34 CFR § 30.70 - How does the Secretary exercise discretion to compromise a debt or to suspend or terminate collection of a debt?

prev next
§ 30.70 How does the Secretary exercise discretion to compromise a debt or to suspend or terminate collection of a debt?

(a)

(1) The Secretary uses the standards in the FCCS, 31 CFR part 902, to determine whether compromise of a debt is appropriate if the debt arises under a program administered by the Department, unless compromise of the debt is subject to paragraph (b) of this section.

(2) If the amount of the debt is more than $100,000, or such higher amount as the Department of Justice may prescribe, the Secretary refers a proposed compromise of the debt to the Department of Justice for approval, unless the compromise is subject to paragraph (b) of this section or the debt is one described in paragraph (e) of this section.

(b) Under the provisions in 34 CFR 81.36, the Secretary may enter into certain compromises of debts arising because a recipient of a grant or cooperative agreement under an applicable Department program has spent some of these funds in a manner that is not allowable. For purposes of this section, neither a program authorized under the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA), nor the Impact Aid Program is an applicable Department program.

(c)

(1) The Secretary uses the standards in the FCCS, 31 CFR part 903, to determine whether suspension or termination of collection action on a debt is appropriate.

(2) Except as provided in paragraph (e), the Secretary -

(i) Refers the debt to the Department of Justice to decide whether to suspend or terminate collection action if the amount of the debt outstanding at the time of the referral is more than $100,000 or such higher amount as the Department of Justice may prescribe; or

(ii) May suspend or terminate collection action if the amount of the debt outstanding at the time of the Secretary's determination that suspension or termination is warranted is less than or equal to $100,000 or such higher amount as the Department of Justice may prescribe.

(d) In determining the amount of a debt under paragraph (a), (b), or (c) of this section, the Secretary deducts any partial payments or recoveries already received, and excludes interest, penalties, and administrative costs.

(e)

(1) Subject to paragraph (e)(2) of this section, under the provisions of 31 CFR part 902 or 903, the Secretary may compromise a debt in any amount, or suspend or terminate collection of a debt in any amount, if the debt arises under the Federal Family Education Loan Program authorized under title IV, part B, of the HEA, the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program authorized under title IV, part D of the HEA, or the Perkins Loan Program authorized under title IV, part E, of the HEA.

(2) The Secretary refers a proposed compromise, or suspension or termination of collection, of a debt that exceeds $1,000,000 and that arises under a loan program described in paragraph (e)(1) of this section to the Department of Justice for review. The Secretary does not compromise, or suspend or terminate collection of, a debt referred to the Department of Justice for review until the Department of Justice has provided a response to that request.

(f) The Secretary refers a proposed resolution of a debt to the Government Accountability Office (GAO) for review and approval before referring the debt to the Department of Justice if -

(1) The debt arose from an audit exception taken by GAO to a payment made by the Department; and

(2) The GAO has not granted an exception from the GAO referral requirement.

(g) Nothing in this section precludes -

(1) A contracting officer from exercising his authority under applicable statutes, regulations, or common law to settle disputed claims relating to a contract; or

(2) The Secretary from redetermining a claim.

(h) Nothing in this section authorizes the Secretary to compromise, or suspend or terminate collection of, a debt -

(1) Based in whole or in part on conduct in violation of the antitrust laws; or

(2) Involving fraud, the presentation of a false claim, or misrepresentation on the part of the debtor or any party having an interest in the claim.

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1082(a) (5) and (6), 1087a, 1087hh, 1221e-3(a)(1), 1226a-1, and 1234a, 31 U.S.C. 3711)
[81 FR 76070, Nov. 1, 2016]