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Policy 4302

Contested Debt Set-Off Claims

I. Purpose 

The purpose of this policy is to establish a process for re-mediating disputed debt set-off claims.

II. Policy

In the interest of resolving disputed debt set-off claims in a timely, efficient, and fair manner, the following process is established.

III. Procedure

  1. Debtor Notification: The claimant agency, upon receipt of the Set-Off Match Claims List and processed notices, must send written notification to the debtor of the Set-Off match within ten (10) calendar days. The debtor has thirty (30) calendar days (or ten [10] calendar days for a car tax set-off) from the postmark date of the agency's notification letter to the debtor to contest the claim. If the debtor does not send written notification of contest for a hearing, the debtor waives the opportunity to contest the claim.
  2. Contested Claims:
    1. If the claimant agency receives written application of the debtors request for a hearing on the debt, the claimant agency must grant a hearing according to the procedures established by that agency under its operating statutes to determine whether the claim is valid.
    2. Upon receipt of the contest letter, the Debt Set-off Coordinator notifies the Department of Taxation that the debtor has filed a notice of intent to contest the validity of the claim. Pending final determination of the validity of the debt, no action shall be taken in furtherance of collection.
    3. Reference the Code of Virginia, Section 58.1-526 for the Set-off hearing process and Section 58.1-527 for Set-Off appeals process prior to scheduling and conducting a hearing.
    4. Prior to a contest hearing, the Debt Set-off Coordinator attempts to mediate the contest by acting as a liaison between the debtor and the submitting department. If after a reasonable period of time the Debt Set-off Coordinator is unable to resolve the contest, a contest hearing is arranged with the Longwood Hearing Officer. The Debt Set-off Coordinator notifies the parties of the time, date, and place of the hearing. Requests to re-schedule or cancel the hearing by any party involved must be received no later than seven (7) days prior to the hearing.
    5. Prior to the hearing, the Debt Set-off Coordinator reviews the debtor's contest with a representative from the Attorney General's office, who may attend the hearing as an advisor to the Hearing Officer. The Debt Set-off Coordinator contacts the submitting department and requests a representative from their department be in attendance at the hearing.
  3. The Hearing:
    1. Present at the hearing should be the Hearing Officer, the debtor and attorney (if applicable), the Debt Set-off Coordinator, the representative from the Attorney General's office (if applicable) and a representative from the department submitting the debt.
    2. The Hearing Officer is responsible for documenting the session preferably with a tape recorder. At the hearing, the Debt Set-off Coordinator presents the University's evidence. The debtor or their representative is given the opportunity to present his/her case and any supporting documentation. Each party is given the opportunity to ask questions.
    3. The debtor or their representative is given the opportunity to present his/her case and any supporting documentation. Each party is given the opportunity to ask questions.
  4. Disposition of Contested Debt Set-Off Claims: Within two (2) weeks of the hearing, the Hearing Officer notifies the debtor and the claim is deleted from the Department of Taxation. If the institution's claim is upheld, the debtor's refund is claimed and any collection procedures may be reinstated. If the claim has not been finalized within sixty (60) calendar days from the notification of the contest, the claimant agency must submit a status report every thirty (30) days until finalizing the matter.

Revised and approved by the Board of Visitors, September 7, 2002.