14 CFR 1261.412 - Interest, penalties, and administrative costs.

§ 1261.412 Interest, penalties, and administrative costs.

(a) Pursuant to 31 U.S.C. 3717, NASA shall assess interest, penalties, and administrative costs on debts owed to the United States. Before assessing these charges, NASA must mail or hand deliver a written notice to the debtor explaining the requirements concerning the charges (see § 1261.407(b)).

(b) Interest shall accrue from the date on which notice of the debt and the interest requirements is first mailed or hand delivered to the debtor (on or after October 25, 1982), using the most current address that is available to the agency. If an “advance billing” procedure is used - that is, a bill is mailed before the debt is actually owed - it can include the required interest notification in the advance billing, but interest may not start to accrue before the debt is actually owed. Designated officials should exercise care to ensure that the notices required by this section are dated and mailed or hand delivered on the same day.

(c) The rate of interest assessed shall be the rate of the current value of funds to the United States Treasury (i.e., the Treasury tax and loan account rate), as prescribed and published by the Secretary of the Treasury in the Federal Register and the Treasury Fiscal Requirements Manual Bulletins annually or quarterly, in accordance with 31 U.S.C. 3717. NASA may assess a higher rate of interest if it reasonably determines that a higher rate is necessary to protect the interests of the United States. The rate of interest, as initially assessed, shall remain fixed for the duration of the indebtedness, except that where a debtor has defaulted on a repayment agreement and seeks to enter into a new agreement, NASA may set a new interest rate which reflects the current value of funds to the Treasury Department at the time the new agreement is executed. Interest should not be assessed on interest, penalties, or administrative costs required by this section. However, if the debtor defaults on a previous repayment agreement, charges which accrued but were not collected under the defaulted agreement shall be added to the principal to be paid under a new repayment agreement.

(d) NASA shall assess against a debtor charges to cover administrative costs incurred as a result of a delinquent debt - that is, the additional costs incurred in processing and handling the debt because it became delinquent as defined in § 1261.401(b). Calculations of administrative costs should be based upon actual costs incurred or upon cost analyses establishing an average of actual additional costs incurred by the agency in processing and handling claims against other debtors in similar stages of delinquency. Administrative costs may include costs incurred in obtaining a credit report or in using a private debt collector, to the extent they are attributable to delinquency.

(e) NASA shall assess a penalty charge, not to exceed 6 percent a year, on any portion of a debt that is delinquent as defined in § 1261.401(b) for more than 90 days. This charge need not be calculated until the 91st day of delinquency, but shall accrue from the date that the debt became delinquent.

(f) When a debt is paid in partial or installment payments, amounts received by the agency shall be applied first to outstanding penalty and administrative cost charges, second to accrued interest, and third to outstanding principal.

(g) NASA must waive the collection of interest on the debt or any portion of the debt which is paid within 30 days after the date on which interest began to accrue. NASA may extend this 30-day period, on a case-by-case basis, if it reasonably determines that such action is appropriate. Also, NASA may waive, in whole or in part, the collection of interest, penalties, and/or administrative costs (assessed under this section) under the criteria specified in § 1261.414 relating to the compromise of claims (without regard to the amount of the debt), or if NASA determines that collection of these charges would be against equity and good conscience or not in the best interests of the United States. See 4 CFR 101.13(g). Such optional waivers should be handled on a case-by-case basis, in consultation with officials designated under § 1261.403. Examples of situations in which NASA may consider waiving interest and other related charges are:

(1) Pending consideration of a request for reconsideration or administrative review;

(2) Acceptance of an installment plan or other compromise agreement, where there is no indication of lack of good faith on the part of the debtor in not repaying the debt, and the debtor has provided substantiating information of inability to pay or other unavoidable hardship which reasonably prevented the debt from being repaid.

(h) Where a mandatory waiver or review statute applies, interest and related charges may not be assessed for those periods during which collection action must be suspended under § 1261.416(c)(3).


(1) The provisions of 31 U.S.C. 3717 do not apply:

(i) To debts owed by any State or local government;

(ii) To debts arising under contracts which were executed prior to, and were in effect on (i.e., were not completed as of) October 25, 1982;

(iii) To debts where an applicable statute, regulation required by statute, loan agreement, or contract either prohibits such charges or explicitly fixes the charges that apply to the debts involved; or

(iv) Debts arising under the Social Security Act, the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, or the tariff laws of the United States.

(2) NASA may, however, assess interest and related charges on debts which are not subject to 31 U.S.C. 3717 to the extent authorized under the common law or other applicable statutory authority.

This is a list of United States Code sections, Statutes at Large, Public Laws, and Presidential Documents, which provide rulemaking authority for this CFR Part.

This list is taken from the Parallel Table of Authorities and Rules provided by GPO [Government Printing Office].

It is not guaranteed to be accurate or up-to-date, though we do refresh the database weekly. More limitations on accuracy are described at the GPO site.

United States Code