U.S. Code of Federal Regulations

Regulations most recently checked for updates: Feb 29, 2024

§ 20.7 - Review of the obligation.

(a) The debtor shall have the opportunity to obtain review by the responsible agency of the initial decision concerning the existence or amount of the debt.

(b) The debtor seeking review shall make the request in writing to the reviewing official or employee, not more than 15 days from the date the initial demand letter was received by the debtor. The request for review shall state the basis for challenging the initial determination. If the debtor alleges that specific information to be disclosed to a credit reporting agency is not accurate, timely, relevant or complete, such debtor shall provide information or documentation to support this allegation.

(c) The review shall ordinarily be based on written submissions and documentation by the debtor. However a reasonable opportunity for an oral hearing shall be provided an individual debtor when the responsible agency determines that:

(1) An applicable statute authorizes or requires the agency to consider waiver of the indebtedness involved, the debtor requests waiver of the indebtedness, and the waiver determination turns on an issue of credibility or veracity; or

(2) An individual debtor requests reconsideration of the debt and the agency determines that the question of the indebtedness cannot be resolved by review of the documentary evidence, for example, when the validity of the debt turns on an issue of credibility or veracity; or

(3) In other situations in which the agency deems an oral hearing appropriate. Unless otherwise required by law an oral hearing under this section is not required to be a formal evidentiary-type hearing, although the reviewing official should carefully document all significant matters discussed at the hearing.

(d) Upon receipt of a timely request for review, the agency shall suspend its schedule for disclosure of a delinquent consumer debt to a consumer credit reporting agency until such time as a final decision is made on the request.

(e) Upon completion of the review, the reviewing official shall transmit to the debtor a written notification of the decision. If appropriate, this notification shall inform the debtor of the scheduled date on or after which information concerning the debt will be provided to credit reporting agencies. The notification shall, also if appropriate, indicate any changes in the information to be disclosed to the extent such information differs from that provided in the initial notification.

(f) Nothing in this subpart shall preclude an agency, upon request of the debtor alleged by the agency to be responsible for a debt, or on its own initiative, from reviewing the obligation of such debtor, including an opportunity for reconsideration of the initial decision concerning the debt, and including the accuracy, timeliness, relevance, and completeness of the information to be disclosed to a credit reporting agency.

(g) To the extent that the requirements under this section have been provided to the debtor in relation to the same debt under some other statutory or regulatory authority, the agency is not required to duplicate such efforts.

(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control number 1225–0030)