34 CFR § 681.1 - What is the HEAL program?

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§ 681.1 What is the HEAL program?

(a) The Health Education Assistance Loan (HEAL) program is a program of Federal insurance of educational loans that were made to graduate students in the fields of medicine, osteopathic medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, optometry, podiatric medicine, pharmacy, public health, chiropractic, health administration, and clinical psychology. The basic purpose of the program is to encourage lenders to make loans to students in these fields who desire to borrow money to pay for their educational costs. In addition, certain nonstudents (such as doctors serving as interns or residents) could borrow in order to pay the current interest charges accruing on earlier HEAL loans. By taking a HEAL loan, the borrower is obligated to repay the lender or holder the full amount of the money borrowed, plus all interest which accrues on the loan.

(b) HEAL loans were made by schools, banks, credit unions, State agencies, and other institutions eligible as lenders under § 681.30. HEAL school eligibility is described in § 681.50.

(c) The Secretary insures each lender or holder for the losses of principal and interest it may incur in the event that a borrower dies; becomes totally and permanently disabled; files for bankruptcy under chapter 11 or 13 of the Bankruptcy Act; files for bankruptcy under chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Act and files a compliant to determine the dischargeability of the HEAL loan; or defaults on his or her loan. In these instances, if the lender or holder has complied with all HEAL statutes and regulations and with the lender's or holder's insurance contract, then the Secretary pays the amount of the loss to the lender or holder and the borrower's loan is assigned to the Secretary. Only after assignment does the Secretary become the holder of the HEAL loan and the Secretary will use all collection methods legally authorized to obtain repayment of the HEAL loan, including, but not limited to, reporting the borrower's default on the loan to consumer credit reporting agencies, certifying the debt for offset in the Treasury Offset Program (TOP), using available methods to locate the debtor, utilizing administrative wage garnishment, and referring the debt to the Department of Justice for litigation.

(d) Any person who knowingly makes a false statement or misrepresentation in a HEAL loan transaction, bribes or attempts to bribe a Federal official, fraudulently obtains a HEAL loan, or commits any other illegal action in connection with a HEAL loan is subject to possible fine and imprisonment under Federal statute.

(e) In counting the number of days allowed to comply with any provisions of these regulations, Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays are to be included. However, if a due date falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or Federal holiday, the due date is the next Federal work day.