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e-CFR data is current as of December 1, 2020

Title 29Subtitle APart 20Subpart B → §20.33

Title 29: Labor
Subpart B—Administrative Offset

§20.33   Collection in installments.

(a) Whenever feasible, and except as otherwise provided by law, debts owed to the United States, together with interest, penalties, and administrative costs should be collected in full in one lump sum. This is true whether the debt is being collected by administrative offset or by another method, including voluntary payment. However, if the debtor is financially unable to pay the indebtedness in one lump sum, payment may be accepted in regular installments. Agencies should obtain and may require financial statements from debtors who represent that they are unable to pay the debt in one lump sum. Agencies which agree to accept payment in regular installments should obtain a legally enforceable written agreement from the debtor which specifies all of the terms of the arrangement and which contains a provision accelerating the debt in the event the debtor defaults. The size and frequency of installment payments should bear a reasonable relation to the size of the debt and the debtor's ability to pay. If possible, the installment payments should be sufficient in size and frequency to liquidate the Government's claim in not more than 3 years. Installment payment of less than $50 per month should be accepted only if justifiable on the grounds of financial hardship or for some other reasonable cause. An agency holding an unsecured claim for administrative collection should attempt to obtain an executed confess-judgment note, comparable to the Department of Justice Form USA-70a, from a debtor when the total amount of the deferred installments will exceed $750. Such notes may be sought when an unsecured obligation of a lesser amount is involved. When attempting to obtain confess-judgment notes, agencies should provide their debtors with written explanation of the consequences of signing the note, and should maintain documentation sufficient to demonstrate that the debtor has signed the note knowingly and voluntarily. Security for deferred payments other than a confess-judgment note may be accepted in appropriate cases. An agency may accept installment payments notwithstanding the refusal of a debtor to execute a confess-judgment note or to give other security, at the agency's option.

(b) If the debtor owes more than one debt and designates how a voluntary installment payment is to be applied as among those debts, that designation must be followed. If the debtor does not designate the application of the payment, agencies should apply payments 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, paying special attention to applicable statutes of limitations.

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