28 CFR 11.12 - Centralized offset.

§ 11.12 Centralized offset.

(a) The Department must refer any legally enforceable debt more than 120 days past-due to BFS for administrative offset under 31 U.S.C. 3716(c)(6). The Department must refer any past-due, legally enforceable debt to BFS for tax refund offset purposes pursuant to 31 U.S.C. 3720A(a) at least once a year. Before referring debts for offset, the Department must certify to BFS compliance with the provisions of 31 U.S.C. 3716(a) and 3720A(b). There is no time limit on when a debt can be collected by offset.

(b) The Department will provide the debtor with written notice of its intent to offset before initiating the offset. Notice will be mailed to the debtor at the current address of the debtor, as determined from information obtained from the IRS pursuant to 26 U.S.C. 6103(m)(2), (4), (5) or from information regarding the debt maintained by the Department of Justice. The notice sent to the debtor will state the amount of the debt and inform the debtor that:

(1) The debt is past due;

(2) The Department intends to refer the debt to BFS for offset purposes;

(3) Before the debt is referred to BFS for offset purposes, the debtor has 60 days from the date of notice to present evidence that all or part of the debt is not past due, that the amount is not the amount currently owed, that the outstanding debt has been satisfied, or, if the debt is a judgment debt, that the debt has been satisfied, or that collection action on the debt has been stayed.

(c) If the debtor neither pays the amount due nor presents evidence that the amount is not past due or is satisfied or that collection action is stayed, the Department will refer the debt to BFS for offset purposes.

(d) A debtor may request a review by the Department if the debtor believes that all or part of the debt is not past due or is not legally enforceable, or, in the case of a judgment debt, that the debt has been stayed or the amount satisfied, as follows:

(1) The debtor must send a written request for review to the address provided in the notice.

(2) The request must state the amount disputed and the reasons why the debtor believes that the debt is not past due, is not legally enforceable, has been satisfied, or, if a judgment debt, has been satisfied or stayed.

(3) The request must include any documents that the debtor wishes to be considered or state that additional information will be submitted within the time permitted.

(4) If the debtor wishes to inspect records establishing the nature and amount of the debt, the debtor must request an opportunity for such an inspection in writing. The office holding the relevant records shall make them available for inspection during normal business hours.

(5) The request for review and any additional information submitted pursuant to the request must be received by the Department at the address stated in the notice within 60 days of the date of issuance of the notice.

(6) The Department will review disputes and shall consider its records and any documentation and arguments submitted by the debtor. The Department's decision to refer to the BFS any disputed portion of the debt shall be made by the Assistant Attorney General for Administration or his designee, who shall hold a position at least one supervisory level above the person who made the decision to offset the debt. The Department shall send a written notice of its decision to the debtor. There is no administrative appeal of this decision.

(7) If the evidence presented by the debtor is considered by a non-Departmental agent or other entities or persons acting on the Department's behalf, the debtor will be accorded at least 30 days from the date the agent or other entity or person determines that all or part of the debt is past-due and legally enforceable to request review by an officer or employee of the Department of any unresolved dispute.

(8) Any debt that previously has been reviewed pursuant to this section or any other section of this part, or that has been reduced to a judgment, may not be disputed except on the grounds of payments made or events occurring subsequent to the previous review of judgment.

(e) The Department will notify the BFS of any change in the amount due promptly after receipt of payments or notice of other reductions.

(f) If more than one debt is owed, payments eligible for offset will be applied in the order in which the debts became past due.

[Order No. 1792-93, 58 FR 51223, Oct. 1, 1993, as amended by AG Order 3689-2016, 81 FR 43944, July 6, 2016]

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