31 CFR 5.9 - When will Treasury entities transfer a Treasury debt to the Treasury Department's Financial Management Service for collection?
(a) Treasury entities will transfer any eligible debt that is more than 180 days delinquent to the Financial Management Service for debt collection services, a process known as “cross-servicing.” See 31 U.S.C. 3711(g) and 31 31 CFR 285.12. Treasury entities may transfer debts delinquent 180 days or less to the Financial Management Service in accordance with the procedures described in 31 CFR 285.12. The Financial Management Service takes appropriate action to collect or compromise the transferred debt, or to suspend or terminate collection action thereon, in accordance with the statutory and regulatory requirements and authorities applicable to the debt and the collection action to be taken. See 31 CFR 285.12(b)(2). Appropriate action includes, but is not limited to, contact with the debtor, referral of the debt to the Treasury Offset Program, private collection agencies or the Department of Justice, reporting of the debt to credit bureaus, and administrative wage garnishment.
(b) At least sixty (60) days prior to transferring a Treasury debt to the Financial Management Service, Treasury entities will send notice to the debtor as required by § 5.4 of this part. Treasury entities will certify to the Financial Management Service, in writing, that the debt is valid, delinquent, legally enforceable, and that there are no legal bars to collection. In addition, Treasury entities will certify their compliance with all applicable due process and other requirements as described in this part and other Federal laws. See 31 CFR 285.12(i) regarding the certification requirement.
(c) As part of its debt collection process, the Financial Management Service uses the Treasury Offset Program to collect Treasury debts by administrative and tax refund offset. See 31 CFR 285.12(g). The Treasury Offset Program is a centralized offset program administered by the Financial Management Service to collect delinquent debts owed to Federal agencies and states (including past-due child support). Under the Treasury Offset Program, before a Federal payment is disbursed, the Financial Management Service compares the name and taxpayer identification number (TIN) of the payee with the names and TINs of debtors that have been submitted by Federal agencies and states to the Treasury Offset Program database. If there is a match, the Financial Management Service (or, in some cases, another Federal disbursing agency) offsets all or a portion of the Federal payment, disburses any remaining payment to the payee, and pays the offset amount to the creditor agency. Federal payments eligible for offset include, but are not limited to, income tax refunds, salary, travel advances and reimbursements, retirement and vendor payments, and Social Security and other benefit payments.