45 CFR § 30.11 - Demand for payment.

§ 30.11 Demand for payment.

(a) Written demand for payment.

(1) Written demand, as described in paragraph (b) of this section, shall be made promptly upon a debtor in terms that inform the debtor of the consequences of failing to cooperate with the Department to resolve the debt.

(2) Normally, the demand letter will be sent no later than 30 days after the appropriate official determines that the debt exists. The demand letter shall be sent by first class mail to the debtor's last known address.

(3) When necessary to protect the Government's interest, for example to prevent the running of a statute of limitations, the written demand for payment may be preceded by other appropriate action under this part, including immediate referral to Justice for litigation.

(b) Demand letters. The specific content, timing, and number of demand letters shall depend upon the type and amount of the debt and the debtor's response, if any, to the Department's letters or telephone calls. Generally, one demand letter should suffice; however, more may be used.

(1) The written demand for payment shall include the following information:

(i) The nature and amount of the debt, including the basis for the indebtedness;

(ii) The date by which payment should be made to avoid late charges and enforced collection, which generally shall be no later than 30 days from the date the demand letter is mailed;

(iii) The applicable standards for imposing any interest, penalties, or administrative costs (see § 30.18);

(iv) The rights, if any, the debtor may have to:

(A) Seek review of the Department's determination of the debt, and for purposes of administrative wage garnishment or salary offset, to request a hearing (see 45 CFR parts 32 and 33); and

(B) Enter into a reasonable repayment agreement.

(v) An explanation of how the debtor may exercise any of the rights described in paragraph (b)(1)(iv) of this section;

(vi) The name, address, and phone number of a contact person or office within the Department to address any debt-related matters; and

(vii) The Department's remedies to enforce payment of the debt, which may include:

(A) Garnishing the debtor's wages through administrative wage garnishment;

(B) Offsetting any Federal payments due the debtor, including income tax refunds, salary, certain benefit payments such as Social Security, retirement, and travel reimbursements and advances;

(C) Referring the debt to a private collection contractor;

(D) Reporting the debt to a credit bureau or other automated database;

(E) Referring the debt to Justice for litigation; and

(F) Referring the debt to Treasury for any of the collection actions described in paragraphs (b)(1)(vii)(A) through (E) of this section, advising the debtor that such referral is mandatory if the debt is 180 or more days delinquent.

(2) The written demand for payment should also include the following information:

(i) The debtor's right to inspect and copy all records of the Department pertaining to the debt, or if the debtor or the debtor's representative cannot personally inspect the records, to request and receive copies of such records;

(ii) The Department's willingness to discuss with the debtor alternative methods of payment;

(iii) A debtor delinquent on a debt is ineligible for Government loans, loan guarantees, or loan insurance until the debtor resolves the debt;

(iv) When seeking to collect statutory penalties, forfeiture or other similar types of claim, the debtor's licenses, permits, or other privileges may be suspended or revoked if failure to pay the debt is inexcusable or willful. Such suspension or revocation shall extend to programs or activities administered by the States on behalf of the Federal Government, to the extent that they affect the Federal Government's ability to collect money or funds owed by debtors;

(v) Knowingly making false statements or bringing frivolous actions may subject the debtor to civil or criminal penalties under 31 U.S.C. 3729-3731, 18 U.S.C. 286, 287, 1001, and 1002, or any other applicable statutory authority, and, if the debtor is a Federal employee, to disciplinary action under 5 CFR part 752 or other applicable authority;

(vi) Any amounts collected and ultimately found not to have been owed by the debtor will be refunded;

(vii) For salary offset, up to 15% of the debtor's current disposable pay may be deducted every pay period until the debt is paid in full; and

(viii) Dependent upon applicable statutory authority, the debtor may be entitled to consideration for a waiver.

(c) The Secretary will retain evidence of service indicating the date of mailing of the demand letter. The evidence of service, which may include a certificate of service, may be retained electronically so long as the manner of retention is sufficient for evidentiary purposes.

(d) Prior to, during, or after the completion of the demand process, if the Secretary determines to pursue, or is required to pursue offset, the procedures applicable to offset should be followed (see § 30.12). The availability of funds for debt satisfaction by offset and the Secretary's determination to pursue collection by offset shall release the Secretary from the necessity of further compliance with paragraphs (a), (b), and (c) of this section.

(e) Finding debtors. The Secretary will use every reasonable effort to locate debtors, using such sources as telephone directories, city directories, postmasters, drivers license records, automobile title and license records in State and local government agencies, the IRS, credit reporting agencies and skip locator services. Referral of a confess-judgment note to the appropriate United States Attorney's Office for entry of judgment will not be delayed because the debtor cannot be located.

(f) Communications from debtors. The Secretary should respond promptly to communications from debtor, within 30 days where feasible, and should advise debtors who dispute debts to furnish available evidence to support their contentions.

(g) Exception. This section does not require duplication of any notice already contained in a written agreement, letter or other document signed by, or provided to, the debtor.