U.S. Code of Federal Regulations

Regulations most recently checked for updates: Feb 22, 2024

§ 2418.4 - What notice will the FLRA send to a debtor when collecting an FLRA debt?

(a) Notice requirements. The FLRA shall aggressively collect FLRA debts. The FLRA shall promptly send at least one written notice to a debtor informing the debtor of the consequences of failing to pay or otherwise resolve an FLRA debt. The notice(s) shall be sent to the debtor at the most current address of the debtor in the FLRA's records. Generally, before starting the collection actions described in §§ 2418.5 and 2418.9 through 2418.16, the FLRA will send no more than two written notices to the debtor. The purpose of the notice(s) is to explain why the debt is owed, the amount of the debt, how a debtor may pay the debt or make alternative payment arrangements, how a debtor may review documents related to the debt, how a debtor may dispute the debt, the collection remedies available to the FLRA if the debtor refuses to pay the debt, and other consequences to the debtor if the debt is not paid. Except as otherwise provided in paragraph (b) of this section, the written notice(s) shall explain to the debtor:

(1) The nature and amount of the debt, and the facts giving rise to the debt;

(2) How interest, penalties, and administrative costs are added to the debt, the date by which payment should be made to avoid such charges, and that such assessments must be made unless excused in accordance with 31 CFR 901.9 (see § 2418.5);

(3) The date by which payment should be made to avoid the enforced collection actions described in paragraph (a)(6) of this section;

(4) The FLRA's willingness to discuss alternative payment arrangements and how the debtor may enter into a written agreement to repay the debt under terms acceptable to the FLRA (see § 2418.6);

(5) The name, address, and telephone number of a contact person or office within the FLRA;

(6) The FLRA's intention to enforce collection if the debtor fails to pay or otherwise resolve the debt, by taking one or more of the following actions:

(i) Offset. Offset the debtor's Federal payments, including income-tax refunds, salary, certain benefit payments (such as Social Security), retirement, vendor, travel reimbursements and advances, and other Federal payments (see §§ 2418.10 through 2418.12);

(ii) Private collection agency. Refer the debt to a private collection agency (see § 2418.15);

(iii) Credit-bureau reporting. Report the debt to a credit bureau (see § 2418.14);

(iv) Administrative wage garnishment. Garnish the debtor's wages through administrative wage garnishment (see § 2418.13);

(v) Litigation. Refer the debt to the Department of Justice to initiate litigation to collect the debt (see § 2418.16);

(vi) Treasury Department's Financial Management Service. Refer the debt to the Financial Management Service for collection (see § 2418.9);

(7) That Treasury debts over 180 days delinquent must be referred to the Financial Management Service for the collection actions described in paragraph (a)(6) of this section (see § 2418.9);

(8) How the debtor may inspect and copy records related to the debt;

(9) How the debtor may request a review of the FLRA's determination that the debtor owes a debt and present evidence that the debt is not delinquent or legally enforceable (see §§ 2418.10(c) and 2418.11(c));

(10) How a debtor may request a hearing if the FLRA intends to garnish the debtor's private-sector (i.e., non-Federal) wages (see § 2418.13(a)), including:

(i) The method and time period for requesting a hearing;

(ii) That the timely filing of a request for a hearing on or before the 15th business day following the date of the notice will stay the commencement of administrative wage garnishment, but not necessarily other collection procedures; and

(iii) The name and address of the office to which the request for a hearing should be sent.

(11) How a debtor who is a Federal employee subject to Federal salary offset may request a hearing (see § 2418.12(e)), including:

(i) The method and time period for requesting a hearing;

(ii) That the timely filing of a request for a hearing on or before the 15th calendar day following receipt of the notice will stay the commencement of salary offset, but not necessarily other collection procedures;

(iii) The name and address of the office to which the request for a hearing should be sent;

(iv) That the FLRA will refer the debt to the debtor's employing agency or to the Financial Management Service to implement salary offset, unless the employee files a timely request for a hearing;

(v) That a final decision on the hearing, if requested, will be issued at the earliest practical date, but not later than 60 days after the filing of the request for a hearing, unless the employee requests and the hearing official grants a delay in the proceedings;

(vi) That any knowingly false or frivolous statements, representations, or evidence may subject the Federal employee to penalties under the False Claims Act (31 U.S.C. 3729–3731) or other applicable statutory authority, and criminal penalties under 18 U.S.C. 286,287,1001,and,or;

(vii) That, unless prohibited by contract or statute, amounts paid on or deducted for the debt that are later waived or found not owed to the United States will be promptly refunded to the employee; and

(viii) That 5 U.S.C. 5514 and 31 U.S.C. 3716 govern proceedings with respect to such debt.

(12) How the debtor may request a waiver of the debt, if applicable (see Appendix A of this part);

(13) How the debtor's spouse may claim his or her share of a joint-income-tax refund by filing Form 8379 with the Internal Revenue Service (see http://www.irs.gov);

(14) How the debtor may exercise other statutory or regulatory rights and remedies available to the debtor;

(15) That an employee's involuntary payment of all or any portion of a debt being collected will not be construed as a waiver of any rights that the employee may have under any provision of contract or law, unless there are statutory, regulatory, or contractual provisions to the contrary; and

(16) That the debtor should advise the FLRA of a bankruptcy proceeding of the debtor or another person liable for the debt being collected.

(b) Exceptions to notice requirements. The FLRA may omit from a notice to a debtor one or more of the provisions contained in paragraphs (a)(6) through (16) of this section if the FLRA, in consultation with its legal counsel, determines that any provision is not legally required given the collection remedies to be applied to a particular debt.

(c) Respond to debtors; comply with FCCS. The FLRA will respond promptly to communications from debtors and comply with other FCCS provisions applicable to the administrative collection of debts. See 31 CFR part 901.