(a) Scope and consequences. (1) The Secretary may limit or terminate an institution's participation in a Title IV, HEA program or the eligibility of a third-party servicer to contract with any institution to administer any aspect of the institution's participation in any Title IV, HEA program, if the institution or servicer -
(i) Violates any statutory provision of or applicable to Title IV of the HEA, any regulatory provision prescribed under that statutory authority, or any applicable special arrangement, agreement, or limitation entered into under the authority of statutes applicable to Title IV of the HEA; or
(ii) Substantially misrepresents the nature of -
(A) In the case of an institution, its educational program, its financial charges, or the employability of its graduates; or
(B) In the case of a third-party servicer, as applicable, the educational program, financial charges, or employability of the graduates of any institution that contracts with the servicer.
(2) If the Secretary begins a limitation or termination proceeding against a third-party servicer, the Secretary also may begin a fine, limitation, suspension, or termination proceeding against any institution under whose contract a third-party servicer commits the violation.
(3) The consequences of the limitation or termination of the institution's participation or the servicer's eligibility are described in §§ 668.94 and 668.95, respectively.
(b) Procedures. (1) A designated department official begins a limitation or termination proceeding by sending an institution or third-party servicer a notice by certified mail, return receipt requested. In the case of a limitation or termination proceeding against a third-party servicer, the official also sends the notice to each institution that contracts with the servicer. The designated department official may also transmit the notice by other, more expeditious means if practical. This notice -
(i) Informs the institution or servicer of the intent of the Secretary to limit or terminate the institution's participation or servicer's eligibility, as applicable, cites the consequences of that action, and identifies the alleged violations that constitute the basis for the action, and, in the case of a limitation proceeding, states the limits to be imposed;
(ii) Specifies the proposed effective date of the limitation or termination, which is at least 20 days after the date of mailing of the notice of intent;
(iii) Informs the institution or servicer that the limitation or termination will not be effective on the date specified in the notice if the designated department official receives from the institution or servicer, as applicable, by that date a request for a hearing or written material indicating why the limitation or termination should not take place; and
(iv) In the case of a limitation or termination proceeding against a third-party servicer, informs each institution that contracts with the servicer of the consequences of the action to the institution.
(2) If the institution or servicer does not request a hearing but submits written material, the designated department official, after considering that material, notifies the institution or, in the case of a third-party servicer, the servicer and each institution that contracts with the servicer that -
(i) The proposed action is dismissed;
(ii) Limitations are effective as of a specified date; or
(iii) The termination is effective as of a specified date.
(3) If the institution or servicer requests a hearing by the time specified in paragraph (b)(1)(iii) of this section, the designated department official transmits the request for hearing and response to the Office of Hearings and Appeals, which sets the date and place. The date is at least 15 days after the designated department official receives the request. The limitation or termination does not take place until after the requested hearing is held.
(4) A hearing official conducts a hearing in accordance with § 668.89.
(c) Expedited proceeding. With the approval of the hearing official and the consent of the designated department official and the institution or servicer, as applicable, any time schedule specified in this section may be shortened.
(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1094)
[59 FR 22447, Apr. 29, 1994, as amended at 60 FR 61774, Dec. 1, 1995; 65 FR 65637, Nov. 1, 2000; 82 FR 6257, Jan. 19, 2017]