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CHAPTER 11-FEDERAL CLAIMS COLLECTION STANDARDS (GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE-DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE)

Part 101 102 103 104 105

Scope of standards.
Standards for the administrative collection of claims.
Standards for the compromise of claims.
Standards for suspending or terminating collection action.
Referrals to GAO or for litigation.

PART 101-SCOPE OF STANDARDS Sec. 101.1 Prescription of standards. 101.2 Omissions not & defense. 101.3 Fraud, antitrust, and tax claims

excluded. 101.4 Compromise, waiver, or disposition

under other statutes not precluded. 101.5 Conversion claims. 101.6 Subdivision of claims not authorized. 101.7 Required administrative proceedings. 101.8 Referral for litigation.

AUTHORITY: The provisions of this Part 101 issued under sec. 3, 80 Stat. 309; 31 U.S.C. 952.

SOURCE: The provisions of this part 101 appear at 31 F.R. 13381, Oct. 15, 1966, unless otherwise noted. § 101.1 Prescription of standards.

The regulations in this chapter, issued jointly by the Comptroller General of the United States and the Attorney General of the United States under section 3 of the Federal Claims Collection Act of 1966, 80 Stat. 309, prescribe standards for the administrative collection, compromise, termination of agency collection action, and the referral to the General Accounting Office, and to the Department of Justice for litigation, of civil claims by the Federal Government for money or property. Regulations prescribed by the head of an agency pursuant to section 3 of the Federal Claims

Collection Act of 1966 will be reviewed by the General Accounting Office as a part of its audit of the agency's activities. § 101.2 Omissions not a defense.

The standards set forth in this chapter shall apply to the administrative handling of civil claims of the Federal Government for money or property but the failure of an agency to comply with any provision of this chapter shall not be available as a defense to any debtor. § 101.3 Fraud, antitrust, and tax claims

excluded. The standards set forth in this chapter do not apply to the handling of any claim as to which there is an indication of fraud, the presentation of a false claim, or misrepresentation on the part of the debtor or any other party having an interest in the claim, or to any claim based in whole or in part on conduct in violation of the antitrust laws. Only the Department of Justice has authority to compromise or terminate collection action on such claims. However, matters submitted to the Department of Justice for consideration without compliance with the regulations in this chapter because there is an indication of fraud, the presentation of a false claim, or misrepresentation on the part of the debtor or any other party having an interest in the

claim, may be returned to the agency for- subdivided to avoid the monetary ceiling warding them for further handling in established by the Federal Claims Colaccordance with the regulations in this lection Act of 1966, 80 Stat. 308. chapter if it is determined that action

§ 101.7 Required administrative probased upon the alleged fraud, false claim,

ceedings. or misrepresentation is not warranted. Tax claims, as to which differing exemp

Nothing contained in this chapter is tions, administrative consideration, en

intended to require an agency to omit or forcement considerations, and statutes

foreclose administrative proceedings reapply, are also excluded from the cover- quired by contract or by law. age of this chapter.

$ 101.8 Referral for litigation. $ 101.4 Compromise, waiver, or dispo- As used in this chapter referral for

sition under other statutes not pre- litigation means referral to the Departcluded.

ment of Justice for appropriate legal proNothing contained in this chapter is ceedings, unless the agency concerned intended to preclude agency disposition has statutory authority for handling its of any claim under statutes other than own litigation. the Federal Claims Collection Act of 1966, 80 Stat. 308, providing for the compromise, termination of collection action, or

PART 102-STANDARDS FOR THE waiver in whole or in part of such a

ADMINISTRATIVE COLLECTION OF claim. See, e.g., "The Federal Medical CLAIMS Care Recovery Act,” 76 Stat. 593, 42

Sec. U.S.C. 2651, et seq., and applicable regu- 102.1 Aggressive agency collection action. lations, 28 CFR 43.1, et seq. The stand- 102.2 Demand for payment. ards set forth in this chapter should be 102.3 Collection by offset. followed in the disposition of civil claims 102.4 Personal interview with debtor. by the Federal Government by compro- 102.5 Contact with debtor's employing mise or termination of collection action

agency. (other than by waiver pursuant to statu

102.6 Suspension or revocation of License tory authority) under statutes other than

or eligibility.

102.7 the Federal Claims Collection Act of

Liquidation of collateral.

102.8 Collection in installments. 1966, 80 Stat. 308, to the extent such

102.9 Exploration of compromise. other statutes or authorized regulations

102.10 Interest. issued pursuant thereto do not establish

102.11 Documentation of adminstrative standards governing such matters.

collection action. § 101.5 Conversion claims.

102.12 Additional administrative collection

action, The instructions contained in this

AUTHORITY: The provisions of this part 102 chapter are directed primarily to the re

Issued under sec. 3, 80 Stat. 309; 31 U.S.C. covery of money on behalf of the Gov

952. ernment and the circumstances in which

SOURCE: The provisions of this Part 102 apGovernment claims may be disposed of

pear at 31 F.R. 13381, Oct. 15, 1966, unless for less than the full amount claimed. otherwise noted. Nothing contained in this chapter is in

§ 101.1
Aggressive agency

collection tended, however, to deter an agency from

action. demanding the return of specific prop

The head of an agency or his designee erty or from demanding, in the alter

shall take aggressive action, on a timely native, either the return of property or

basis with effective followup, to collect the payment of its value.

all claims of the United States for money § 101.6 Subdivision of claims not au

or property arising out of the activities thorized.

of, or referred to, his agency in accordA debtor's liability arising from a par- ance with the standards set forth in this ticular transaction or contract shall be chapter. However, nothing contained in considered as a single claim in determin- this chapter is intended to require the ing whether the claim is one of less than General Accounting Office or the De$20,000, exclusive of interest, for the pur- partment of Justice to duplicate collecpose of compromise or termination of col- tion actions previously undertaken by lection action. Such a claim may not be any other agency.

$ 102.2 Demand for payment.

Appropriate written demands shall be made upon a debtor of the United States in terms which inform the debtor of the consequences of his failure to cooperate. Three written demands, at 30-day intervals, will normally be made unless a response to the first or second demand indicates that further demand would be futile or unless prompt suit or attachment is required in anticipation of the departure of the debtor or debtors from the jurisdiction or his or their removal or transfer of assets, or the running of the statute of limitations. There should be no undue time lag in responding to any communication received from the debtor or debtors. § 102.3 Collection by offset.

Collections by offset will be undertaken administratively on claims which are liquidated or certain in amount in every instance in which this is feasible. Collections by offset from persons receiving pay or compensation from the Federal Government shall be effected over a period not greater than the period during which such pay or compensation is to be received. See 5 U.S.C. 5514. Collection by offset against a judgment obtained by the debtor against the United States shall be accomplished in accordance with the Act of March 3, 1875, 18 Stat. 481, as amended, 31 U.S.C. 227. Appropria ie use should be made of the cooperative efforts of other agencies in effecting collections by offset, including utilization of the Army Holdup List, and all agencies are enjoined to cooperate in this endeavor. § 102.4 Personal interview with debtor.

Agencies will undertake personal interviews with their debtors when this is feasible, having regard for the amounts involved and the proximity of agency represenatives to such debtors. $ 102.5 Contact with debtor's employing

agency. When a debtor is employed by the Federal Government or is a member of the military establishment or the Coast Guard, and collection by offset cannot be accomplished in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 5514, the employing agency will be contacted for the purpose of arranging with the debtor for payment of the indebtedness by allotment or otherwise in accordance with section 206 of Executive Order 11222 of May 8, 1965, 3 CFR, 1965 Supp., p. 130 (30 F.R. 6469).

§ 102.6 Suspension or revocation of li

cense or eligibility. Agencies seeking the collection of statutory penalties, forfeitures, or debts provided for as an enforcement aid or for compelling compliance will give serious consideration to the suspension or revocation of licenses or other privileges for any inexcusable, prolonged or repeated failure of a debtor to pay such a claim and the debtor will be so advised. Any agency making, guaranteeing, insuring, acquiring, or participating in loans will give serious consideration to suspending or disqualifying any lender, contractor, broker, borrower or other debtor from doing further business with it or engaging in programs sponsored by it if such a debtor fails to pay its debts to the Government within a reasonable time and the debtor will be so advised. The failure of any surety to honor its obligations in accordance with 6 U.S.C. 11 is to be reported to the Treasury Department at once. Notification that a surety's certificate of authority to do business with the Federal Government has been revoked or forfeited by the Treasury Department will be forwarded by that Department to all interested agencies. § 102.7 Liquidation of collateral.

Agencies holding security or collateral which may be liquidated and the proceeds applied on debts due it through the exercise of a power of sale in the security instrument or a non-judicial foreclosure should do so by such procedures if the debtor fails to pay his debt within a reasonable time after demand, unless the cost of disposing of the collateral will be disproportionate to its value or special circumstances require judicial foreclosure. Collection from other sources, including liquidation of security or collateral, is not a prerequisite to requiring payment by a surety or insurance concern unless such action is expressly required by statute or contract. § 102.8

Collection in installments. Claims, with interest in accordance with § 102.10 should be collected in full in one lump sum whenever this is possible. However, if the debtor is financially unable to pay the indebtedness in one lump sum, payment may be accepted in regular installments. The size and frequency of such installment payments should bear a reasonable relation to the

size of the debt and the debtor's ability

to pay. If possible the installment pay- § 102.11 Documentation of administraments should be sufficient in size and

tive collection action. frequency to liquidate the Government's

All administrative collection action claim in not more than 3 years. Install

should be documented and the bases for ment payments of less than $10 per

compromise, or for termination or susmonth should be accepted in only the

pension of collection action, should be most unusual circumstances. An agency

set out in detail. Such documentation holding an unsecured claim for adminis

should be retained in the appropriate trative collection should attempt to ob

claims file. tain an executed confess-judgment note. comparable to the Department of Justice § 102.12 Additional administrative colform USA-70a, from a debtor when the

lection action. total amount of the deferred install

Nothing contained in this chapter is ments will exceed $750. Such notes may

intended to preclude the utilization of be sought when an unsecured obligation

any other administrative remedy which of a lesser amount is involved. Security

may be available. for deferred payments, other than a confess-judgment note, may be accepted in appropriate cases. An agency may accept

PART 103-STANDARDS FOR THE installment payments notwithstanding

COMPROMISE OF CLAIMS the refusal of a debtor to execute a con

Sec. fess-judgment note or to give other

103.1 Scope and application. security, at the agency's option.

103.2 Inability to pay. § 102.9 Exploration of compromise.

103.3 Litigative probabilities.

103.4 Cost of collecting claim. Agencies will attempt to effect compro- 103.5 Enforcement policy. mises (preferably during the course of

103.6 Joint and several liability. personal interviews), of claims of $20,000

103.7 Settlement for a combination of rea

sons. or less exclusive of interest, in accord

103.8 Further review of compromise offers. ance with the standards set forth in Part

103.9 Restrictions. 103 of this chapter in all cases in which it can be ascertained that the debtor's AUTHORITY: The provisions of this part 103 financial ability will not permit payment

issued under sec. 3, 80 Stat. 309; 31 U.S.C.

952. of the claim in full, or in which the litigative risks or the costs of litigation SOURCE: The provisions of this Part 103 apdictate such action.

pear at 31 F.R. 13382, Oct. 15, 1966, unless

otherwise noted. § 102.10 Interest.

§ 103.1 Scope and application. In cases in which prejudgment interest is not mandated by statute, contract or

The standards set forth in this part regulation, the agency may forego the apply to the compromise of claims, collection of prejudgment interest as an pursuant to section 3(b) of the Federal inducement to voluntary payment. In Claims Collection Act of 1966, 80 Stat. such cases demand letters should inform 309, which do not exceed $20,000 excluthe debtor that prejudgment interest will sive of interest. The head of an agency be collected if suit becomes necessary. or his designee may exercise such comWhen a debt is paid in installments and promise authority with respect to claims interest is collected, the installment for money or property arising out of the payments will first be applied to the activities of his agency prior to the repayment of accrued interest and then ferral of such claims to the General to principal, in accordance with the so- Accounting Office or to the Department called “U.S. Rule”, unless a different of Justice for litigation. The Comprule is prescribed by statute, contract or troller General or his designee may exerregulation. Prejudgment interest should cise such compromise authority with not be demanded or collected on civil respect to claims referred to the General penalty and forfeiture claims unless the Accounting Office prior to their further statute under which the claim arises referral for litigation. Only the Compauthorizes the collection of such interest. troller General or his designee may effect See Rodgers v. United States, 332 U.S. the compromise of a claim that arises 371.

out of an exception made by the General Accounting Office in the account of an as Department of Justice form DJ-35 accountable officer, including a claim may be used for this purpose. Similar against the payee, prior to its referral data may be obtained from corporate by that Office for litigation.

debtors by resort to balance sheets and

such additional data as seems required. § 103.2 Inability to pay. A claim may be compromised pursu

§ 103.3 Litigative probabilities. ant to this part if the Government can- A claim may be compromised pursuant not collect the full amount because of to this part if there is a real doubt con(a) the debtor's inability to pay the full cerning the Government's ability to prove amount within a reasonable time, or its case in court for the full amount (b) the refusal of the debtor to pay the claimed either because of the legal isclaim in full and the Government's in- sues involved or a bona fide dispute as to ability to enforce collection in full within the facts. The amount accepted in coma reasonable time by enforced collection promise in such cases should fairly reproceedings. In determining the debt- flect the probability of prevailing on the or's inability to pay the following factors, legal question involved, the probabiliamong others, may be considered: Age ties with respect to full or partial recovand health of the debtor; present and ery of a judgment having due regard to potential income; inheritance prospects; the availability of witnesses and other the possibility that assets have been con- evidentiary support for the Government cealed or improperly transferred by the claim, and related pragmatic consideradebtor; the availability of assets or in- tions. Proportionate weight should be come which may be realized upon by given to the probable amount of court enforced collection proceedings. The costs which may be assessed against the agency will give consideration to the Government if it is unsuccessful in litiapplicable exemptions available to the gation, having regard for the Utigative debtor under State and Federal law in risks involved. Cf. 28 U.S.C. 2412, as determining the Government's ability to amended by Public Law 89-507, 80 Stat. enforce collection. Uncertainty as to the 308. price which collateral or other property will bring at forced sale may prop

§ 103.4 Cost of collecting claim. erly be considered in determining the A claim may be compromised pursuant Government's ability to enforce collec- to this part if the cost of collecting the tion. A compromise effected under this

claim does not justify the enforced colsection should be for an amount which

lection of the full amount. The amount bears reasonable relation to the

accepted in compromise in such cases amount which can be recovered by en

may reflect an appropriate discount for forced collection procedures, having regard for the exemptions available to the

the administrative and litigative costs debtor and the time which collection

of collection having regard for the time will take. Compromises payable in in

which it will take to effect collection. stallments are to be discouraged. How

Cost of collecting may be a substantial ever, if payment of a compromise by

factor in the settlement of small claims. installments is necessary, an agreement The cost of collecting claims normally for the reinstatement of the prior in- will not carry great weight in the settledebtedness less sums paid thereon and ment of large claims. acceleration of the balance due upon

§ 103.5 Enforcement policy. default in the payment of any installment should be obtained, together with Statutory penalties, forfeitures, or security in the manner set forth in

debts established as an aid to enforce§ 102.8 of this chapter, in every case in

ment and to compel compliance may be which this is possible. If the agency's compromised pursuant to this part if files do not contain reasonably up-to- the agency's enforcement policy in terms date credit information as a basis for of deterrence and securing compliance, assessing a compromise proposal such both present and future, will be adeinformation may be obtained from the quately served by acceptance of the sum individual debtor by obtaining a state- to be agreed upon. Mere accidental or ment executed under penalty of perjury technical violations may be dealt with showing the debtor's assets and liabili- less severly than willful and substantial ties, income and expense. Forms such violations.

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