United States Code
USC most recently checked for updates: Jun 02, 2023
Definitions and application
In this chapter—
“administrative offset” means withholding funds payable by the United States (including funds payable by the United States on behalf of a State government) to, or held by the United States for, a person to satisfy a claim.
“calendar quarter” means a 3-month period beginning on January 1, April 1, July 1, or October 1.
“consumer reporting agency” means—
a consumer reporting agency as that term is defined in section 603(f) of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (15 U.S.C. 1681a(f)); or
a person that, for money or on a cooperative basis, regularly—
gets information on consumers to give the information to a consumer reporting agency; or
serves as a marketing agent under an arrangement allowing a third party to get the information from a consumer reporting agency.
“executive, judicial, or legislative agency” means a department, agency, court, court administrative office, or instrumentality in the executive, judicial, or legislative branch of Government, including government corporations.
“military department” means the Departments of the Army, Navy, and Air Force.
“system of records” has the same meaning given that term in section 552a(a)(5) of title 5.
“uniformed services” means the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Space Force, Coast Guard, Commissioned Corps of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and Commissioned Corps of the Public Health Service.
“nontax” means, with respect to any debt or claim, any debt or claim other than a debt or claim under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.
In subchapter II of this chapter and subsection (a)(8) of this section, the term “claim” or “debt” means any amount of funds or property that has been determined by an appropriate official of the Federal Government to be owed to the United States by a person, organization, or entity other than another Federal agency. A claim includes, without limitation—
funds owed on account of loans made, insured, or guaranteed by the Government, including any deficiency or any difference between the price obtained by the Government in the sale of a property and the amount owed to the Government on a mortgage on the property,
expenditures of nonappropriated funds, including actual and administrative costs related to shoplifting, theft detection, and theft prevention,
over-payments, including payments disallowed by audits performed by the Inspector General of the agency administering the program,
any amount the United States is authorized by statute to collect for the benefit of any person,
the unpaid share of any non-Federal partner in a program involving a Federal payment and a matching, or cost-sharing, payment by the non-Federal partner,
any fines or penalties assessed by an agency; 1
1So in original. The semicolon probably should be a comma.
other amounts of money or property owed to the Government.
For purposes of section 3716 of this title, each of the terms “claim” and “debt” includes an amount of funds or property owed by a person to a State (including any past-due support being enforced by the State), the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, the United States Virgin Islands, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
In sections 3716 and 3717 of this title, the term “person” does not include an agency of the United States Government.
Sections 3711(e) and 3716–3719 of this title do not apply to a claim or debt under, or to an amount payable under—
the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (26 U.S.C. 1 et seq.),
the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 301 et seq.), except to the extent provided under sections 204(f) and 1631(b)(4) of such Act and section 3716(c) of this title, or
the tariff laws of the United States.
“creditor agency” means any agency owed a claim that seeks to collect that claim through administrative offset; and
“payment certifying agency” means any agency that has transmitted a voucher to a disbursing official for disbursement.
In section 3711 of this title, “private collection contractor” means private debt collectors under contract with an agency to collect a nontax debt or claim owed the United States. The term includes private debt collectors, collection agencies, and commercial attorneys.
(Pub. L. 97–258,
Sept. 13, 1982, 96 Stat. 970; Pub. L. 97–452, § 1(13)(A), Jan. 12, 1983, 96 Stat. 2469; Pub. L. 99–514, § 2, Oct. 22, 1986, 100 Stat. 2095; Pub. L. 103–387, § 5(b), Oct. 22, 1994, 108 Stat. 4077; Pub. L. 104–134, title III, § 31001(c)(2), (d)(1), (3), (z)(1), Apr. 26, 1996, 110 Stat. 1321–359, 1321–361, 1321–378; Pub. L. 104–316, title I, § 115(g)(2)(A), Oct. 19, 1996, 110 Stat. 3835; Pub. L. 106–169, title II, § 203(b), Dec. 14, 1999, 113 Stat. 1832; Pub. L. 107–107, div. A, title III, § 335, Dec. 28, 2001, 115 Stat. 1060; Pub. L. 116–283, div. A, title IX, § 927(d)(1), Jan. 1, 2021, 134 Stat. 3831.)
cite as: 31 USC 3701