29 CFR 1450.29 - Assessment.
(a) Except as provided in paragraph (h) of this section, or § 1450.30, FMCS shall assess interest, penalties and administrative costs on debts owed to the United States pursuant to 31 U.S.C. 3717. Before assessing these charges, FMCS will mail or hand-deliver a written notice to the debtor. This notice shall include a statement of the agency's requirements concerning these charges. (Sections 1450.9 and 1450.21).
(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, using the most current address that is available to the agency. If FMCS should use an “advance billing” procedure - that is, if it mails a bill 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. FMCS will exercise care to insure 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. FMCS 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, FMCS may set a new interest rate which reflects the current value of funds to the Treasury at the time the new agreement is executed. Interest will 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) FMCS 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. Calculation of administrative costs shall 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) FMCS shall assess a penalty charge, not to exceed 6 percent a year, on any portion of a debt that is delinquent for more than 90 days. This charge need not be calculated until the 91st day of delinquency, but shall accure 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) FMCS will 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. FMCS may extend this 30-day period, on a case-by-case basis, if it reasonably determines that such action is appropriate. Also, FMCS 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 part 103 of the Federal Claims Collection Standards ( 4 CFR part 103) relating to the compromise of claims (without regard to the amount of the debt), or if the agency determines that collection of these charges would be against equity and good conscience, or not in the best interests of the United States. Waiver under the first sentence of this paragraph (g) is mandatory. Under the second and third sentences, it may be exercised under the following circumstances:
(1) Waiver of interest pending consideration of a request for reconsideration, administrative review, or waiver of the underlying debt under a permissive statute, and
(2) Waiver of interest where FMCS has accepted an installment plan, there is no indication of fault or lack of good faith on the part of the debtor, and the amount of interest is large enough in relation to the size of the installments that the debtor can reasonably afford to pay, that the debt will never be 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 § 104.2(c)(1) of the Federal Claims Collection Standards ( 4 CFR part 104).