20 CFR 200.7 - Assessment or waiver of interest, penalties, and administrative costs with respect to collection of certain debts.
(a) Purpose. The Debt Collection Act of 1982 requires the Board to charge interest on claims for money owed the Board, to assess penalties on delinquent debts, and to assess charges to cover the costs of processing claims for delinquent debts. The Act permits, and in certain cases requires, an agency to waive the collection of interest, penalties and charges under circumstances which comply with standards enunciated jointly by the Comptroller General and the Attorney General. Those standards are contained in 4 CFR 102.13. This section contains the circumstances under which the Board may either assess or waive interest, penalties, and administrative costs which arise from benefit or annuity overpayments made under any of the Acts which the Board administers.
(1) Simple interest shall be assessed once a month on the unpaid principal of a debt.
(2) Interest shall accrue from the date on which notice of the debt and demand for repayment with interest is first mailed or hand-delivered to the debtor, or in the case of a debt which is subject to section 10(c) of the Railroad Retirement Act or section 2(d) of the Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act, interest shall accrue from the date that a denial of waiver of recovery is mailed or hand-delivered to the debtor or, if waiver has not been requested, upon the expiration of the time within which to request waiver, except as otherwise specified in this section.
(3) In the case of a lien for reimbursement of sickness benefits pursuant to part 341 of this chapter, interest on the amount of the lien shall accrue from the date of settlement or the entry of final judgment.
(4) The rate of interest assessed shall be the rate of the current value of funds to the U.S. Treasury (i.e., the Treasury tax and loan account rate) as prescribed and published in the Federal Register and the Treasury Financial Manual Bulletins annually or quarterly, in accordance with 31 U.S.C. 3717.
(5) 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, a new interest rate may be assessed.
(1) A penalty charge of 6 percent per year shall be assessed on any debt that is delinquent for more than 90 days.
(2) The penalty charge shall accrue from the date on which the debt became delinquent.
(3) A debt is delinquent if it has not been paid in full by the 30th day after the date on which the initial demand letter was first mailed or hand-delivered, or, if the debt is being repaid under an installment payment agreement, at any time after the debtor fails to satisfy his or her obligation for payment thereunder.
(4) In the case of a lien for reimbursement of sickness benefits pursuant to part 341 of this chapter, the amount of the lien is delinquent if it has not been paid in full by the 30th day after the date of settlement or entry of final judgment.
(1) Charges shall be assessed against the debtor for administrative costs incurred as a result of processing and handling the debt because it became delinquent.
(2) Administrative costs include costs incurred in obtaining a credit report and in using a private debt collector.
(e) When a debt is paid in partial or installment payments, amounts received shall be applied first to outstanding penalty and administrative cost charges, second to accrued interest, and third to outstanding principal. Where a debtor is in default under an installment repayment agreement, uncollected interest, penalties and administrative cost charges which have accrued under the agreement shall be added to the principal to be paid under any new installment repayment agreement entered into between the Board and the debtor.
(f) Exemptions. The assessment of interest, penalties, and administrative costs under this section does not apply to debts under sections 2(f) and 8(g) of the Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act (45 U.S.C. 352(f) and 358(g)).
(1) The Board shall waive the collection of interest under the following circumstances:
(i) When the debt is paid within thirty days after the date on which notice of the debt was mailed or personally delivered to the debtor,
(ii) When, in any case where a decision with respect to waiver of recovery of an overpayment must be made:
(A) The debt is paid within thirty days after the end of the period within which the debtor may request waiver of recovery, if no request for waiver is received within the prescribed time period; or
(B) The debt is paid within thirty days after the date on which notice was mailed to the debtor that his or her request for waiver of recovery has been wholly or partially denied if the debtor requested waiver of recovery within the prescribed time limit; however, regardless of when the debt is paid, no interest may be charged for any period prior to the end of the period within which the debtor may request waiver of recovery or, if such request is made, for any period prior to the date on which notice was mailed to the debtor that his or her request for waiver of recovery has been wholly or partially denied;
(iii) When, in the situations described in paragraphs (g)(1)(i) and (ii) of this section, the debt is paid within any extension of the thirty-day period granted by the Board;
(iv) With respect to any portion of the debt which is paid within the time limits described in paragraphs (g)(1)(i), (g)(1)(ii), or (g)(1)(iii) of this section; or
(v) In regard to any debt the recovery of which is waived.
(2) The Board may waive the collection of interest, penalties and administrative costs in whole or in part in the following circumstances:
(i) Where, in the judgment of the Board, collecting interest, penalty and administrative costs would be against equity and good conscience; or
(1) In making determinations as to when the collection of interest, penalty and administrative costs is against equity and good conscience the Board will consider evidence on the following factors:
(i) The fault of the overpaid individual in causing the underlying overpayment; and
(ii) Whether the overpaid individual in reliance on the incorrect payment relinquished a valuable right or changed his or her position for the worse.
(2) In rendering a determination as to when the collection of interest, penalties and administrative costs is not in the best interest of the United States the Board will consider the following factors:
(i) Whether the collection of interest, penalties and administrative costs would result in the debt never being repaid; and
(ii) Whether the collection of interest, penalties and administrative costs would cause undue hardship.
(i) The Board shall waive the collection of interest, penalties, and administrative costs in any case where the debt to be recovered is being recovered by full or partial withholding of a current annuity payable under the Railroad Retirement Act and the debt was not incurred through fraud.