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Administrative Delegations


31 USC 3711

US Code as of: 01/26/98

Sec. 3711. Collection and compromise

  • (a) The head of an executive, judicial, or legislative agency -

    • (1) shall try to collect a claim of the United States Government for money or property arising out of the activities of, or referred to, the agency;

    • (2) may compromise a claim of the Government of not more than $100,000 (excluding interest) or such higher amount as the Attorney General may from time to time prescribe that has not been referred to another executive or legislative agency for further collection action, except that only the Comptroller General may compromise a claim arising out of an exception the Comptroller General makes in the account of an accountable official; and

    • (3) may suspend or end collection action on a claim referred to in clause (2) of this subsection when it appears that no person liable on the claim has the present or prospective ability to pay a significant amount of the claim or the cost of collecting the claim is likely to be more than the amount recovered.

  • (b)

    • (1) The head of an executive, judicial, or legislative agency may not act under subsection (a)(2) or (3) of this section on a claim that appears to be fraudulent, false, or misrepresented by a party with an interest in the claim, or that is based on conduct in violation of the antitrust laws.

    • (2) The Secretary of Transportation may not compromise for less than $500 a penalty under section 21302 of title 49 for a violation of chapter 203, 205, or 207 of title 49 or a regulation or requirement prescribed or order issued under any of those chapters.

  • (c) A compromise under this section is final and conclusive unless gotten by fraud, misrepresentation, presenting a false claim, or mutual mistake of fact. An accountable official is not liable for an amount paid or for the value of property lost or damaged if the amount or value is not recovered because of a compromise under this section.

  • (d) The head of an executive, judicial, or legislative agency acts under -

    • (1) regulations prescribed by the head of the agency; and

    • (2) standards that the Attorney General, the Secretary of the Treasury, may prescribe. [1]

  • (e)

    • (1) When trying to collect a claim of the Government under a law except the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (26 U.S.C. 1 et seq.), the head of an executive, judicial, or legislative agency shall disclose to a consumer reporting agency information from a system of records that a person is responsible for a claim if -

      • (A) notice required by section 552a(e)(4) of title 5 indicates that information in the system may be disclosed to a consumer reporting agency;

      • (B) the head of the agency has reviewed the claim and decided that the claim is valid and overdue;

      • (C) the head of the agency has notified the person in writing -

        1. that payment of the claim is overdue;

        2. that, within not less than 60 days after sending the notice, the head of the agency intends to disclose to a consumer reporting agency that the person is responsible for the claim;

        3. of the specific information to be disclosed to the consumer reporting agency; and

        4. of the rights the person has to a complete explanation of the claim, to dispute information in the records of the agency about the claim, and to administrative repeal or review of the claim;

      • (D) the person has not -

        1. repaid or agreed to repay the claim under a written repayment plan that the person has signed and the head of the agency has agreed to; or

        2. filed for review of the claim under paragraph (2) of this subsection;

      • (E) the head of the agency has established procedures to -

        1. disclose promptly, to each consumer reporting agency to which the original disclosure was made, a substantial change in the condition or amount of the claim;

        2. verify or correct promptly information about the claim on request of a consumer reporting agency for verification of information disclosed; and

        3. get satisfactory assurances from each consumer reporting agency that the agency is complying with all laws of the United States related to providing consumer credit information; and

      • (F) the information disclosed to the consumer reporting agency is limited to -

      1. information necessary to establish the identity of the person, including name, address, and taxpayer identification number;

      2. (ii) the amount, status, and history of the claim; and

      3. the agency or program under which the claim arose.

    • (2) Before disclosing information to a consumer reporting agency under paragraph (1) of this subsection and at other times allowed by law, the head of an executive, judicial, or legislative agency shall provide, on request of a person alleged by the agency to be responsible for the claim, for a review of the obligation of the person, including an opportunity for reconsideration of the initial decision on the claim.

    • (3) Before disclosing information to a consumer reporting agency under paragraph (1) of this subsection, the head of an executive, judicial, or legislative agency shall take reasonable action to locate a person for whom the head of the agency does not have a current address to send the notice under paragraph (1)(C).

    • (4) The head of each executive agency shall require, as a condition for insuring or guaranteeing any loan, financing, or other extension of credit under any law to a person, that the lender provide information relating to the extension of credit to consumer reporting agencies or commercial reporting agencies, as appropriate.

    • (5) The head of each executive agency may provide to a consumer reporting agency or commercial reporting agency information from a system of records that a person is responsible for a claim which is current, if notice required by section 552a(e)(4) of title 5 indicates that information in the system may be disclosed to a consumer reporting agency or commercial reporting agency, respectively.

  • (f)

    • (1) The Secretary of Defense may suspend or terminate an action by the Secretary or by the Secretary of a military department under subsection (a) to collect a claim against the estate of a person who died while serving on active duty as a member of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard during a period when the Coast Guard is operating as a service in the Navy if the Secretary determines that, under the circumstances applicable with respect to the deceased person, it is appropriate to do so.

    • (2) The Secretary of Transportation may suspend or terminate an action by the Secretary under subsection (a) to collect a claim against the estate of a person who died while serving on active duty as a member of the Coast Guard if the Secretary determines that, under the circumstances applicable with respect to the deceased person, it is appropriate to do so.

    • (3) In this subsection, the term ''active duty'' has the meaning given that term in section 101 of title 10.

  • (g)

    • (1) If a nontax debt or claim owed to the United States has been delinquent for a period of 180 days -

      • (A) the head of the executive, judicial, or legislative agency that administers the program that gave rise to the debt or claim shall transfer the debt or claim to the Secretary of the

      • (B) upon such transfer the Secretary of the Treasury shall take appropriate action to collect or terminate collection actions on the debt or claim.

    • (2) Paragraph (1) shall not apply -

      • (A) to any debt or claim that -

        1. is in litigation or foreclosure;

        2. will be disposed of under an asset sales program within 1 year after becoming eligible for sale, or later than 1 year if consistent with an asset sales program and a schedule established by the agency and approved by the Director of the Office of Management and Budget;

        3. has been referred to a private collection contractor for collection for a period of time determined by the Secretary of the Treasury;

        4. has been referred by, or with the consent of, the Secretary of the Treasury to a debt collection center for a period of time determined by the Secretary of the Treasury; or

        5. will be collected under internal offset, if such offset is sufficient to collect the claim within 3 years after the date the debt or claim is first delinquent; and

      • (B) to any other specific class of debt or claim, as determined by the Secretary of the Treasury at the request of the head of an executive, judicial, or legislative agency or otherwise.

    • (3) For purposes of this section, the Secretary of the Treasury may designate, and withdraw such designation of debt collection centers operated by other Federal agencies. The Secretary of the Treasury shall designate such centers on the basis of their performance in collecting delinquent claims owed to the Government.

    • (4) At the discretion of the Secretary of the Treasury, referral of a nontax claim may be made to -

      • (A) any executive department or agency operating a debt collection center for servicing, collection, compromise, or suspension or termination of collection action;

      • (B) a private collection contractor operating under a contract for servicing or collection action; or

      • (C) the Department of Justice for litigation.

    • (5) Nontax claims referred or transferred under this section shall be serviced, collected, or compromised, or collection action thereon suspended or terminated, in accordance with otherwise applicable statutory requirements and authorities. Executive departments and agencies operating debt collection centers may enter into agreements with the Secretary of the Treasury to carry out the purposes of this subsection. The Secretary of the Treasury shall -

      • (A) maintain competition in carrying out this subsection;

      • (B) maximize collections of delinquent debts by placing delinquent debts quickly;

      • (C) maintain a schedule of private collection contractors and debt collection centers eligible for referral of claims; and

      • (D) refer delinquent debts to the person most appropriate to collect the type or amount of claim involved.

    • (6) Any agency operating a debt collection center to which nontax claims are referred or transferred under this subsection may charge a fee sufficient to cover the full cost of implementing this subsection. The agency transferring or referring the nontax claim shall be charged the fee, and the agency charging the fee shall collect such fee by retaining the amount of the fee from amounts collected pursuant to this subsection. Agencies may agree to pay through a different method, or to fund an activity from another account or from revenue received from the procedure described under section 3720C of this title. Amounts charged under this subsection concerning delinquent claims may be considered as costs pursuant to section 3717(e) of this title.

    • (7) Notwithstanding any other law concerning the depositing and collection of Federal payments, including section 3302(b) of this title, agencies collecting fees may retain the fees from amounts collected. Any fee charged pursuant to this subsection shall be deposited into an account to be determined by the executive department or agency operating the debt collection center charging the fee (in this subsection referred to in this section (FOOTNOTE 2) as the ''Account''). Amounts deposited in the Account shall be available until expended to cover costs associated with the implementation and operation of Governmentwide debt collection activities. Costs properly chargeable to the Account include -

      • (A) the costs of computer hardware and software, word processing and telecommunications equipment, and other equipment, supplies, and furniture;

      • (B) personnel training and travel costs;

      • (C) other personnel and administrative costs;

      • (D) the costs of any contract for identification, billing, or collection services; and

      • (E) reasonable costs incurred by the Secretary of the Treasury, including services and utilities provided by the Secretary, and administration of the Account.

    • (8) Not later than January 1 of each year, there shall be deposited into the Treasury as miscellaneous receipts an amount equal to the amount of unobligated balances remaining in the Account at the close of business on September 30 of the preceding year, minus any part of such balance that the executive department or agency operating the debt collection center determines is necessary to cover or defray the costs under this subsection for the fiscal year in which the deposit is made.

    • (9) Before discharging any delinquent debt owed to any executive, judicial, or legislative agency, the head of such agency shall take all appropriate steps to collect such debt, including (as applicable) -

      • (A) administrative offset,

      • (B) tax refund offset,

      • (C) Federal salary offset,

      • (D) referral to private collection contractors,

      • (E) referral to agencies operating a debt collection center,

      • (F) reporting delinquencies to credit reporting bureaus,

      • (G) garnishing the wages of delinquent debtors, and

      • (H) litigation or foreclosure.

    • (10) To carry out the purposes of this subsection, the Secretary of the Treasury may prescribe such rules, regulations, and procedures as the Secretary considers necessary and transfer such funds from funds appropriated to the Department of the Treasury as may be necessary to meet existing liabilities and obligations incurred prior to the receipt of revenues that result from debt collections.

  • (h)

    • (1) The head of an executive, judicial, or legislative agency acting under subsection (a)(1), (2), or (3) of this section to collect a claim, compromise a claim, or terminate collection action on a claim may obtain a consumer report (as that term is defined in section 603 of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (15 U.S.C. 1681a)) or comparable credit information on any person who is liable for the claim.

    • (2) The obtaining of a consumer report under this subsection is deemed to be a circumstance or purpose authorized or listed under section 604 of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (15 U.S.C. 1681b).

  • (i)

    • (1) The head of an executive, judicial, or legislative agency may sell, subject to section 504(b) of the Federal Credit Reform Act of 1990 and using competitive procedures, any nontax debt owed to the United States that is delinquent for more than 90 days. Appropriate fees charged by a contractor to assist in the conduct of a sale under this subsection may be payable from the proceeds of the sale.

    • (2) After terminating collection action, the head of an executive, judicial, or legislative agency shall sell, using competitive procedures, any nontax debt or class of nontax debts owed to the United States, if the Secretary of the Treasury determines the sale is in the best interests of the United States.

    • (3) Sales of nontax debt under this subsection -

      • (A) shall be for -

      1. cash, or

      2. cash and a residuary equity or profit participation, if the head of the agency reasonably determines that the proceeds will be greater than sale solely for cash,

      • (B) shall be without recourse, but may include the use of guarantees if otherwise authorized, and

      • (C) shall transfer to the purchaser all rights of the Government to demand payment of the nontax debt, other than with respect to a residuary equity or profit participation under subparagraph (A)(ii).

    • (4)

      • (A) Within one year after the date of enactment of the Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996, each executive agency with current and delinquent collateralized nontax debts shall report to the Congress on the valuation of its existing portfolio of loans, notes and guarantees, and other collateralized debts based on standards developed by the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury.

      • (B) The Director of the Office of Management and Budget shall determine what information is required to be reported to comply with subparagraph (A). At a minimum, for each financing account and for each liquidating account (as those terms are defined in sections 502(7) and 502(8), respectively, of the Federal Credit Reform Act of 1990) the following information shall be reported:

      1. The cumulative balance of current debts outstanding, the estimated net present value of such debts, the annual administrative expenses of those debts (including the portion of salaries and expenses that are directly related thereto), and the estimated net proceeds that would be received by the Government if such debts were sold.

      2. The cumulative balance of delinquent debts, debts outstanding, the estimated net present value of such debts, the annual administrative expenses of those debts (including the portion of salaries and expenses that are directly related thereto), and the estimated net proceeds that would be received by the Government if such debts were sold.

      3. The cumulative balance of guaranteed loans outstanding, the estimated net present value of such guarantees, the annual administrative expenses of such guarantees (including the portion of salaries and expenses that are directly related to such guaranteed loans), and the estimated net proceeds that would bereceived by the Government if such loan guarantees were sold.

      4. The cumulative balance of defaulted loans that were previously guaranteed and have resulted in loans receivables, the estimated net present value of such loan assets, the annual administrative expenses of such loan assets (including the portion of salaries and expenses that are directly related to such loan assets), and the estimated net proceeds that would be received by the Government if such loan assets were sold.

      5. The marketability of all debts.

    • (5) This subsection is not intended to limit existing statutory authority of agencies to sell loans, debts, or other assets.
    Footnotes

    [1] So in original. Probably should be 'Attorney General and the Secretary of the Treasury may prescribe jointly.''

    [2] So in original.


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