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Title 10 Part 15 → Subpart B

Title 10 → Chapter I → Part 15 → Subpart B

Electronic Code of Federal Regulations e-CFR

Title 10 Part 15 → Subpart B

e-CFR data is current as of November 12, 2019

Title 10Chapter IPart 15 → Subpart B


Title 10: Energy
PART 15—DEBT COLLECTION PROCEDURES


§15.20   Aggressive agency collection activity.

(a) The NRC shall take aggressive action to collect all debts. These collection activities will be undertaken promptly and follow-up action will be taken as appropriate. These regulations do not require the Department of Justice, Department of the Treasury (Treasury), or any other Treasury-designated collection center to duplicate collection activities previously undertaken by NRC.

(b) Debt referred or transferred to Treasury or to a Treasury-designated debt collection center under the authority of 31 U.S.C. 3711(g) must be serviced, collected, or compromised, or the collection action will be suspended or terminated, in accordance with the statutory requirements and authorities applicable to the collection of the debts.

(c) The NRC shall cooperate with other agencies in their debt collection activities.

(d) The NRC will consider referring debts that are less than 120 days delinquent to Treasury or to a Treasury-designated debt collection center to accomplish efficient, cost-effective debt collection. Referrals to debt collection centers are at the discretion of, and for a time period acceptable to, Treasury.

(e) The NRC shall transfer any debt that has been delinquent for 120 days or more to Treasury so that it may take appropriate action to collect the debt or terminate collection actions. This requirement does not apply to any debt that—

(1) Is in litigation or foreclosure;

(2) Will be disposed of under an approved asset sale program;

(3) Has been referred to a private collection contractor for a period of time acceptable to Treasury;

(4) Is at a debt collection center for a period of time acceptable to Treasury;

(5) Will be collected under internal offset procedures within 3 years after the date the debt first became delinquent; or

(6) Is exempt from this requirement based on a determination by Treasury that exemption for a certain class of debt is in the best interest of the United States.

(f) Agencies operating Treasury-designated debt collection centers are authorized to charge a fee for services rendered regarding referred or transferred debts. The fee may be paid out of amounts collected and may be added to the debt as an administrative cost.

[67 FR 30319, May 6, 2002, as amended at 79 FR 66602, Nov. 10, 2014]

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§15.21   Written demands for payment.

(a) The NRC shall make appropriate written demands upon the debtor for payment of money or the return of specific property in terms which specify:

(1) The basis of the indebtedness and the right of the debtor to seek review within the NRC;

(2) The amount claimed;

(3) A description of any property which is to be returned by a date certain;

(4) The date on which payment is to be made (which is normally the date the initial written demand letter statement was mailed or hand delivered, unless otherwise specified by contractual agreement, established by Federal statute or regulation, or agreed to under a payment agreement);

(5) The applicable standards for assessing interest, penalties, and administrative costs under 31 CFR 901.9;

(6) The applicable policy for reporting the delinquent debt to consumer reporting agencies; and

(7) The name, address, and phone number of a contact person or office within the NRC will be included with each demand letter.

(b) The NRC shall normally send two demand letters to debtors. The initial demand letter will be followed approximately 30 days later with a second demand letter, unless circumstances indicate that alternative remedies better protect the Government's interest, that the debtor has explicitly refused to pay, or that sending a further demand letter is futile. Depending upon the circumstances, the first and second demand letters may—

(1) Offer or seek to confer with the debtor;

(2) State the amount of the interest and penalties that will be added on a daily basis as well as the administrative costs that will be added to the debt until the debt is paid; and

(3) State that the authorized collection procedures include any procedure authorized in this part including:

(i) Contacts with the debtor's employer when the debtor is employed by the Federal Government or is a member of the military establishment or the Coast Guard;

(ii) The NRC may report debts to credit bureaus, refer debts to debt collection centers and collection agencies for cross-servicing (including wage garnishment), tax refund offset, administrative offset, and litigation. Any eligible debt that is delinquent for 180 days or more will be transferred to the Treasury for collection. Credit bureau reporting for transferred debts will be handled by Treasury or a Treasury-designated center.

(iii) Possible reporting of the delinquent debt to consumer reporting agencies in accordance with the guidance and standards contained in 31 CFR 901.4.

(iv) The suspension or revocation of a license or other remedy under §15.29;

(v) Installment payments possibly requiring security; and

(vi) The right to refer the claim to DOJ for litigation.

(c) The NRC shall normally send only one written demand to a debtor who is a current NRC employee. The procedure described in §15.33 and 10 CFR part 16 will be followed if full payment is not received either 30 days from the date the initial written demand was mailed or hand delivered. If the NRC cannot obtain full payment by following the procedures described in §15.33 and 10 CFR part 16, the NRC may follow other collection procedures described in this subpart.

(d) The failure to state in a letter of demand a matter described in §15.21 is not a defense for a debtor and does not prevent the NRC from proceeding with respect to that matter.

(e) When the NRC learns that a bankruptcy petition has been filed with respect to a debtor, the NRC will cease collection action immediately unless it has been determined that under 11 U.S.C. 362, the automatic stay has been lifted or is no longer in effect.

[47 FR 7616, Feb. 22, 1982, as amended at 55 FR 32378, Aug. 9, 1990; 56 FR 51830, Oct. 16, 1991; 67 FR 30319, May 6, 2002]

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§15.23   Telephone or internet inquiries and investigations.

(a) If a debtor has not responded to one or more demands, the NRC shall make reasonable efforts by telephone or internet to determine the debtor's intentions.

(b) The NRC may undertake an investigation to locate a debtor if the whereabouts of a debtor is a problem, or if a debtor cannot be contacted by telephone.

(c) The NRC, under 15 U.S.C. 1681(f), may obtain consumer credit information from private firms, including the name, address, former addresses, place of employment, and former places of employment of a debtor.

[47 FR 7616, Feb. 22, 1982, as amended at 67 FR 30319, May 6, 2002]

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§15.25   Personal interviews.

(a) The NRC may seek an interview with the debtor at the offices of the NRC when—

(1) A matter involved in the claim needs clarification;

(2) Information is needed concerning the debtor's circumstances; or

(3) An agreement for payment might be negotiated.

(b) The NRC shall grant an interview with a debtor upon the debtor's request. The NRC will not reimburse a debtor's interview expenses.

[47 FR 7616, Feb. 22, 1982, as amended at 55 FR 32378, Aug. 9, 1990]

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§15.26   Reporting claims.

(a) In addition to assessing interest, penalties, and administrative costs under §15.37, the NRC may report a debt that has been delinquent for 90 days to a consumer reporting agency if all the conditions of this paragraph are met.

(1) The debtor has not—

(i) Paid or agreed to pay the debt under a written payment plan that has been signed by the debtor and agreed to by the NRC; or

(ii) Filed for review of the debt under §15.26 (a)(2)(iv).

(2) The NRC has included a notification in the second written demand (see §15.21(b)) to the individual debtor stating—

(i) That the payment of the debt is delinquent;

(ii) That within not less than 60 days after the date of the notification, the NRC intends to disclose to a consumer reporting agency that the individual debtor is responsible for the debt;

(iii) The specific information to be disclosed to the consumer reporting agency; and

(iv) That the debtor has a right to a complete explanation of the debt (if that has not already been given), to dispute information in NRC records about the debt, and to request reconsideration of the debt by administrative appeal or review of the debt.

(3) The NRC has reconsidered its initial decision on the debt when the debtor has requested a review under paragraph (a)(2)(iv) of this section.

(4) The NRC has taken reasonable action to locate a debtor for whom the NRC does not have a current address to send the notification provided for in paragraph (a)(2) of this section.

(b) If there is a substantial change in the condition or amount of the debt, the NRC shall—

(1) Promptly disclose that fact(s) to each consumer reporting agency to which the original disclosure was made;

(2) Promptly verify or correct information about a debt on request of a consumer reporting agency for verification of information disclosed by the NRC; and,

(3) Obtain assurances from the consumer reporting agency that the agency is complying with all applicable Federal, state and local laws relating to its use of consumer credit information.

(c) The information the NRC discloses to the consumer reporting agency is limited to—

(1) Information necessary to establish the identity of the individual debtor, including name, address, and taxpayer identification number;

(2) The amount, status, and history of the debt; and

(3) The NRC activity under which the debt arose.

[55 FR 32378, Aug. 9, 1990, as amended at 67 FR 30319, May 6, 2002]

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§15.27   Contact with debtor's employing agency.

If the debtor is employed by the Federal government or is a member of the military establishment or the Coast Guard, collection by offset must be accomplished in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 5514 and the provisions of 10 CFR part 16.

[56 FR 51830, Oct. 16, 1991]

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§15.29   Suspension or revocation of license.

In non-bankruptcy cases, the NRC may suspend or revoke any license, permit, or approval which the NRC has granted to the debtor for any inexcusable, prolonged, or repeated failure of the debtor to pay a delinquent debt. Before suspending or revoking any license, permit, or approval for failure to pay a debt, the NRC shall issue to the debtor (by certified mail) an order or a demand for information as to why the license, permit, or approval should not be suspended or revoked. The NRC shall allow the debtor no more than 30 days to pay the debt in full, including applicable interest, penalties, and administrative costs of collection of the delinquent debt. The NRC may revoke the license, permit, or approval at the end of this period. If a license is revoked under authority of this part, a new application, with appropriate fees, must be made to the NRC. The NRC may not consider an application unless all previous delinquent debts of the debtor to the NRC have been paid in full. The suspension or revocation of a license, permit, or approval is also applicable to Federal programs or activities that are administered by the states on behalf of the Federal Government to the extent that they affect the Federal Government's ability to collect money or funds owed by debtors. In bankruptcy cases, before advising the debtor of NRC's intention to suspend or revoke licenses, permits, or approvals, the NRC will seek legal advice from its Office of the General Counsel concerning the impact of the Bankruptcy Code which may restrict such action.

[67 FR 30320, May 6, 2002]

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§15.31   Disputed debts.

(a) A debtor who disputes a debt shall explain why the debt is incorrect in fact or in law within 30 days from the date that the initial demand letter was mailed or hand-delivered. The debtor may support the explanation by affidavits, cancelled checks, or other relevant evidence.

(b) If the debtor's arguments appear to have merit, the NRC may extend the interest waiver period as described in §15.37(j) pending a final determination of the existence or amount of the debt.

(c) The NRC may investigate the facts involved in the dispute and, if it considers it necessary, arrange for a conference at which the debtor may present evidence and any arguments in support of the debtor's position.

[47 FR 76716, Feb. 22, 1982, as amended at 55 FR 32379, Aug. 9, 1990]

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§15.32   Contracting for collection services.

The NRC may contract for collection services in order to recover delinquent debts only if the debts are not subject to the DCIA requirement to transfer debts to Treasury for debt collection services, e.g. debts that are less than 180 days delinquent. However, the NRC retains the authority to resolve disputes, compromise claims, suspend or terminate collection action, and initiate enforced collection through litigation. When appropriate, the NRC shall contract for collection services in accordance with the guidance and standards contained in 31 CFR chapter IX, parts 900-904.

[67 FR 30320, May 6, 2002]

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§15.33   Collection by administrative offset.

(a) Application. (1) The NRC may administratively undertake collection by centralized offset on each claim which is liquidated or certain in amount in accordance with the guidance and standards in 31 CFR Chapter IX, parts 900-904 and 5 U.S.C. 5514.

(2) This section does not apply to:

(i) Debts arising under the Social Security Act, except as provided in 42 U.S.C. 404;

(ii) Payments made under the Social Security Act, except as provided for in 31 U.S.C. 3716(c) (see 31 CFR 285.4, Federal Benefit Offset);

(iii) Debts arising under, or payments made under, the Internal Revenue Code (see 31 CFR 285.2, Tax Refund Offset) or the tariff laws of the United States;

(iv) Offsets against Federal salaries to the extent these standards are inconsistent with regulations published to implement such offsets under 5 U.S.C. 5514 and 31 U.S.C. 3716 (see 5 CFR part 550, subpart K, and 31 CFR 285.7, Federal Salary Offset);

(v) Offsets under 31 U.S.C. 3728 against a judgment obtained by a debtor against the United States;

(vi) Offsets or recoupments under common law, State law, or Federal statutes specifically prohibiting offsets or recoupments of particular types of debts; or

(vii) Offsets in the course of judicial proceedings, including bankruptcy.

(3) Unless otherwise provided for by contract or law, debts or payments that are not subject to administrative offset under 31 U.S.C. 3716 may be collected by administrative offset under the common law or their applicable statutory authority.

(4) Unless otherwise provided by law, the NRC may not initiate administrative offset of payments under the authority of 31 U.S.C. 3716 to collect a debt more than 10 years after the Government's right to collect the debt first accrued, unless facts material to the Government's right to collect the debt were not known and could not reasonably have been known to the NRC, or collection of “approval” fees has been deferred under 10 CFR part 170. If the collection of “approval” fees has been deferred, the ten-year period begins to run at the end of the deferral period.

(5) In bankruptcy cases, the NRC will seek legal advice from its Office of the General Counsel concerning the impact of the Bankruptcy Code on pending or contemplated collections by offset.

(b) Mandatory centralized offset. (1) The NRC is required to refer past due, legally enforceable, nontax debts that are over 120 days delinquent to Treasury for collection by centralized administrative offset. A debt is legally enforceable if there has been a final NRC determination that the debt, in the amount stated, is due and there are no legal bars to collection action. Debts that are less than 120 days delinquent also may be referred to Treasury for this purpose.

(2) The names and taxpayer identifying numbers (TINs) of debtors who owe debts referred to Treasury as described in paragraph (b)(1) of this section must be compared to the names and TINs on payments to be made by Federal disbursing officials. Federal disbursing officials include disbursing officials of Treasury, the Department of Defense, the United States Postal Service, other Government corporations, and disbursing officials of the United States designated by Treasury. When the name and TIN of a debtor match the name and TIN of a payee and all other requirements for offset have been met, the payment will be offset to satisfy the debt.

(3) Federal disbursing officials will notify the debtor/payee in writing that an offset has occurred to satisfy, in part or in full, a past due, legally enforceable delinquent debt. The notice must include a description of the type and amount of the payment from which the offset was taken, the amount of offset that was taken, the identity of the creditor agency (NRC) requesting the offset, and a contact point within NRC who will respond to questions regarding the offset

(c) NRC administrative offset. (1) Before referring a delinquent debt to Treasury for administrative offset, the NRC adopts the following administrative offset procedures:

(i) Offsets may be initiated only after the debtor has been sent written notice of the type and amount of the debt, the intention of the NRC to use administrative offset to collect the debt, and an explanation of the debtor's rights under 31 U.S.C. 3716; and

(ii) The debtor has been given—

(A) The opportunity to inspect and copy NRC records related to the debt;

(B) The opportunity for a review within the NRC of the determination of indebtedness; and

(C) The opportunity to make a written agreement to repay the debt.

(iii) The procedures set forth in paragraph (c)(1)(i) of this section may be omitted when—

(A) The offset is in the nature of a recoupment;

(B) The debt arises under a contract as set forth in Cecile Industries, Inc. v. Cheney, 995 F.2d 1052 (Fed. Cir. 1993) (notice and other procedural protections set forth in 31 U.S.C. 3716(a) do not supplant or restrict established procedures for contractual offsets accommodated by the Contracts Disputes Act); or

(C) The NRC first learns of the existence of the amount owed by the debtor when there is insufficient time before payment would be made to the debtor/payee to allow for prior notice and an opportunity for review. This applies to non-centralized offsets conducted under paragraph (d) of this section. When prior notice and an opportunity for review are omitted, the NRC shall give the debtor notice and an opportunity for review as soon as practicable and shall refund any money ultimately found not to have been owed to the NRC.

(iv) When an agency previously has given a debtor any of the required notice and review opportunities with respect to a particular debt (31 CFR 901.2), the NRC need not duplicate the notice and review opportunities before administrative offset may be initiated.

(2) When referring delinquent debts to Treasury, the NRC shall certify, in a form acceptable to Treasury, that:

(i) The debt is past due and legally enforceable; and

(ii) The NRC has complied with all due process requirements under 31 U.S.C. 3716(a) and the NRC's regulations.

(3) Payments that are prohibited by law from being offset are exempt from centralized administrative offset. The Treasury shall exempt payments under means-tested programs from centralized administrative offset when requested in writing by the head of the payment-certifying or authorizing agency. Also, the Treasury may exempt other classes of payments from centralized offset upon the written request of the head of the payment-certifying or authorizing agency.

(4) Benefit payments made under the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 301 et seq.), part B of the Black Lung Benefits Act (30 U.S.C. 921 et seq.), and any law administered by the Railroad Retirement Board (other than tier 2 benefits), may be offset only in accordance with Treasury regulations, issued in consultation with the Social Security Administration, the Railroad Retirement Board, and the Office of Management and Budget (31 CFR 285.4).

(5) In accordance with 31 U.S.C. 3716(f), the Treasury may waive the provisions of the Computer Matching and Privacy Protection Act of 1988 concerning matching agreements and post-match notification and verification (5 U.S.C. 552a(o) and (p)) for centralized administrative offset upon receipt of a certification from the NRC that the due process requirements enumerated in 31 U.S.C. 3716(a) have been met. The certification of a debt in accordance with paragraph (c)(2) of this section will satisfy this requirement. If a waiver is granted, only the Data Integrity Board of the Department of the Treasury is required to oversee any matching activities, in accordance with 31 U.S.C. 3716(g). This waiver authority does not apply to offsets conducted under paragraphs (c) and (d) of this section.

(d) Non-centralized administrative offset. (1) Generally, non-centralized administrative offsets are ad hoc case-by-case offsets that NRC would conduct, at its discretion, internally or in cooperation with the agency certifying or authorizing payments to the debtor. Unless otherwise prohibited by law, when centralized administrative offset is not available or appropriate, past due, legally enforceable, nontax delinquent debts may be collected through non-centralized administrative offset. In these cases, the NRC may make a request directly to a payment-authorizing agency to offset a payment due a debtor to collect a delinquent debt. For example, the NRC will request the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to offset a Federal employee's lump sum payment upon leaving Government service to satisfy an unpaid advance.

(2) Before requesting Treasury to conduct a non-centralized administrative offset, the NRC adopts the following procedures, which provide that such offsets may occur only after:

(i) The debtor has been provided due process as set forth in paragraph (c)(1) of this section; and

(ii) The Treasury has received written certification from NRC that the debtor owes the past due, legally enforceable delinquent debt in the amount stated, and that the NRC has fully complied with its regulations concerning administrative offset.

(3) Treasury shall comply with offset requests by NRC to collect debts owed to the United States, unless the offset would not be in the best interests of the United States with respect to the Treasury's program, or would otherwise be contrary to law. Appropriate use should be made of the cooperative efforts of other agencies in effecting collection by administrative offset.

(4) When collecting multiple debts by non-centralized administrative offset, the NRC will apply the recovered amounts to those debts in accordance with the best interests of the United States, as determined by the facts and circumstances of the particular case, particularly the applicable statute of limitations.

(e) Requests to OPM to offset a debtor's anticipated or future benefit payment under the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund. Upon providing OPM written certification that a debtor has been afforded the procedures provided in paragraph (c)(1) of this section, the NRC will request OPM to offset a debtor's anticipated or future benefit payments under the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund (Fund) in accordance with regulations codified at 5 CFR 831.1801-831.1808. Upon receipt of such a request, OPM will identify and “flag” a debtor's account in anticipation of the time when the debtor requests, or becomes eligible to receive, payments from the Fund. This will satisfy any requirement that offset be initiated prior to the expiration of the time limitations referenced in paragraph (a)(4) of this section.

(f) Review requirements. (1) For purposes of this section, whenever the NRC is required to afford a debtor a review within the agency, the NRC shall provide the debtor with a reasonable opportunity for an oral hearing in accordance with 10 CFR 16.9, when the debtor requests reconsideration of the debt, and the NRC 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.

(2) Unless otherwise required by law, an oral hearing under this section is not required to be a formal evidentiary hearing, although the NRC should carefully document all significant matters discussed at the hearing.

(3) This section does not require an oral hearing with respect to debt collection systems in which a determination of indebtedness rarely involves issues of credibility or veracity, and the NRC has determined that review of the written record is ordinarily an adequate means to correct prior mistakes.

(4) In those cases in which an oral hearing is not required by this section, the NRC shall accord the debtor a “paper hearing,” that is, a determination of the request for reconsideration based upon a review of the written record.

[67 FR 30320, May 6, 2002, as amended at 79 FR 66602, Nov. 10, 2014]

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§15.35   Payments.

(a) Payment in full. The NRC shall make every effort to collect a claim in full before it becomes delinquent. If a claim is paid in one lump sum after it becomes delinquent, the NRC shall impose charges for interest, penalties, and administrative costs as specified in §15.37.

(b) Payment by installment. If a debtor furnishes satisfactory evidence of inability to pay a claim in one lump sum, payment in regular installments may be arranged. Evidence may consist of a financial statement or a signed statement that the debtor's application for a loan to enable the debtor to pay the claim in full was rejected. Except for a claim described in 5 U.S.C. 5514 and codified in 10 CFR part 16, all installment payment arrangements must be in writing and require the payment of interest and administrative charges.

(1) Installment note forms may be used. The written installment agreement must contain a provision accelerating the debt payment in the event the debtor defaults. If the debtor's financial statement discloses the ownership of assets which are free and clear of liens or security interests, or assets in which the debtor owns an equity, the debtor may be asked to secure the payment of an installment note by executing a Security Agreement and Financing Statement transferring to the United States a security interest in the asset until the debt is discharged.

(2) If the debtor owes more than one debt, the NRC will apply the payment to the various debts in accordance with the best interests of the United States, as determined by the facts and circumstances of the particular case.

(c) To whom payment is made. Payment of a debt is made by check, electronic transfer, draft, credit card, or money order and should be payable to the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission, License Fee and Accounts Receivable Branch, P.O. Box 954514, St. Louis, MO. 63195-4514, unless payment is—

(1) Made pursuant to arrangements with DOJ;

(2) Ordered by a Court of the United States; or

(3) Otherwise directed in any other part of this chapter.

[47 FR 7616, Feb. 22, 1982, as amended at 52 FR 31610, Aug. 21, 1987; 54 FR 53316, Dec. 28, 1989; 55 FR 32379, Aug. 9, 1990; 56 FR 51830, Oct. 16, 1991; 63 FR 15743, Apr. 1, 1998; 67 FR 30322, May 6, 2002]

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§15.37   Interest, penalties, and administrative costs.

(a) The NRC shall assess interest, penalties, and administrative costs on debts owed to the United States Government in accordance with the guidance provided under the FCCS, 31 CFR 901.9.

(b) Before assessing any charges on delinquent debt, the NRC shall mail or hand-deliver a written notice to the debtor explaining its requirements concerning these charges under 31 CFR 901.2 and 901.9, except where these charges are included in a contractual or repayment agreement.

(c) Interest begins to accrue from the date on which the initial written demand, advising the debtor of the interest requirements, is first mailed or hand delivered to the debtor unless a different date is specified in a statute, regulation, or contract.

(d) The NRC shall assess interest based upon the rate of the current value of funds to the United States Treasury (the Treasury tax and loan account rate) prescribed for the current quarter and published in the Federal Register and the Treasury Financial Manual Bulletins, unless a different rate is prescribed by statute, regulation, or contract.

(e) Interest is computed only on the principal of the debt and the interest rate remains fixed for the duration of the indebtedness, unless a debtor defaults on a repayment agreement and seeks to enter into a new agreement.

(f) The NRC shall assess against a debtor charges to cover administrative costs incurred as a result of a delinquent debt. Administrative costs may include costs incurred in obtaining a credit report or in using a private debt collector, to the extent they are attributable to the delinquency.

(g) The NRC shall assess a penalty charge of 6 percent a year on any portion of a debt that is delinquent for more than 90 days. The charge accrues retroactively to the date that the debt became delinquent.

(h) Amounts received by the NRC as partial or installment payments are applied first to outstanding penalty and administrative cost charges, second to accrued interest, and third to outstanding principal.

(i) The NRC shall waive collection of interest on the debt or any portion of the debt which is paid in full within 30 days after the date on which interest began to accrue.

(j) The NRC may waive interest during the period a debt disputed under §15.31 is under investigation or review by the NRC. However, this additional waiver is not automatic and must be requested before the expiration of the initial 30-day waiver period. The NRC may grant the additional waiver only when it finds merit in the explanation the debtor has submitted under §15.31.

(k) The NRC may waive the collection of interest, penalties, and administrative costs if it finds that one or more of the following conditions exist:

(1) The debtor is unable to pay any significant sum toward the debt within a reasonable period of time;

(2) Collection of interest, penalties, and administrative costs will jeopardize collection of the principal of the debt;

(3) The NRC is unable to enforce collection in full within a reasonable time by enforced collection proceedings; or

(4) Collection would be against equity and good conscience or not in the best interests of the United States, including the situation in which an administrative offset or installment payment agreement is in effect.

(l) The NRC is authorized to impose interest and related charges on debts not subject to 31 U.S.C. 3717, in accordance with common law.

[55 FR 32380, Aug. 9, 1990, as amended at 67 FR 30322, May 6, 2002]

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§15.38   Use of credit reports.

The NRC may institute a credit investigation of the debtor at any time following receipt of knowledge of the debt in order to aid NRC in making appropriate determinations as to:

(a) The collection and compromise of a debt;

(b) The collection of interest, penalties, and administrative costs;

(c) The use of administrative offset;

(d) The use of other collection methods; and

(e) The likelihood of collecting the debt.

[55 FR 32380, Aug. 9, 1990]

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§15.39   Bankruptcy claims.

When the NRC learns that a bankruptcy petition has been filed with respect to a debtor, before proceeding with further collection action, the NRC will immediately seek legal advice from its Office of the General Counsel concerning the impact of the Bankruptcy Code on any pending or contemplated collection activities. Unless the NRC determines that the automatic stay imposed at the time of filing pursuant to 11 U.S.C. 362 has been lifted or is no longer in effect, collection activity against the debtor will in most cases stop immediately.

(a) After seeking legal advice from its Office of the General Counsel, a proof of claim usually will be filed with the bankruptcy court or the Trustee.

(b) If the NRC is a secured creditor, it may seek relief from the automatic stay regarding its security, subject to the provisions and requirements of 11 U.S.C. 362.

(c) Offset is stayed in most cases by the automatic stay. However, the NRC will seek legal advice from its Office of the General Counsel to determine whether its payments to the debtor and payments of other agencies available for offset may be frozen by the agency until relief from the automatic stay can be obtained from the bankruptcy court. The NRC will seek legal advice from its Office of the General Counsel to determine if recoupment is available.

[67 FR 30322, May 6, 2002]

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