34 CFR 668.96 - Reimbursements, refunds, and offsets.

§ 668.96 Reimbursements, refunds, and offsets.

(a) In an action to fine an institution or servicer, or to limit, suspend, or terminate the participation of an institution or the eligibility of a servicer, the designated department official, hearing official, or Secretary may require an institution or third-party servicer to take reasonable and appropriate corrective action to remedy the institution's or servicer's violation, as applicable, of any statutory provision of or applicable to Title IV of the HEA, any regulatory provision prescribed under that statutory authority, or any applicable special arrangement, agreement, or limitation entered into under the authority of statutes applicable to Title IV of the HEA.

(b) The corrective action under paragraph (a) of this section may include payment of any funds to the Secretary, or to designated recipients, that the institution or servicer, as applicable, improperly received, withheld, disbursed, or caused to be disbursed. Corrective action may, for example, relate to -

(1) With respect to the Federal Stafford Loan, Federal PLUS, and Federal SLS programs -

(i) Ineligible interest benefits, special allowances, or other claims paid by the Secretary; and

(ii) Discounts, premiums, or excess interest paid in violation of 34 CFR part 682; and

(2) With respect to all Title IV, HEA programs -

(i) Refunds or returns of title IV, HEA program funds required under program regulations when a student withdraws.

(ii) Any grants, work-study assistance, or loans made in violation of program regulations.

(c) If any final decision in any action under this subpart requires an institution or third-party servicer to reimburse or make any other payment to the Secretary, the Secretary may offset these claims against any benefits or claims due to the institution or servicer.

(d) If an institution's violation in paragraph (a) of this section results from an administrative, accounting, or recordkeeping error, and that error was not part of a pattern of error, and there is no evidence of fraud or misconduct related to the error, the Secretary permits the institution to correct or cure the error. If the institution corrects or cures the error, the Secretary does not limit, suspend, terminate, or fine the institution for that error.

(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1094 and 1099c-1)
[ 59 FR 22451, Apr. 29, 1994, as amended at 64 FR 58619, Oct. 29, 1999; 64 FR 59042, Nov. 1, 1999; Redsignated and amended at 82 FR 6257, 6259, Jan. 19, 2017]