§ 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 consideration 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 the debtor's dispute potentially raises an error.

(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; 86 FR 32169, Jun. 16, 2021]

Page Last Reviewed/Updated Monday, August 23, 2021