(a) Debt collection by salary offset is feasible if: the cost to the Government of collection by salary offset does not exceed the amount of the debt; there are no legal restrictions to the debt, such as the debtor being under the jurisdiction of a bankruptcy court or the expiration of a statute of limitations; or, other such legal restrictions. The Debt Collection Act permits collections of debts by offset for claims that have not been outstanding for more than 10 years.
(b) The salary offset provisions contained herein provide procedures which must be followed before FCIC may request another Federal agency to offset any amount from the debtor's salary. Decisions made under the provisions of this section are not appealable under the provisions of the Appeal Regulations in part 400, subpart J of this title.
(c) These regulations will not apply to any case where collection of a debt by salary offset is explicitly provided for by another statute as noted by the Comptroller General in 64 Comp. Gen. 142 (1984), including 5 U.S.C. 5512(a), 5 U.S.C. 5513, 5 U.S.C. 5522(a) (1), 5 U.S.C. 5705 (1) and (2), and 5 U.S.C. 5724(f).
(d) Salary offset may be used by FCIC to collect debts which arise from delinquent FCIC premium payments or delinquent repayment plans and other debts arising from, but not limited to, such sources as program theft, embezzlement, fraud, salary overpayments, underwithholding of any amounts due and payable for life and health insurance, advance travel payments, overpaid indemnities, and any amount owed by present or former employees from loss of federal funds through negligence and other matters. The debt does not have to be reduced to judgment and does not have to be covered by a security instrument.
(e) FCIC may use salary offset against one of its employees who is indebted to another agency if requested to do so by that agency. Salary offset will not be initiated until after other servicing options available to the requesting agency have been utilized, and due process has been afforded to the FCIC employee. When salary offset is utilized, payment for the debt will be deducted from the employee's salary and sent directly to the creditor agency. Not more than fifteen percent (15%) of the employee's disposable salary can be offset in any one pay period, unless the employee agrees in writing to the deduction of a larger amount.
(f) When FCIC is owed a debt by an employee of another agency, the other agency shall not initiate the requested offset until FCIC provides the agency with a written certification that the debtor owes FCIC a debt (including the amount and basis of the debt and the due date of the payment), and that FCIC has complied with Department regulations. If a repayment schedule is elected by the employee, interest will be charged in accordance with Departmental Regulation 2520-1, Interest Rate on Delinquent Debts; USDA Debt Collection Regulations in 7 CFR part 3; and 4 CFR 102.13.
(g) For the purposes of this section, the Manager, FCIC, or the Manager's designee, is delegated authority to:
(1) Certify to the debtor's employing agency that the debt exists and the amount of the debt or delinquent balance;
(2) Certify that, with respect to debt collection, the procedures and regulations of FCIC and the Department have been complied with; and
(3) Request that salary offset be initiated by the debtor's employing agency.
[53 FR 3, Jan. 4, 1988]
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