31 CFR § 29.511 - Demand letters.

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§ 29.511 Demand letters.

Except as provided in § 29.516(e), before starting collection action to recover an overpayment, the Benefits Administrator must send a demand letter that informs the debtor in writing—

(a) That an overpayment has occurred, the amount of the overpayment, and the facts giving rise to the overpayment;

(b) The date by which payment of the debt should be made to avoid additional charges (i.e., interest, penalties and administrative costs) permitted by the FCCS and enforced collection;

(c) The requirement that any overpayment debt delinquent for more than 180 days be transferred to the Department of the Treasury's Financial Management Service for collection;

(d) The name, address, and phone number of the appropriate person or office the debtor may contact about the debt;

(e) The remedies which may be used to enforce payment of the debt, including assessment of interest, administrative costs and penalties; administrative wage garnishment; the use of collection agencies; Federal salary offset; tax refund offset; administrative offset; and litigation.

(f) Whether offset is available and, if so, the types of payment(s) to be offset or eligible for offset, the repayment schedule (if any), the right to request an adjustment in the repayment schedule, and the right to request a voluntary repayment agreement in lieu of offset;

(g) An explanation of the Department's policy on interest, penalties, and administrative costs as set forth in 31 CFR part 5, the FCCS, and 31 U.S.C. 3717, including a statement that such assessments must be made unless excused in accordance with the FCCS;

(h) The debtor's opportunity to request repayment in installments if the debtor can show an inability to repay the debt in one lump sum;

(i) The debtor's opportunity to inspect and/or receive a copy of the records relating to the overpayment;

(j) The method and time period (60 calendar days) for requesting reconsideration, waiver, and/or compromise of the overpayment;

(k) That all requests for waiver or compromise must be accompanied by a disclosure of the debtor's financial condition and ability to pay the debt;

(l) The standards used by the Department in deciding requests for waiver (set forth in §§ 29.521 through 29.526) and compromise (set forth in 31 CFR 902.2); and

(m) The fact that a timely filing of a request for reconsideration, waiver and/or compromise, or a subsequent timely appeal of a reconsideration decision, will stop collection proceedings, unless—

(1) Failure to take the offset would substantially prejudice the Federal Government's ability to collect the debt; and

(2) The time before the payment is to be made does not reasonably permit the completion of these procedures.