offset against amounts due such carriers under freight bills involving shipments if:
(1) Timely demand for payment was made on the carrier;
(2) The carrier has declined payment of the debt without reasonable justification or has ignored the claim; and
(3) The period of limitation prescribed at 49 U.S.C. 11707(e) has not expired.
(f) Any overcharge or loss or damage debt due CCC on which the applicable period of limitation has run may be offset against any amounts owing by CCC to the carrier which are subject to a defense of limitation.
(g) A payment due any person may be offset when there is a breach of a contract or a violation of CCC program requirements, and offset is considered necessary by CCC to protect the financial interests of the Government.
(h) In the case of any procurement contract with CCC which provides for invoicing at the time of shipment with delivery to be made at designated destination points when:
(1) Payment is made to the contractor prior to receipt of evidence of delivery, and
(2) CCC thereafter determines that the Contractor is indebted to CCC because of losses sustained from shortage, damage to or deterioration of the commodity while in transit and prior to delivery, CCC may offset such indebtedness against amounts due and payable to the Contractor under any other contract with CCC providing the Contractor has not assigned the proceeds of such contract in accordance with part 1404 of this chapter.
(i) CCC may effect administrative offset against a payment to be made to a debtor prior to completion of the procedures required by (b)(1-3) of this section if:
(1) Failure to take the offset would substantially prejudice CCC's ability to collect the debt; and
(2) The time before the payment is to be made does not reasonably permit the completion of those procedures.
(j)
(1) Debts due any agency other than CCC shall be offset against amounts payable by CCC to a debtor when an agency of the U.S. Government has submitted a written request for offset which is mailed or hand-delivered to the appropriate FSA State office, Kansas City Management Office or Kansas City Commodity Office. Such written request must:
(i) Bear the signature of an authorized representative of the requesting agency;
(ii) Include a certification that all requirements of the law and the regulations for collection of the debt and for requesting offset have been complied with;
(iii) State the name, address (including county), and, where legally available, the social security number or employer ID number of the debtor and a brief description of the basis of the debt, including identification of the judgment, if any.
(iv) State the amount of the debt separately as to principal, interest, penalties, and administrative costs. Interest, if any, shall be computed on a daily basis to a date shown in the request. The amount to be offset shall not exceed the principal sum owed by the debtor, plus interest computed in accordance with the request, and any late payment interest, penalties and administrative costs that have been assessed;
(v) Certify that the debtor has not filed for bankruptcy. If the debtor has filed for bankruptcy, a copy of the order of the bankruptcy court relieving the agency from the automatic stay must be included; and
(vi) State the name, address, and telephone number of a contact person within the agency and the address to which payment should be sent.
(2) Unless prohibited by law, the head of an agency, or a designee, may defer or subordinate in whole or in part the right of the agency to recover through offset all or part of any indebtedness to such agency, or may withdraw a request for offset. Notice of such action must be sent to the appropriate FSA office.
(k)
(1) After CCC has complied with the provisions of this part, CCC may request other agencies of the Government to offset amounts payable by them to persons indebted to CCC.
(2) In the case of a request to IRS for a tax refund offset, the provisions at § 1403.18 shall apply.
(l)
(1) Debts shall be collected by offset in the following order of priority without regard to the date of the request for such collection:
(i) Debts to CCC.
(ii) Debts to other agencies of USDA as determined by CCC.
(iii) Debts to other government agencies as determined by CCC.
(2) In the case of multiple debts involving the same debtor, CCC may, at its discretion, deviate from the usual order of priority in applying recovered amounts to debts owed other agencies when considered to be in the Government's best interest. Such decision shall be made by CCC based on the facts and circumstances of the particular case.
(m)
(1) No amounts payable to a debtor by CCC shall be paid to an assignee until there have been collected any amounts owed by the debtor except as provided in this subsection.
(2) A payment which is assigned in accordance with part 1404 of this Chapter by execution of Form CCC-36 shall be subject to offset for any debt owed to CCC or FSA without regard to the date notice of assignment was accepted by CCC or FSA.
(3) A payment which is assigned in accordance with part 1404 of this Chapter by execution of Form CCC-252 shall be offset:
(i) Against any debt of the assignor entered on the debt record of the applicable FSA office prior to the filing of such form with CCC or FSA, or
(ii) At anytime, regardless of the date of filing of such form with CCC or FSA, if the debt which is the basis for the offset arises under the same contract under which the payment is earned by the assignor.
(4) With respect to all other Federal agencies, offset shall be made of any amounts due any other Federal agency which are entered on the debt record of the appropriate FSA office prior to the date the notice of assignment was accepted by CCC or FSA.
(5) Any amount due and payable to the assignor which remains after deduction of amounts paid to the assignee shall be available for offset.
(n) Amounts recovered by offset for CCC and FSA debts but later found not to be owed to the Government shall be promptly refunded.
(o) The debtor shall be notified whenever any offset action has been taken.
(p) Offsets made pursuant to this section shall not deprive a debtor of any right he might otherwise have to contest the debt involved in the offset action either by administrative appeal or by legal action.
(q) Any action authorized by the provisions of this section may be taken:
(1) Against a debtor's pro rata share of payments due any entity which the debtor participates in, either directly or indirectly, as determined by CCC.
(2) When CCC determines that the debtor has established an entity, or reorganized, transferred ownership of, or changed in some other manner, their operation, for the purpose of avoiding the payment of the claim or debt.
(r) The amount to be offset shall not exceed the actual or estimated amount of the debt, including interest, administrative charges, and penalties, unless the Department of Justice requests that a larger specified amount be offset.
(s) Offset action will not be taken against payments when:
(1) The payment represents loan or purchase proceeds for a commodity which is subject to the rights of the holder of a prior valid enforceable lien. However, any amount that exceeds the amount of the prior lien shall be available for offset.
(2) A debt has been discharged as provided in § 1403.15.
(3) The amount payable to the debtor is used to satisfy a prior lien on property pledged as collateral for a CCC loan or sold to CCC. However, any amount exceeding the amount of the prior lien shall be available for offset.
(4) CCC determines such action will unduly interfere with the administration of a CCC or FSA program.
(5) The debt has been delinquent for more than ten years or legal action to enforce the debt due CCC is barred by an applicable period of limitation, whichever is later.
(t)
(1) Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (b) of this section and § 1403.4, with respect to debts which are based upon an unsettled CCC loan, offset action may be taken when the debtor has been:
(i) Provided written notification of the maturity date of the loan and the debtor has not repaid the loan by the maturity date or, in the case of a nonrecourse price support loan, has not repaid the loan or forfeited the loan collateral to CCC by the date specified by CCC;
(ii) Notified of CCC's intent to establish an account on a debt record 30 days after the maturity date, or other applicable period of time, if the loan is not settled in accordance with the loan agreement;
(iii) Notified of the right to pursue an administrative appeal in accordance with part 780 of this title if such an opportunity has not been previously provided;
(iv) Provided an opportunity to inspect and copy CCC records related to the debt; and
(v) Notified in writing that the debt may be collected by administrative offset if the loan is not repaid or, with respect to nonrecourse loans only, settled through forfeiture of the loan collateral.
(2) After a claim has been established by CCC with respect to a loan which has not been settled by the date specified in the loan agreement:
(i) In the event CCC takes possession of the collateral which is security for a nonrecourse of recourse loan made in accordance with parts 1421, 1427, 1434, or 1435 of this chapter, the value of such loan collateral shall be determined by CCC in accordance with the provisions of such parts which are used to determine the settlement value of the collateral. The value of such collateral shall be applied to the claim. Any amount remaining due on the claim must be paid by the debtor.
(ii) In the event CCC takes possession of the collateral which is the security for any other loan, the value of such collateral, as determined by CCC, less any costs incurred by CCC in taking possession and disposing of the collateral, shall be applied to the claim. Any amount remaining due on the claim must be paid by the debtor.
[54 FR 52878, Dec. 22, 1989, as amended at 56 FR 66955, Dec. 27, 1991; 60 FR 43706, Aug. 23, 1995]

Title 7 published on 2014-01-01

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