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University of Houston - Victoria

Office of the Vice President for
Administration and Finance

SECTION: GENERAL INDEX: A-7
SUBJECT: REPORTING INDEBTEDNESS TO THE STATE COMPTROLLER

POLICY

This policy establishes procedures to be followed by departments for the reporting of delinquent debtors to the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts (“Comptroller”) in compliance with Texas law, including Texas Government Code 403.055. When a debtor remains delinquent after in-house efforts at recovering the obligation have been unsuccessful, the University of Houston-Victoria (“UHV” or “University”), as a state entity, is required to report to the Comptroller the names of persons who have indebtedness or tax delinquency to the Comptroller. Within a university environment, the majority of debtors are likely to be students who may have incurred debt for tuition and fees, short term loans, installment plans and/or book loans. However, debtors may also include non-students, employees, and business entities.

Reporting indebtedness to the Comptroller places the debtor 'on hold' with all State of Texas agencies (including state universities) preventing any payments from the state to the debtor.

The Bursar Office, a departmental office within the Business Services Department at the University of Houston-Victoria, will be responsible for reporting indebtedness to the Comptroller for students and non-students, ensuring that records are updated throughout the year as payments are received, and timely release of holds after a debt has been paid in full.

DEFINITIONS

Application to Report Indebtedness (Form 74-188) - A form filed by a state agency or the University with the Comptroller, which makes application to report indebtedness qualifying for treatment under Texas Government Code 403.055. (See References Section for a link to this form.)

On Hold - Designation given to debtors whom a state agency or university has reported to the Comptroller as delinquent.

PROCEDURES

Application to Report Indebtedness

The Bursar Office is responsible for completing and submitting applications in accordance with the Comptroller’s requirements. The Comptroller will assign a three digit code for use by the University for reporting various types of indebtedness through the Texas Identification Number System (TINS). See the Comptroller’s website at https://fmx.cpa.state.tx.us/fmx/pubs/hold_guide/index.php for requirements.

Criteria for Placing a Debtor on Hold

Depending upon whether the debtor is a student or a non-student, individuals or other entities with any type of indebtedness to the University will have a hold reported to the Comptroller in accordance with the procedures set forth below.

Student Criteria – Prior to applying a new hold, the student will be mailed a minimum of three collection notices to his or her last known mailing address, each approximately thirty days apart. The envelope must bear the notice, “Address Correction Service Requested”. During this period, the debtor will be offered the option to complete a repayment plan agreement. If a repayment plan agreement is not arranged within this period, the debt will be turned over to the collection agency and the Bursar Office will apply the state hold. The liability reported will include the original debt the student incurred plus any institutional late fees or penalties. The liability reported will not include any fees imposed by third party collection agencies. Additionally, should a student subsequently default on a repayment agreement, the student will immediately be placed on hold and the debt will be turned over to collections.

Non-Student Criteria – Prior to requesting a hold, the department holding the obligation should make reasonable efforts to collect the debt. Those efforts should include sending a letter (via certified mail return receipt requested) informing the individual that if the debt is not satisfied within fifteen calendar days from the date of the letter (hereinafter referred to as the “Due Date”), the debt will be treated as a delinquent debt and will be reported to the Comptroller. If the debt is not satisfied by the debtor on or before the Due Date, the department will contact the Bursar Office who will then follow the proper procedures in applying the delinquent debt. The department will then send a second letter to the individual within 30 days after the Due Date, which will inform the individual that the debt has now been treated as a delinquent debt. The second letter will also inform the individual that if he or she fails to satisfy the debt within 15 calendar days from the date of the second letter, the matter will be referred to the University’s legal department, the Office of the General Counsel. The second letter must be sent via certified mail and the envelope must bear the notice “Address Correction Service Requested.” If the debt is not satisfied within 15 days from the date of the second letter, the department will send a copy of the two above-referenced letters and all supporting documentation regarding the debt and any correspondence with the debtor to the Office of the General Counsel for further handling.

Consequences of Being Placed on State Hold

Individuals and Other Entities

Individuals or other entities placed on hold will not be eligible to receive or engage in the following activities with a state agency or state public university as long as the person remains on hold:

  • Reimbursement of out-of-pocket expenses;
  • Travel or Operation Payments;
  • Contracting with any state agency unless the contract requires the agency's payments under the contract to be applied directly toward eliminating the person's debt or delinquency.
Additional Consequences Applicable to Students

A student on hold will also have a financial hold (or stop) placed on his or her account with the University when the unpaid debt was originally due. A financial stop has various consequences:

  • Possible withholding of State Financial Aid (Federal Disbursements are not affected)
  • Inability to enroll in classes at UHV or any other University of Houston System component
  • Inability to receive transcripts.
  • Financial holds paid by means of personal check are not lifted until the personal check has cleared the banking process. Financial holds paid by cash, cashier’s check, money order, or credit card are lifted within 24 hours;
  • Late payment service fees may be assessed to the account;
  • Credit and grades for work done may be held and grades may be changed to “W” for students who fail to pay by the end of the semester;
  • Degrees may be delayed or not conferred until financial obligations have been satisfied;
  • Non-payment by the end of the semester and after written attempts to collect have failed will result in transfer of the student’s account to an outside collection agency with assessment of additional collection fees;
  • The delinquency will be reported to the credit bureau which may adversely affect the debtor’s credit worthiness.
Assignment of Responsibility

Bursar Office staff (Student Financial Services Coordinator and Student Receivable Analyst) will be responsible for establishing payee hold records in TINS for both student delinquent debtors and non-student debtors reported by departments. The following information will be transferred to or entered in TINS for each debtor placed on hold:

  • USAS screens (PHDSUP = setup; PHDCHG = change; PHDREL = release)
  • Texas Identification Number (11 digits)
  • Agency Number (UHV = 765)
  • Reason Code (three digits)
  • Name of debtor
  • Hold Effective Date (date the debt was originally due)
  • Liability amount
Maintaining Payee Hold Records

The Bursar Office will maintain payee hold records and semiannually monitor and reconcile balances owed by debtors placed on hold. The TINS will be updated by the designated Bursar Office staff to reflect the remaining balance after each payment received by the debtor.

The debtor will not be released from hold until the entire original debt, including any institutional late fees, has been paid in full. When the amount owed has been paid in full, the designated Bursar Office staff will release the hold from TINS.

If a student’s reported debt balance is collected in full by the Comptroller while the student’s account is at a collection agency, the Bursar Office will send written notification to the collection agency stating that the debtor’s balance has been collected by the state, and request that collection activity cease and that the account be closed. Any payments received by the collection agency from the debtor after the account has been closed will be sent to the University without any reduction for collection fees. Refunds will be initiated by the Bursar Office in cases of overpayment by the student.

REFERENCES

Application to Report Indebtedness (Form 74-188)
http://www.window.state.tx.us/taxinfo/taxforms/74-188.pdf

Approved:

Signature Obtained           04/01/2013
Philip Castille, Ph.D.         Date
President

Originating Department: Business Services Department
Next Review Date: January 2014