It can be frightening to get a Notice of Intent (NOI) to Collect letter, we know. You do have options! Keep reading for what an NOI is and what you can do.
If you've received services from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), but have struggled to meet the payment terms, you may have received a Notice of Intent to Collect.
While this document is never a welcome sight, the good news is there are steps you can take to absolve your debt and get back on track financially.
Today, we're breaking down what you should do when you receive this notification letter. The sooner you act, the quicker the issue can be resolved, so knowing the process beforehand can help you avoid any costly snafus in the future.
Ready to learn more? Let's get started!
What is a Notice of Intent to Collect?
Put simply, HUD will issue you a Notice of Intent to Collect when your debt owed to the agency goes delinquent.
Your specific loan or repayment agreement will outline the terms for delinquency, though HUD guidelines mandate that if a payment is not made within the grace period (typically 30 days), it will fall into this category.
When this happens, HUD will collect the monies owed through a process known as the Treasury Offset Program (TOP).
This means that the U.S. Department of the Treasury will look to find where the Federal Government owes you money (tax returns, military pay, federal retirement accounts). Then, they will give it to HUD, who will draw from it to pay back your debt.
This will continue until all debt, including accumulated interest, is paid back.
As such, a Notice of Intent isn't to be taken lightly. Here's what you should do if you're on the receiving end of one:
1. Pay the Debt Voluntarily
Before you enter into the TOP, you'll be informed of your due process rights. In short, these are the rights you have as the debtor moving forward.
There are three ways you can respond to a Notice of Intent. The first is to pay your debt back voluntarily within 65 days.
If you have the funds available, do not wish more details on the notice, and have no grounds for a review, this might be the most appropriate route for you. Even if you can't pay the required amount in full, you can enter into a repayment agreement agreed upon by the HUD.
On the other hand, if you would like a second look at the details surrounding the case against you, there are two alternative measures you can take:
2. Inspect HUD Records
As a guideline, HUD maintains detailed records of every payment -- and every debt.
It's within your rights to ask for a review of these records. You can either request that HUD sends you copies of them, or you can visit the agency in person to review and copy the records yourself.
You'll have 20 days after the date that your notice was issued to send a letter to HUD requesting arrangements for either of these actions.
3. Request a Process Review
Do you think that some or all of your debt is not past-due, or cannot be legally enforced and you have evidence to back up your claim?
If so, your third option is to appeal the notice by requesting a review of the process HUD took to determine your standing.
A request for this investigation to take place should be sent in writing no later than 20 days after the notice is issued.
If this is the route you choose, it's often wise to hire a debt attorney to help you navigate this process. One that's familiar with HUD-related debt, specifically Treasury Offset Appeal, will be the most knowledgeable about your circumstance and is often your best bet.
Do You Have HUD Loan Issues? Start Here
If you're in the middle of a loan issue with HUD, or are working through a Treasury debt collection, we'd love to help guide you.
Our HUD attorneys specialize in helping clients resolve their HUD debt situations. We'll work with you to help you understand the process at every corner, protecting your rights every step of the way.
Contact us today to learn more or to get started, and let's take that first step together!