29 CFR § 20.22 - Notifications.

§ 20.22 Notifications.

(a) The agency head (or designee) responsible for carrying out the provisions of this subpart with respect to the debt shall send appropriate written demands to the debtor in terms which inform the debtor of the consequences of failure to cooperate. In accordance with guidelines established by the Chief Financial Officer, a total of three progressively stronger written demands at not more than 30-day intervals will normally be made unless a response to the first or second demand indicates that a further demand would be futile and the debtor's response does not require rebuttal. In determining the timing of the demand letters, agencies should give due regard to the need to act promptly so that, as a general rule, if necessary to refer the debt to the Department of Justice for litigation, such referral can be made within one year of the final determination of the fact and the amount of the debt. When the agency head (or designee) deems it appropriate to protect the government's interests (for example, to prevent the statute of limitations, 28 U.S.C. 2415, from expiring), written demand may be preceded by other appropriate actions, including immediate referral for litigation.

(b) In accordance with guidelines established by the Chief Financial Officer, the agency official responsible for collection of the debt shall send written notice to the debtor, informing such debtor as appropriate:

(1) Of the nature and amount of the indebtedness;

(2) That the agency intends to collect, as appropriate, interest, penalties and administrative costs; and, in accordance with guidelines of the Chief Financial Officer, of the applicable standards for collecting such payments;

(3) Of the date by which payment is to be made (which normally should be not more than 30 days from the date that the initial notification was mailed or hand-delivered);

(4) Of the agency's intention to collect by administrative offset and of the debtor's rights in conjunction with such an offset;

(5) Of the debtor's entitlement to waiver, where applicable, and of the debtor's rights in conjunction with waiver;

(6) Of the debtor's opportunity to enter into a written agreement with the agency to repay the debt;

(7) Of the rights of such debtor to a full explanation of the claim, of the opportunity to inspect and copy the agency records with respect to the claim and to dispute any information in the records of the agency concerning the claim;

(8) Of the debtor's right to administrative appeal or review with respect to the claim and how such review shall be obtained; and

(9) Of the date on which or after which an administrative offset will begin.

(c) Agencies shall also include in their demand letters the notice provisions to debtors required by other regulations of the Labor Department, pertaining to disclosures to credit reporting agencies, salary offset, and assessment of interest, penalties and administrative costs, to the extent inclusion of such is appropriate and practicable.

(d) The responsible agency head (or designee) shall exercise due care to insure that demand letters are mailed or hand-delivered on the same day that they are actually dated. If evidence suggests that the debtor is no longer located at the address of record, reasonable action shall be taken to obtain a current address.

(e) The agency responsible for collecting the claim shall, in the initial demand letter to the debtor, provide the name of an agency employee who can provide a full explanation of the claim.