§ 15.53 Reasons for suspending collection action.

The NRC may suspend collection activity when:

(a) The NRC cannot locate the debtor;

(b) The debtor's financial condition is not expected to improve; or

(c) The debtor has requested a review of the debt or has disputed the debt.

(d) Based on the current financial condition of the debtor, the NRC may suspend collection activity on a debt when the debtor's future prospects justify retention of the debt for periodic review and collection activity and:

(1) The applicable statute of limitations has not expired; or

(2) Future collection can be effected by administrative offset, notwithstanding the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations for litigation of claims, with due regard to the 10-year limitation for administrative offset prescribed by 31 U.S.C. 3716(e)(1); or

(3) The debtor agrees to pay interest on the amount of the debt on which collection will be suspended, and such suspension is likely to enhance the debtor's ability to pay the full amount of the principal of the debt with interest at a later date.

(e)(1) The NRC shall suspend collection activity during the time required for consideration of the debtor's request for review or dispute of the debt, if the statute under which the request is sought prohibits the NRC from collecting the debt during that time.

(2) If the statute under which the request is sought does not prohibit collection activity pending consideration of the request, the NRC may use discretion, on a case-by-case basis, to suspend collection. Further, the NRC ordinarily should suspend collection action upon a request for review or dispute of the debt, if the NRC is prohibited by statute or regulation from issuing a refund of amounts collected prior to NRC consideration of the debtor's request. However, the NRC should not suspend collection when the NRC determines that the request for review or dispute of the debt is frivolous or was made primarily to delay collection.

(f) When the NRC learns that a bankruptcy petition has been filed with respect to a debtor, in most cases, the collection activity on a debt must be suspended, pursuant to the provisions of 11 U.S.C. 362, 1201, and 1301, unless the NRC can clearly establish that the automatic stay has been lifted or is no longer in effect. The NRC should seek legal advice immediately from its Office of the General Counsel and, if legally permitted, take the necessary steps to ensure that no funds or money are paid by the NRC to the debtor until relief from the automatic stay is obtained.

[67 FR 30323, May 6, 2002; 86 FR 32169, Jun. 16, 2021]

Page Last Reviewed/Updated Monday, August 23, 2021