Appendix A - Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996 (31 U.S.C. 3711)

Appendix A - Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996 (31 U.S.C. 3711).pdf

Federal Collection Methods for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Recipient Claims

Appendix A - Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996 (31 U.S.C. 3711).pdf

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§ 3711

TITLE 31—MONEY AND FINANCE

the claim’’ for ‘‘Comptroller General’’ before ‘‘shall report to Congress’’ and ‘‘official’’ for ‘‘Comptroller General’’ before ‘‘believes’’ and before period at end.
Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 104–201 added subsec. (e).
1987—Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 100–86 amended subsec. (c)
generally. Prior to amendment, subsec. (c) read as follows: ‘‘A claim on a check or warrant that the records
of the Comptroller General or the Secretary of the
Treasury show as being paid must be presented to the
Comptroller General or the Secretary within 6 years
after the check or warrant was issued.’’
1983—Subsec. (b)(2). Pub. L. 97–452 inserted ‘‘this’’ before ‘‘subsection’’.
EFFECTIVE DATE OF 2006 AMENDMENT
Pub. L. 109–163, div. A, title X, § 1056(e)(2), Jan. 6, 2006,
119 Stat. 3440, as amended by Pub. L. 111–383, div. A,
title X, § 1075(h)(3), Jan. 7, 2011, 124 Stat. 4377, provided
that the amendment by section 1056(e)(2) is effective as
of Dec. 2, 2002, and as if included in Pub. L. 107–314 as
enacted.
EFFECTIVE DATE OF 2002 AMENDMENT
Pub. L. 107–314, div. A, title VI, § 635(c), Dec. 2, 2002,
116 Stat. 2574, provided that: ‘‘The amendment made by
subsection (a) [amending this section] shall apply with
respect to claims against the United States presented
to the Secretary of Defense under section 3702 of title
31, United States Code, on or after the date of the enactment of this Act [Dec. 2, 2002].’’
EFFECTIVE DATE OF 1987 AMENDMENT
Amendment by Pub. L. 100–86 effective 6 months after
Aug. 10, 1987, or on such later date as the Secretary of
the Treasury may prescribe in regulations, see section
1006 of Pub. L. 100–86, set out as a note under section
3328 of this title.
EFFECTIVE DATE OF 1983 AMENDMENT
Amendment effective Sept. 13, 1982, see section 2(i) of
Pub. L. 97–452, set out as a note under section 3331 of
this title.
REGULATIONS
For provision permitting Secretary of the Treasury
to prescribe rules, regulations, and procedures as necessary to implement amendment by section 1004(b) of
Pub. L. 100–86, including recertification of Treasury
checks which have been canceled or for which a claim
has been asserted or barred, see section 1005 of Pub. L.
100–86, set out as a note under section 3328 of this title.

SUBCHAPTER II—CLAIMS OF THE UNITED
STATES GOVERNMENT
§ 3711. Collection and compromise
(a) The head of an executive, judicial, or legislative agency—
(1) shall try to collect a claim of the United
States Government for money or property
arising out of the activities of, or referred to,
the agency;
(2) may compromise a claim of the Government of not more than $100,000 (excluding interest) or such higher amount as the Attorney
General may from time to time prescribe that
has not been referred to another executive or
legislative agency for further collection action, except that only the Comptroller General
may compromise a claim arising out of an exception the Comptroller General makes in the
account of an accountable official; and
(3) may suspend or end collection action on
a claim referred to in clause (2) of this subsection when it appears that no person liable

Page 260

on the claim has the present or prospective
ability to pay a significant amount of the
claim or the cost of collecting the claim is
likely to be more than the amount recovered.
(b)(1) The head of an executive, judicial, or
legislative agency may not act under subsection
(a)(2) or (3) of this section on a claim that appears to be fraudulent, false, or misrepresented
by a party with an interest in the claim, or that
is based on conduct in violation of the antitrust
laws.
(2) The Secretary of Transportation may not
compromise for less than $500 a penalty under
section 21302 of title 49 for a violation of chapter
203, 205, or 207 of title 49 or a regulation or requirement prescribed or order issued under any
of those chapters.
(c) A compromise under this section is final
and conclusive unless gotten by fraud, misrepresentation, presenting a false claim, or mutual
mistake of fact. An accountable official is not
liable for an amount paid or for the value of
property lost or damaged if the amount or value
is not recovered because of a compromise under
this section.
(d) The head of an executive, judicial, or legislative agency acts under—
(1) regulations prescribed by the head of the
agency; and
(2) standards that the Attorney General, the
Secretary of the Treasury, may prescribe.1
(e)(1) When trying to collect a claim of the
Government under a law except the Internal
Revenue Code of 1986 (26 U.S.C. 1 et seq.), the
head of an executive, judicial, or legislative
agency shall disclose to a consumer reporting
agency information from a system of records
that a person is responsible for a claim if—
(A) notice required by section 552a(e)(4) of
title 5 indicates that information in the system may be disclosed to a consumer reporting
agency;
(B) the head of the agency has reviewed the
claim and decided that the claim is valid and
overdue;
(C) the head of the agency has notified the
person in writing—
(i) that payment of the claim is overdue;
(ii) that, within not less than 60 days after
sending the notice, the head of the agency
intends to disclose to a consumer reporting
agency that the person is responsible for the
claim;
(iii) of the specific information to be disclosed to the consumer reporting agency;
and
(iv) of the rights the person has to a complete explanation of the claim, to dispute information in the records of the agency about
the claim, and to administrative repeal or
review of the claim;
(D) the person has not—
(i) repaid or agreed to repay the claim
under a written repayment plan that the
person has signed and the head of the agency
has agreed to; or
(ii) filed for review of the claim under
paragraph (2) of this subsection;
1 So in original. Probably should be ‘‘Attorney General and the
Secretary of the Treasury may prescribe jointly.’’

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TITLE 31—MONEY AND FINANCE

(E) the head of the agency has established
procedures to—
(i) disclose promptly, to each consumer reporting agency to which the original disclosure was made, a substantial change in the
condition or amount of the claim;
(ii) verify or correct promptly information
about the claim on request of a consumer reporting agency for verification of information disclosed; and
(iii) get satisfactory assurances from each
consumer reporting agency that the agency
is complying with all laws of the United
States related to providing consumer credit
information; and
(F) the information disclosed to the consumer reporting agency is limited to—
(i) information necessary to establish the
identity of the person, including name, address, and taxpayer identification number;
(ii) the amount, status, and history of the
claim; and
(iii) the agency or program under which
the claim arose.
(2) Before disclosing information to a consumer reporting agency under paragraph (1) of
this subsection and at other times allowed by
law, the head of an executive, judicial, or legislative agency shall provide, on request of a person alleged by the agency to be responsible for
the claim, for a review of the obligation of the
person, including an opportunity for reconsideration of the initial decision on the claim.
(3) Before disclosing information to a consumer reporting agency under paragraph (1) of
this subsection, the head of an executive, judicial, or legislative agency shall take reasonable
action to locate a person for whom the head of
the agency does not have a current address to
send the notice under paragraph (1)(C).
(4) The head of each executive agency shall require, as a condition for insuring or guaranteeing any loan, financing, or other extension of
credit under any law to a person, that the lender
provide information relating to the extension of
credit to consumer reporting agencies or commercial reporting agencies, as appropriate.
(5) The head of each executive agency may
provide to a consumer reporting agency or commercial reporting agency information from a
system of records that a person is responsible
for a claim which is current, if notice required
by section 552a(e)(4) of title 5 indicates that information in the system may be disclosed to a
consumer reporting agency or commercial reporting agency, respectively.
(f)(1) The Secretary of Defense may suspend or
terminate an action by the Secretary or by the
Secretary of a military department under subsection (a) to collect a claim against the estate
of a person who died while serving on active
duty as a member of the Army, Navy, Air Force,
Marine Corps, or Coast Guard during a period
when the Coast Guard is operating as a service
in the Navy if the Secretary determines that,
under the circumstances applicable with respect
to the deceased person, it is appropriate to do
so.
(2) The Secretary of Homeland Security may
suspend or terminate an action by the Secretary

§ 3711

under subsection (a) to collect a claim against
the estate of a person who died while serving on
active duty as a member of the Coast Guard if
the Secretary determines that, under the circumstances applicable with respect to the deceased person, it is appropriate to do so.
(3) The Secretary of Veterans Affairs may suspend or terminate an action by the Secretary
under subsection (a) to collect a claim against
the estate of a person who died while serving on
active duty as a member of the Army, Navy, Air
Force, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard during a
period when the Coast Guard is operating as a
service in the Navy if the Secretary determines
that, under the circumstances applicable with
respect to the deceased person, it is appropriate
to do so.
(4) In this subsection, the term ‘‘active duty’’
has the meaning given that term in section 101
of title 10.
(g)(1) If a nontax debt or claim owed to the
United States has been delinquent for a period
of 180 days—
(A) the head of the executive, judicial, or
legislative agency that administers the program that gave rise to the debt or claim shall
transfer the debt or claim to the Secretary of
the Treasury; and
(B) upon such transfer the Secretary of the
Treasury shall take appropriate action to collect or terminate collection actions on the
debt or claim.
(2) Paragraph (1) shall not apply—
(A) to any debt or claim that—
(i) is in litigation or foreclosure;
(ii) will be disposed of under an asset sales
program within 1 year after becoming eligible for sale, or later than 1 year if consistent
with an asset sales program and a schedule
established by the agency and approved by
the Director of the Office of Management
and Budget;
(iii) has been referred to a private collection contractor for collection for a period of
time determined by the Secretary of the
Treasury;
(iv) has been referred by, or with the consent of, the Secretary of the Treasury to a
debt collection center for a period of time
determined by the Secretary of the Treasury; or
(v) will be collected under internal offset,
if such offset is sufficient to collect the
claim within 3 years after the date the debt
or claim is first delinquent; and
(B) to any other specific class of debt or
claim, as determined by the Secretary of the
Treasury at the request of the head of an executive, judicial, or legislative agency or otherwise.
(3) For purposes of this section, the Secretary
of the Treasury may designate, and withdraw
such designation of debt collection centers operated by other Federal agencies. The Secretary of
the Treasury shall designate such centers on the
basis of their performance in collecting delinquent claims owed to the Government.
(4) At the discretion of the Secretary of the
Treasury, referral of a nontax claim may be
made to—

§ 3711

TITLE 31—MONEY AND FINANCE

(A) any executive department or agency operating a debt collection center for servicing,
collection, compromise, or suspension or termination of collection action;
(B) a private collection contractor operating
under a contract for servicing or collection action; or
(C) the Department of Justice for litigation.
(5) Nontax claims referred or transferred under
this section shall be serviced, collected, or compromised, or collection action thereon suspended or terminated, in accordance with otherwise applicable statutory requirements and authorities. Executive departments and agencies
operating debt collection centers may enter into
agreements with the Secretary of the Treasury
to carry out the purposes of this subsection. The
Secretary of the Treasury shall—
(A) maintain competition in carrying out
this subsection;
(B) maximize collections of delinquent debts
by placing delinquent debts quickly;
(C) maintain a schedule of private collection
contractors and debt collection centers eligible for referral of claims; and
(D) refer delinquent debts to the person most
appropriate to collect the type or amount of
claim involved.
(6) Any agency operating a debt collection
center to which nontax claims are referred or
transferred under this subsection may charge a
fee sufficient to cover the full cost of implementing this subsection. The agency transferring or referring the nontax claim shall be
charged the fee, and the agency charging the fee
shall collect such fee by retaining the amount of
the fee from amounts collected pursuant to this
subsection. Agencies may agree to pay through
a different method, or to fund an activity from
another account or from revenue received from
the procedure described under section 3720C of
this title. Amounts charged under this subsection concerning delinquent claims may be
considered as costs pursuant to section 3717(e) of
this title.
(7) Notwithstanding any other law concerning
the depositing and collection of Federal payments, including section 3302(b) of this title,
agencies collecting fees may retain the fees
from amounts collected. Any fee charged pursuant to this subsection shall be deposited into an
account to be determined by the executive department or agency operating the debt collection center charging the fee (in this subsection
referred to in this section 2 as the ‘‘Account’’).
Amounts deposited in the Account shall be
available until expended to cover costs associated with the implementation and operation of
Governmentwide debt collection activities.
Costs properly chargeable to the Account include—
(A) the costs of computer hardware and software, word processing and telecommunications equipment, and other equipment, supplies, and furniture;
(B) personnel training and travel costs;
(C) other personnel and administrative
costs;
2 So

in original.

Page 262

(D) the costs of any contract for identification, billing, or collection services; and
(E) reasonable costs incurred by the Secretary of the Treasury, including services and
utilities provided by the Secretary, and administration of the Account.
(8) Not later than January 1 of each year,
there shall be deposited into the Treasury as
miscellaneous receipts an amount equal to the
amount of unobligated balances remaining in
the Account at the close of business on September 30 of the preceding year, minus any part of
such balance that the executive department or
agency operating the debt collection center determines is necessary to cover or defray the
costs under this subsection for the fiscal year in
which the deposit is made.
(9) Before discharging any delinquent debt
owed to any executive, judicial, or legislative
agency, the head of such agency shall take all
appropriate steps to collect such debt, including
(as applicable)—
(A) administrative offset,
(B) tax refund offset,
(C) Federal salary offset,
(D) referral to private collection contractors,
(E) referral to agencies operating a debt collection center,
(F) reporting delinquencies to credit reporting bureaus,
(G) garnishing the wages of delinquent debtors, and
(H) litigation or foreclosure.
(10) To carry out the purposes of this subsection, the Secretary of the Treasury may prescribe such rules, regulations, and procedures as
the Secretary considers necessary and transfer
such funds from funds appropriated to the Department of the Treasury as may be necessary
to meet existing liabilities and obligations incurred prior to the receipt of revenues that result from debt collections.
(h)(1) The head of an executive, judicial, or
legislative agency acting under subsection (a)(1),
(2), or (3) of this section to collect a claim, compromise a claim, or terminate collection action
on a claim may obtain a consumer report (as
that term is defined in section 603 of the Fair
Credit Reporting Act (15 U.S.C. 1681a)) or comparable credit information on any person who is
liable for the claim.
(2) The obtaining of a consumer report under
this subsection is deemed to be a circumstance
or purpose authorized or listed under section 604
of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (15 U.S.C.
1681b).
(i)(1) The head of an executive, judicial, or legislative agency may sell, subject to section
504(b) of the Federal Credit Reform Act of 1990
and using competitive procedures, any nontax
debt owed to the United States that is delinquent for more than 90 days. Appropriate fees
charged by a contractor to assist in the conduct
of a sale under this subsection may be payable
from the proceeds of the sale.
(2) After terminating collection action, the
head of an executive, judicial, or legislative
agency shall sell, using competitive procedures,
any nontax debt or class of nontax debts owed to

Page 263

§ 3711

TITLE 31—MONEY AND FINANCE

the United States, if the Secretary of the Treasury determines the sale is in the best interests
of the United States.
(3) Sales of nontax debt under this subsection—
(A) shall be for—
(i) cash, or
(ii) cash and a residuary equity or profit
participation, if the head of the agency reasonably determines that the proceeds will be
greater than sale solely for cash,
(B) shall be without recourse, but may include the use of guarantees if otherwise authorized, and
(C) shall transfer to the purchaser all rights
of the Government to demand payment of the
nontax debt, other than with respect to a residuary equity or profit participation under
subparagraph (A)(ii).
(4)(A) Within one year after the date of enactment of the Debt Collection Improvement Act of
1996, each executive agency with current and delinquent collateralized nontax debts shall report
to the Congress on the valuation of its existing
portfolio of loans, notes and guarantees, and
other collateralized debts based on standards developed by the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury.
(B) The Director of the Office of Management
and Budget shall determine what information is
required to be reported to comply with subparagraph (A). At a minimum, for each financing account and for each liquidating account (as those
terms are defined in sections 502(7) and 502(8), respectively, of the Federal Credit Reform Act of
1990) the following information shall be reported:
(i) The cumulative balance of current debts
outstanding, the estimated net present value
of such debts, the annual administrative expenses of those debts (including the portion of
salaries and expenses that are directly related
thereto), and the estimated net proceeds that
would be received by the Government if such
debts were sold.
(ii) The cumulative balance of delinquent
debts, debts outstanding, the estimated net
present value of such debts, the annual administrative expenses of those debts (including
the portion of salaries and expenses that are
directly related thereto), and the estimated
net proceeds that would be received by the
Government if such debts were sold.
(iii) The cumulative balance of guaranteed
loans outstanding, the estimated net present
value of such guarantees, the annual administrative expenses of such guarantees (including
the portion of salaries and expenses that are
directly related to such guaranteed loans), and
the estimated net proceeds that would be received by the Government if such loan guarantees were sold.
(iv) The cumulative balance of defaulted
loans that were previously guaranteed and
have resulted in loans receivables, the estimated net present value of such loan assets,
the annual administrative expenses of such
loan assets (including the portion of salaries
and expenses that are directly related to such

loan
that
such
(v)

assets), and the estimated net proceeds
would be received by the Government if
loan assets were sold.
The marketability of all debts.

(5) This subsection is not intended to limit existing statutory authority of agencies to sell
loans, debts, or other assets.
(Pub. L. 97–258, Sept. 13, 1982, 96 Stat. 971; Pub.
L. 97–452, § 1(15), Jan. 12, 1983, 96 Stat. 2470; Pub.
L. 98–216, § 1(5), Feb. 14, 1984, 98 Stat. 4; Pub. L.
99–514, § 2, Oct. 22, 1986, 100 Stat. 2095; Pub. L.
101–552, § 8(b), Nov. 15, 1990, 104 Stat. 2746; Pub. L.
102–365, § 4(a)(4), Sept. 3, 1992, 106 Stat. 973; Pub.
L. 103–272, § 5(i)(1), July 5, 1994, 108 Stat. 1375;
Pub. L. 104–106, div. A, title X, § 1089, Feb. 10,
1996, 110 Stat. 459; Pub. L. 104–134, title III,
§ 31001(c)(1), (g)(1)(C), (k), (m)(1), (p), Apr. 26,
1996, 110 Stat. 1321–359, 1321–363, 1321–365, 1321–366,
1321–371; Pub. L. 104–201, div. A, title X, § 1010,
Sept. 23, 1996, 110 Stat. 2635; Pub. L. 104–316, title
I, § 115(g)(1), Oct. 19, 1996, 110 Stat. 3834; Pub. L.
109–241, title IX, § 902(b)(4), July 11, 2006, 120 Stat.
566; Pub. L. 110–389, title VIII, § 801(a), Oct. 10,
2008, 122 Stat. 4185.)
HISTORICAL AND REVISION NOTES
1982 ACT
Revised
Section
3711(a) .....

3711(b) .....

3711(c)(1)
3711(c)(2)
3711(d) .....
3711(e) .....

Source (U.S. Code)

Source (Statutes at Large)

31:952(a)(less words
between 1st and
2d commas),
(b)(1st sentence
less words between 6th and 7th
commas).
31:952(b)(2d sentence, last sentence words after
semicolon).
31:952(b)(last sentence words before semicolon).
31:952(note).

July 19, 1966, Pub. L. 89–508,
§ 3, 80 Stat. 309.

July 8, 1976, Pub. L. 94–348,
§ 3(e), 90 Stat. 818.

31:952(c).
31:952(a)(words between 1st and 2d
commas), (b)(1st
sentence words
between 6th and
7th commas).

In the section, the words ‘‘executive or legislative
agency’’ are substituted for ‘‘agency’’ because of the restatement. The words ‘‘or his designee’’ are omitted as
unnecessary.
In subsection (a), the word ‘‘Government’’ is added
for consistency. In clause (2), the words ‘‘including the
General Accounting Office’’ are omitted as surplus. In
clause (3), the word ‘‘financial’’ is omitted as surplus.
In subsections (b) and (d), the word ‘‘official’’ is substituted for ‘‘officer’’ for consistency.
In subsection (b), the words ‘‘Comptroller General’’
are substituted for ‘‘General Accounting Office’’ for
consistency. The words ‘‘has the same authority that
the head of the agency has’’ are substituted for ‘‘have
the foregoing authority’’ for clarity. The words ‘‘by another agency’’ are omitted as surplus. The words ‘‘only
. . . may compromise’’ are substituted for ‘‘nor shall
the head of an agency, other than . . . have authority
to compromise’’ to eliminate unnecessary words.
In subsection (c)(1), the words ‘‘that appears to be
fraudulent, false, or misrepresented by’’ are substituted
for ‘‘as to which there is an indication of fraud, the
presentation of a false claim, or misrepresentation on
the part of’’ to eliminate unnecessary words. The words
‘‘the debtor or . . . other’’ and ‘‘in whole or in part’’ are
omitted as surplus.
In subsection (c)(2), the words ‘‘Notwithstanding any
provision of the Federal Claims Collection Act of 1966’’

§ 3711

TITLE 31—MONEY AND FINANCE

are omitted as unnecessary. The words ‘‘arising’’ and
‘‘an amount’’ are omitted as surplus.
In subsection (d), the words ‘‘effected . . . authority
conferred by’’, ‘‘on the debtor and on all officials, agencies, and courts of the United States’’, ‘‘destroyed’’,
and ‘‘with a person primarily responsible’’ are omitted
as surplus.
In subsection (e), the words ‘‘in conformity with’’ are
omitted as surplus.
1983 ACT
Revised
Section

Source (U.S. Code)

3711(f)(1)

31 App.:952(d)(1).

3711(f)(2)
3711(f)(3)

31 App.:952(d)(2).
31 App.:952(d)(3).

Source (Statutes at Large)
July 19, 1966, Pub. L. 89–508, 80
Stat. 308, § 3(d)(1)–(3); added
Oct. 25, 1982, Pub. L. 97–365,
§ 3, 96 Stat. 1749.

In subsection (f)(1), before clause (A), the word ‘‘Government’’ is substituted for ‘‘United States’’ for consistency in the revised title and with other titles of the
United States Code. The words ‘‘subsection (a) of this
section, or under any other’’ are omitted as surplus.
The word ‘‘law’’ is substituted for ‘‘statutory authority’’ to eliminate unnecessary words. In clause (A), the
words ‘‘for the system of records’’ are omitted as surplus. In clause (C)(iii), the word ‘‘intended’’ is omitted
as surplus. In clause (E)(ii), the words ‘‘as appropriate’’
and ‘‘any or all’’ are omitted as surplus. In clause
(E)(iii), the words ‘‘all laws of the United States’’ are
coextensive with and substituted for ‘‘the Fair Credit
Reporting Act (15 U.S.C. 1681 et seq.) and any other
Federal law’’.
1984 ACT
This is necessary to reflect the transfer of the nonpositive law provisions of title 49 to title 49 appendix.
REFERENCES IN TEXT
Sections 502(7), 502(8), and 504(b) of the Federal Credit
Reform Act of 1990, referred to in subsec. (i)(1), (4)(B),
are classified to sections 661a(7), 661a(8), and 661c(b), respectively, of Title 2, The Congress.
The date of enactment of the Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996, referred to in subsec. (i)(4)(A), is
the date of enactment of section 31001 of Pub. L.
104–134, which was approved Apr. 26, 1996.
AMENDMENTS
2008—Subsec. (f)(3), (4). Pub. L. 110–389 added par. (3)
and redesignated former par. (3) as (4).
2006—Subsec. (f)(2). Pub. L. 109–241 substituted ‘‘Secretary of Homeland Security’’ for ‘‘Secretary of Transportation’’.
1996—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 104–134, § 31001(c)(1), which
directed that this section be amended by substituting
‘‘the head of an executive, judicial, or legislative agency’’ for ‘‘the head of an executive or legislative agency’’
wherever appearing, was executed in introductory provisions by substituting ‘‘The head of an executive, judicial, or legislative agency’’ for ‘‘The head of an executive or legislative agency’’, to reflect the probable intent of Congress.
Subsec. (a)(2). Pub. L. 104–316, § 115(g)(1)(A), inserted
‘‘, except that only the Comptroller General may compromise a claim arising out of an exception the Comptroller General makes in the account of an accountable
official’’ before ‘‘; and’’ at end.
Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 104–316, § 115(g)(1)(B), (C), redesignated subsec. (c) as (b) and struck out former subsec.
(b) which read as follows: ‘‘The Comptroller General
has the same authority that the head of the agency has
under subsection (a) of this section when the claim is
referred to the Comptroller General for further collection action. Only the Comptroller General may compromise a claim arising out of an exception the Comptroller General makes in the account of an accountable
official.’’

Page 264

Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 104–316, § 115(g)(1)(C), redesignated
subsec. (d) as (c). Former subsec. (c) redesignated (b).
Subsec. (c)(1). Pub. L. 104–134, § 31001(c)(1), which directed that this section be amended by substituting
‘‘the head of an executive, judicial, or legislative agency’’ for ‘‘the head of an executive or legislative agency’’
wherever appearing, was executed by substituting ‘‘The
head of an executive, judicial, or legislative agency’’
for ‘‘The head of an executive or legislative agency’’, to
reflect the probable intent of Congress.
Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 104–316, § 115(g)(1)(C), (D), redesignated subsec. (e) as (d) and in par. (2) struck out ‘‘and
the Comptroller General’’ before ‘‘may prescribe’’ and
‘‘jointly’’ after ‘‘prescribe’’. Former subsec. (d) redesignated (c).
Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 104–316, § 115(g)(1)(C), redesignated
subsec. (f) as (e). Former subsec. (e) redesignated (d).
Pub. L. 104–134, § 31001(c)(1), which directed that this
section be amended by substituting ‘‘the head of an executive, judicial, or legislative agency’’ for ‘‘the head
of an executive or legislative agency’’ wherever appearing, was executed in introductory provisions by substituting ‘‘The head of an executive, judicial, or legislative agency’’ for ‘‘The head of an executive or legislative agency’’, to reflect the probable intent of Congress.
Subsec. (e)(2). Pub. L. 104–134, § 31001(g)(1)(C), inserted
‘‘, the Secretary of the Treasury,’’ after ‘‘Attorney
General’’.
Subsec. (f). Pub. L. 104–316, § 115(g)(1)(C), redesignated
the subsec. (g), relating to authority to suspend or terminate collection actions against deceased members, as
(f). Former subsec. (f) redesignated (e).
Subsec. (f)(1). Pub. L. 104–134, § 31001(c)(1), (k)(1), (2),
in introductory provisions substituted ‘‘the head of an
executive, judicial, or legislative agency shall’’ for ‘‘the
head of an executive or legislative agency may’’ and ‘‘a
person’’ for ‘‘an individual’’.
Subsec. (f)(1)(C), (D), (F). Pub. L. 104–134, § 31001(k)(3),
substituted ‘‘the person’’ for ‘‘the individual’’ wherever
appearing.
Subsec. (f)(2). Pub. L. 104–134, § 31001(c)(1), (k)(2), (3),
substituted ‘‘the head of an executive, judicial, or legislative agency’’ for ‘‘the head of an executive or legislative agency’’, ‘‘a person’’ for ‘‘an individual’’, and ‘‘the
person’’ for ‘‘the individual’’.
Subsec. (f)(3). Pub. L. 104–134, § 31001(c)(1), (k)(2), substituted ‘‘the head of an executive, judicial, or legislative agency’’ for ‘‘the head of an executive or legislative agency’’ and ‘‘a person’’ for ‘‘an individual’’.
Subsec. (f)(4), (5). Pub. L. 104–134, § 31001(k)(4), added
pars. (4) and (5).
Subsec. (g). Pub. L. 104–316, § 115(g)(1)(C), redesignated
the subsec. (g), relating to authority to suspend or terminate collection actions against deceased members, as
(f).
Pub. L. 104–134, § 31001(m)(1), added subsec. (g) relating to transfer of debt or claim to Secretary of the
Treasury in case of delinquency.
Pub. L. 104–106 added subsec. (g) relating to authority
to suspend or terminate collection actions against deceased members.
Subsec. (g)(1). Pub. L. 104–201, § 1010(1), substituted
‘‘Marine Corps, or Coast Guard during a period when
the Coast Guard is operating as a service in the Navy’’
for ‘‘or Marine Corps’’.
Subsec. (g)(2), (3). Pub. L. 104–201, § 1010(2), (3), added
par. (2) and redesignated former par. (2) as (3).
Subsec. (h). Pub. L. 104–134, § 31001(m)(1), added subsec. (h).
Subsec. (i). Pub. L. 104–134, § 31001(p), added subsec.
(i).
1994—Subsec. (c)(2). Pub. L. 103–272 substituted ‘‘section 21302 of title 49 for a violation of chapter 203, 205,
or 207 of title 49 or a regulation or requirement prescribed or order issued under any of those chapters’’ for
‘‘section 6 of the Act of March 2, 1893 (45 U.S.C. 6), section 4 of the Act of April 14, 1910 (45 U.S.C. 13), section
9 of the Act of February 17, 1911 (45 U.S.C. 34), and section 25(h) of the Interstate Commerce Act (49 App.
U.S.C. 26(h))’’.

Page 265

TITLE 31—MONEY AND FINANCE

§ 3712

1992—Subsec. (c)(2). Pub. L. 102–365 substituted ‘‘$500’’
for ‘‘$250’’.
1990—Subsec. (a)(2). Pub. L. 101–552 substituted
‘‘$100,000 (excluding interest) or such higher amount as
the Attorney General may from time to time prescribe’’ for ‘‘$20,000 (excluding interest)’’.
1986—Subsec. (f)(1). Pub. L. 99–514 substituted ‘‘Internal Revenue Code of 1986’’ for ‘‘Internal Revenue Code
of 1954’’.
1984—Subsec. (c)(2). Pub. L. 98–216 substituted ‘‘(49
App. U.S.C. 26(h))’’ for ‘‘(49 U.S.C. 26(h))’’.
1983—Subsec. (f). Pub. L. 97–452 added subsec. (f).

check has been paid over a forged or unauthorized endorsement, the Secretary may reclaim
the amount of such check from the presenting
bank or any other endorser that has breached
its guarantee of endorsements prior to—
(A) the end of the 1-year period beginning
on the date of payment; or
(B) the expiration of the 180-day period beginning on the close of the period described
in subparagraph (A) if a timely claim is received under section 3702.

SAVINGS PROVISION

(2) CIVIL ACTIONS.—(A) Except as provided in
subparagraph (B), the United States may bring
a civil action to enforce the liability of an endorser, transferor, depository, or fiscal agent
on a forged or unauthorized signature or endorsement on, or a change in, a check or warrant issued by the Secretary of the Treasury,
the United States Postal Service, or any disbursing official or agent not later than 1 year
after a check or warrant is presented to the
drawee for payment.
(B) If the United States has given an endorser written notice of a claim against the
endorser within the time allowed by subparagraph (A), the 1-year period for bringing a civil
action on that claim under subparagraph (A)
shall be extended by 3 years.
(3) EFFECT ON AGENCY AUTHORITY.—Nothing
in this subsection shall be construed to limit
the authority of any agency under subchapter
II of chapter 37 of this title.

Section 31001(n) of Pub. L. 104–134 provided that: ‘‘Effective October 1, 1995, section 11 of the Administrative
Dispute Resolution Act (Public Law 101–552, [former] 5
U.S.C. 571 note) shall not apply to the amendment
made by section 8(b) of such Act [amending this section].’’
GUIDELINES
Section 31001(aa)(1) of Pub. L. 104–134 provided that:
‘‘The Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with
concerned Federal agencies, may establish guidelines,
including information on outstanding debt, to assist
agencies in the performance and monitoring of debt
collection activities.’’
REPORT
Section 31001(aa)(2) of Pub. L. 104–134 provided that:
‘‘Not later than 3 years after the date of enactment of
this Act [Apr. 26, 1996], the Secretary of the Treasury
shall report to the Congress on collection services provided by Federal agencies or entities collecting debt on
behalf of other Federal agencies under the authorities
contained in section 3711(g) of title 31, United States
Code, as added by subsection (m) of this section.’’
STANDARDS AND POLICIES FOR COMPROMISING, WRITINGDOWN, FORGIVING, OR DISCHARGING INDEBTEDNESS
Section 31001(bb) of Pub. L. 104–134 provided that:
‘‘The Director of the Office of Management and Budget
shall—
‘‘(1) review the standards and policies of each Federal agency for compromising, writing-down, forgiving, or discharging indebtedness arising from programs of the agency;
‘‘(2) determine whether those standards and policies
are consistent and protect the interests of the United
States;
‘‘(3) in the case of any Federal agency standard or
policy that the Director determines is not consistent
or does not protect the interests of the United States,
direct the head of the agency to make appropriate
modifications to the standard or policy; and
‘‘(4) report annually to the Congress on—
‘‘(A) deficiencies in the standards and policies of
Federal agencies for compromising, writing-down,
forgiving, or discharging indebtedness; and
‘‘(B) progress made in improving those standards
and policies.’’
EXISTING AGENCY AUTHORITY TO LITIGATE, SETTLE,
COMPROMISE, OR CLOSE CLAIMS
Pub. L. 89–508, § 4, July 19, 1966, 80 Stat. 309, provided
that: ‘‘Nothing in this Act [now this section] shall increase or diminish the existing authority of the head of
an agency to litigate claims, or diminish his existing
authority to settle, compromise, or close claims.’’

§ 3712. Time limitations for presenting certain
claims of the Government
(a) CLAIMS OVER FORGED OR UNAUTHORIZED ENDORSEMENTS.—
(1) PERIOD FOR CLAIMS.—If the Secretary of
the Treasury determines that a Treasury

(b) Notwithstanding subsection (a) of this section, a civil action may be brought within 2
years after the claim is discovered when an endorser, transferor, depositary, or fiscal agent
fraudulently conceals the claim from an officer
or employee of the Government entitled to bring
the civil action.
(c) The Comptroller General shall credit the
appropriate account of the Treasury for the
amount of a check or warrant for which a civil
action cannot be brought because notice was not
given within the time required under subsection
(a) of this section if the failure to give notice
was not the result of negligence of the Secretary.
(d) The Government waives all claims against
a person arising from dual pay from the Government if the dual pay is not reported to the
Comptroller General for collection within 6
years from the last date of a period of dual pay.
(e) TREASURY CHECK OFFSET.—
(1) IN GENERAL.—To facilitate collection of
amounts owed by presenting banks pursuant
to subsection (a) or (b), upon the direction of
the Secretary, a Federal reserve bank shall
withhold credit from banks presenting Treasury checks for ultimate charge to the account
of the United States Treasury. By presenting
Treasury checks for payment a presenting
bank is deemed to authorize this offset.
(2) ATTEMPT TO COLLECT REQUIRED.—Prior to
directing offset under subsection (a)(1), the
Secretary shall first attempt to collect
amounts owed in the manner provided by sections 3711 and 3716.
(Pub. L. 97–258, Sept. 13, 1982, 96 Stat. 971; Pub.
L. 100–86, title X, § 1004(a), Aug. 10, 1987, 101 Stat.
659; Pub. L. 104–134, title III, § 31001(d)(4), Apr. 26,
1996, 110 Stat. 1321–362.)


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