U.S. Code of Federal Regulations

Regulations most recently checked for updates: Sep 22, 2020

§ 5.20 - How do other Federal agencies use the offset process to collect debts from payments issued by a Treasury entity?

(a) Offset of Treasury entity payments to collect debts owed to other Federal agencies. (1) In most cases, Federal agencies submit eligible debts to the Treasury Offset Program to collect delinquent debts from payments issued by Treasury entities and other Federal agencies, a process known as “centralized offset.” When centralized offset is not available or appropriate, any Federal agency may ask a Treasury entity (when acting as a “payment agency”) to collect a debt owed to such agency by offsetting funds payable to a debtor by the Treasury entity, including salary payments issued to Treasury entity employees. This section and § 5.21 of this subpart C apply when a Federal agency asks a Treasury entity to offset a payment issued by the Treasury entity to a person who owes a debt to the United States.

(2) This subpart C does not apply to Treasury debts. See §§ 5.10 through 5.12 of this part for offset procedures applicable to Treasury debts.

(3) This subpart C does not apply to the collection of non-Treasury debts through tax refund offset. See 31 CFR 285.2 for tax refund offset procedures.

(b) Administrative offset (including salary offset); certification. A Treasury entity will initiate a requested offset only upon receipt of written certification from the creditor agency that the debtor owes the past-due, legally enforceable debt in the amount stated, and that the creditor agency has fully complied with all applicable due process and other requirements contained in 31 U.S.C. 3716,5.S.C. 5514, and the creditor agency's regulations, as applicable. Offsets will continue until the debt is paid in full or otherwise resolved to the satisfaction of the creditor agency.

(c) Where a creditor agency makes requests for offset. Requests for offset under this section shall be sent to the U.S. Department of the Treasury, ATTN: Deputy Chief Financial Officer, 1500 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW., Attention: Metropolitan Square, Room 6228, Washington, DC 20220. The Deputy Chief Financial Officer will forward the request to the appropriate Treasury entity for processing in accordance with this subpart C.

(d) Incomplete certification. A Treasury entity will return an incomplete debt certification to the creditor agency with notice that the creditor agency must comply with paragraph (b) of this section before action will be taken to collect a debt from a payment issued by a Treasury entity.

(e) Review. A Treasury entity is not authorized to review the merits of the creditor agency's determination with respect to the amount or validity of the debt certified by the creditor agency.

(f) When Treasury entities will not comply with offset request. A Treasury entity will comply with the offset request of another agency unless the Treasury entity determines that the offset would not be in the best interests of the United States, or would otherwise be contrary to law.

(g) Multiple debts. When two or more creditor agencies are seeking offsets from payments made to the same person, or when two or more debts are owed to a single creditor agency, the Treasury entity that has been asked to offset the payments may determine the order in which the debts will be collected or whether one or more debts should be collected by offset simultaneously.

(h) Priority of debts owed to Treasury entity. For purposes of this section, debts owed to a Treasury entity generally take precedence over debts owed to other agencies. The Treasury entity that has been asked to offset the payments may determine whether to pay debts owed to other agencies before paying a debt owed to a Treasury entity. The Treasury entity that has been asked to offset the payments will determine the order in which the debts will be collected based on the best interests of the United States.