[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 22 (Thursday, February 2, 2012)]
[Pages 5227-5228]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-2259]

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Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 22 / Thursday, February 2, 2012 / 

[[Page 5227]]


Farm Service Agency

Commodity Credit Corporation

Information Collection Request; Debt Settlement Policies and 

AGENCY: Farm Service Agency and Commodity Credit Corporation, USDA.

ACTION: Notice; request for comments.


SUMMARY: In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the 
Farm Service Agency (FSA) and the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) 
are requesting comments from all interested individuals and 
organizations on an extension of a currently approved information 
collection that supports the FSA and CCC Debt Settlement Policies and 
Procedures regulations.

DATES: We will consider comments that we receive April 2, 2012.

ADDRESSES: We invite you to submit comments on this notice. In your 
comments, include date, OMB control number, volume, and page number of 
this issue of the Federal Register. You may submit comments by any of 
the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://regulations.gov. 
Follow the online instructions for submitting comments.
     Mail: Thomas F. Harris II, Claims Program Specialist, 
Financial Management Division, Office of Budget and Finance, Farm 
Service Agency, USDA, STOP 0581, 355 E Street SW., Suite 11-181B, 
Washington, DC 20024.
    Comments also should be sent to the Desk Officer for Agriculture, 
Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and 
Budget, Washington, DC 20503. Copies of the information collection may 
be obtained from Thomas F. Harris II at the above address.

Specialist, telephone (202) 772-6014.

    Title: Debt Settlement Policies and Procedures.
    OMB Control Number: 0560-0146.
    Expiration Date of Approval: July 31, 2012.
    Type of Request: Extension with no revision.
    Abstract: This information collection is needed to enable FSA and 
CCC to effectively administer the regulations at 7 CFR 792 (FSA) and 7 
CFR 1403 (CCC) on debt settlement policies and procedures and on the 
identification of and settlement of outstanding claims. Collection of 
outstanding debts owed to FSA or to CCC can be effected by installment 
payments if a debtor furnishes satisfactory evidence of inability to 
pay a claim in full, and if the debtor specifically requests an 
installment agreement. Part of the requirement is that the debtor 
furnishes this request in writing and with a financial statement or 
other information that would disclose a debtor's assets and 
liabilities. This information is required in order to evaluate any 
proposed plan. Such requests for documentation furnished by the debtor 
are also used in the other collection tools employed by both FSA and 
CCC in managing debt settlement policies and procedures. If an 
installment agreement is approved, then a Promissory Note (CCC-279), or 
an approved alternative promissory note format, must be executed 
between the debtor and the FSA/CCC representative(s).
    During the past two years, over $22,425,803.74 in debt collection 
for Farm Programs and for the Commodity Office were facilitated by the 
use of this requested information and 149 Promissory Notes were 
established between debtors and FSA and CCC from 10/01/2009 to 10/01/
2011. Total active Note amount for the past two years is presently 228 
total Promissory Notes (includes beginning outstanding notes (227); 
total notes established (149); notes defaulted (3), notes paid off in 
full (50); notes paid, small balance loans (41); notes written off (45) 
and notes discharged in Bankruptcy (09) with a beginning outstanding 
amount in 2009 of $31,131,509.78, and an ending outstanding amount of 
    The Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996 requires the head of an 
agency to take all appropriate steps to collect delinquent debts before 
discharging such debts. The current information collection forms and 
formats have been successfully used for the past several years and have 
become familiar tools for both the agency employees and for the 
producer. Thus, adequate forms and formats already exist and are in 
use. Developing new forms and formats could be costly and is not 
required to meet the demands of the Debt Collection Improvement Act of 
1996. Nonetheless, comment is requested on how the forms and process 
may be improved, as specified below.
    Estimate of burden: Public reporting burden for this information 
collection is estimated to average 1 hour per response. The average 
travel time, which is included in the total burden, is estimated to be 
1 hour per respondent.
    Respondents: Producers participating in FSA and CCC programs.
    Estimated number of Annual Respondents: 300.
    Estimated number of Responses per Respondent: 1.
    Estimated Total Annual Responses: 300.
    Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 200 hours.
    We are requesting comments on all aspects of this information 
collection and to help us to:
    (1) Determine whether the continued collection of information is 
still necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the FSA, 
including whether the information will have practical utility;
    (2) Assess the accuracy of the FSA's estimate of burden including 
the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;
    (3) Enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information to 
be collected;
    (4) Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those 
who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, 
electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or 
other forms of information technology.
    All responses to this notice, including name and addresses when 
provided, will be summarized and included in the request for OMB 
approval. All comments will also become a matter of public record.

[[Page 5228]]

    Signed on January 27, 2012.
James Monahan,
Acting Administrator Farm Service Agency, and Executive Vice President, 
Commodity Credit Corporation.
[FR Doc. 2012-2259 Filed 2-1-12; 8:45 am]