29 CFR 1450.17 - Contracting for collection services.
(a) FMCS has authority to contract for collection services to recover delinquent debts, provided that the following conditions are satisfied;
(1) The authority to resolve disputes, compromise claims, suspend or terminate collection action, and refer the matter for litigation is retained by the agency;
(2) The contractor shall be subject to the Privacy Act of 1974, as amended to the extent specified in 5 U.S.C. 552a(m), and to applicable Federal and State laws and regulations pertaining to debt collection practices, such as the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, 15 U.S.C. 1692;
(3) The contractor must be required to account strictly for all amounts collected;
(4) The contractor must agree that uncollectible accounts shall be returned with appropriate documentation to enable FMCS to determine whether to pursue collection through litigation or to terminate collection efforts, and
(5) The contractor must agree to provide any data contained in its files relating to paragraphs (a) (1), (2), and (3) of § 105.2 of the Federal Claims Collection Standards (4 CFR part 105) upon returning an account to FMCS for subsequent referral to the Department of Justice for litigation.
(b) Funding of collection service contracts: (1) FMCS may fund a collection service contract on a fixed-fee basis, that is, payment of a fixed fee determined without regard to the amount actually collected under the contract. Payment of the fee under this type of contract must be charged to available agency appropriations.
(2) FMCS may also fund a collection service contract on a contingent-fee basis, that is, by including a provision in the contract permitting the contractor to deduct its fee from amounts collected under the contract. The fee should be based on a percentage of the amount collected, consistent with prevailing commercial practice.
(3) FMCS may enter into a contract under paragraph (b)(1) of this section only if and to the extent provided in advance in its appropriation acts or other legislation, except that this requirement does not apply to the use of a revolving fund authorized by statute.
(4) Except as authorized under paragraph (b)(2) of this section, or unless the receipt qualifies as a refund to the appropriation, or unless otherwise specifically provided by law, FMCS must deposit all amounts recovered under collection service contracts (or by agency employees on behalf of the agency) in the Treasury as miscellaneous receipts pursuant to 31 U.S.C. 3302.
(c) FMCS will consider the use of collection agencies at any time after the account is 61 days past due. In all cases accounts that are six months or more past due shall be turned over to a collection agency unless referred for litigation or unless arrangements have been made for a workout procedure, or the agency has exercised its authority to write off the debt pursuant to § 1450.14.
(d) FMCS will generally not use a collection agency to collect a delinquent debt owed by a currently employed or retired Federal employee, if collection by salary or annuity offset is available.