U.S. Code of Federal Regulations

Regulations most recently checked for updates: Oct 07, 2022

§ 845.405 - Creditor agency processing for non-fraud claims.

(a) Where to submit the debt claim, judgment or notice of debt - (1) Creditor agencies that are not the debtor's paying agency. (i) If the creditor agency knows that the debtor is employed by the Federal Government, it should send the debt claim to the debtor's paying agency for collection.

(ii) If some of the debt is unpaid after the debtor separates from the paying agency, the creditor agency should send the debt claim to OPM as described in paragraph (b) of this section.

(2) Creditor agencies that are the debtor's paying agency. Ordinarily, debts owed the paying agency should be offset under 31 U.S.C. 3716 from any final payments (salary, accrued annual leave, etc.) due the debtor. If a balance is due after offsetting the final payments or the debt is discovered after the debtor has been paid, the paying agency may send the debt claim to OPM as described in paragraph (b) of this section.

(b) Procedures for submitting debt claim, judgment or notice of debt to OPM - (1) Debt claims for which the agency has a court judgment. If the creditor agency has a court judgment against the debtor specifying the amount of the debt to be recovered, the agency should send the debt claim and two certified copies of the judgment to OPM.

(2) Debt claims previously processed under 5 U.S.C. 5514. If the creditor agency previously processed the debt claim under 5 U.S.C. 5514,it; and

(ii) Send the debt claim to OPM with two copies of the paying agency's certification of the amount collected and one copy of the notice to the debtor that the claim was sent to OPM.

(3) Debt claims not processed under 5 U.S.C. 5514,reduced,or. (i) If the debt claim was not processed under 5 U.S.C. 5514,reduced,the.4 by issuing written notice to the debtor of the nature and amount of the debt, the agency's intention to collect by offset, the opportunity to obtain review within the agency of the determination of indebtedness, and the opportunity to enter into a written agreement with the agency to repay the debt; and

(B) Complete the appropriate debt claim.

(ii) If the debtor does not respond to the creditor agency's notice within the allotted time and there is no reason to believe that he or she did not receive the notice, the creditor agency may submit the debt claim to OPM after certifying that notice was issued and the debtor failed to reply.

(iii) If the debtor responds to the notice by requesting a review (or hearing if one is available), the review (or hearing) must be completed before the creditor agency submits the debt claim.

(iv) If the debtor receives the notice and responds by consenting to the collection, the creditor agency must send (to OPM) a copy of the debtor's consent along with the debt claim.

(4) Debt claims excepted from procedures described in paragraph (b)(3) of this section. Creditor agencies must follow specific procedures approved by OPM, rather than those described in paragraph (b)(3) of this section, for the collection of -

(i) Debts due because of the individual's failure to pay health benefits premiums while he or she was in nonpay status or while his or her salary was not sufficient to cover the cost of premiums;

(ii) Unpaid Federal taxes to be collected by Internal Revenue Service levy;

(iii) Premiums due because of the annuitant's election of Part B, Medicare coverage (retroactive collection limited to 6 months of premiums); or

(iv) Overpaid military retired pay an annuitant elects in writing to have withheld from his or her annuity.

(5) General certification requirements for debt claims. Creditor agencies submitting debt claims must certify -

(i) That the debt is owed to the United States;

(ii) The amount and reason for the debt and whether additional interest accrues;

(iii) The date the Government's right to collect the debt first accrued;

(iv) That the agency has complied with the applicable statutes, regulations, and OPM procedures;

(v) That if a competent administrative or judicial authority issues an order directing OPM to pay a debtor an amount previously paid to the agency (regardless of the reasons behind the order), the agency will reimburse OPM or pay the debtor directly within 15 days of the date of the order.

Note:

OPM may, at its discretion, decline to collect other debt claims sent by an agency that does not abide by this certification.

(vi) If the collection will be in installments, the amount or percentage of net annuity in each installment; and

(vii) If the debtor does not (in writing) consent to the offset, or does not (in writing) acknowledge receipt of the required notices and procedures, or the creditor agency does not document a judgment offset or a previous salary offset, identify the action(s) taken to comply with 4 CFR 102.3, including any required hearing or review, and give the date(s) the action(s) was taken.

(6) Notice of debt. When a creditor agency cannot send a complete debt claim, it should notify OPM of the existence of the debt so that the lump-sum will not be paid before the debt claim arrives.

(i) The notice to OPM must include a statement that the debt is owed to the United States, the date the debt first accrued, and the basis for and amount of the debt, if known. If the amount of the debt is not known, the agency must establish the amount and notify OPM in writing as soon as possible after submitting the notice.

(ii) The creditor agency may either notify OPM by making a notation in column 8 [Remarks] under “Fiscal Record” on the Individual Retirement Record, if the Individual Retirement Record is in its possession, or if not, by submitting a separate document identifying the debtor by name, giving his or her date of birth, social security number, and date of separation, if known.

(c) Time limits for sending records and debt claims to OPM - (1) Time limits for submitting debt claims. Unless there is an application for refund pending, there is no specific time for submitting a debt claim or notice of debt to OPM. Generally, however, agencies must file a debt claim before the statute of limitations expires (4 CFR 102.4(c)) or before a refund is paid. Time limits are imposed (see § 845.406(a)) when the debtor is eligible for a refund and OPM receives his or her application requesting payment. In this situation, creditor agencies must file a complete debt claim within 120 days (or 180 days if the agency requests an extension of time before the refund is paid) of the date OPM requests a complete debt claim.

(2) Time limit for submitting retirement records to OPM. A paying agency must send the Individual Retirement Record to OPM no later than 60 days after the separation, termination, or entrance on duty in a position in which the employee is not covered by FERS.