debt collection, federal claims collection act, return money

8.5.5 Debt Collection

The debt collection process is governed by the Federal Claims Collection Act, as amended (Public Law [P.L.] 89-508, 80 Stat. 308, July 19, 1966); the Federal Debt Collection Act of 1982 (P.L. 97-365, 96 Stat. 1749, October 25, 1982); the Debt Collection Improvement Act (P. L.104-134, 110 Stat. 1321, April 26, 1996); and, the Federal Claims Collection Standards (31 CFR Parts 900-904), which are implemented for HHS in 45 CFR 30. NIH is required to collect debts due to the Federal government and, except where prohibited by law, to charge interest on all delinquent debts owed to NIH by recipients.

When NIH determines the existence of a debt under a grant, written debt notification will be provided to the recipient. Unless otherwise specified in law, regulation, or the terms and conditions of the award, debts are considered delinquent if they are not paid within 30 days from the date the debt notification is mailed to the recipient. Delinquent debts are subject to the assessment of interest, administrative cost charges, and penalties. The interest on delinquent debts accrues on the amount due beginning on the date the debt notification is mailed to the recipient.

If a recipient appeals an adverse monetary determination under 42 CFR 50, Subpart D, or 45 CFR 16, interest will accrue but assessment will be deferred pending a final decision on the appeal. If the appeal is not successful, interest will be charged beginning with the date the debt notification was mailed to the recipient, not the date of the appeal decision. Interest charges will be computed using the prevailing rate in effect on the date the debt notification is mailed, as specified by the Department of the Treasury and 45 CFR 30.13(a)(2).