B-136103, MAY 28, 1958

B-136103: May 28, 1958

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THIS DEBT AROSE FROM YOUR DEFAULT ON A LOAN GUARANTEED BY THE ADMINISTRATOR OF VETERANS' AFFAIRS WHICH WAS MADE PURSUANT TO SECTION 500. IN YOUR LETTER YOU CONTEND THAT THE INDEBTEDNESS IS NOT OWED BY YOU BECAUSE THE HOUSE FOR WHICH THE LOAN WAS MADE IS NOW BEING PURCHASED BY ANOTHER PARTY. YOU ARE TO BE SEPARATED FROM YOUR EMPLOYMENT AT THE UNITED STATES NAVAL TRAINING CENTER. BECAUSE YOU HAVE A WIFE. SEVEN CHILDREN TO SUPPORT YOU HAVE REFUSED TO CONSENT TO DEDUCTION FROM YOUR FINAL PAY AND RETIREMENT FUND IN LIQUIDATION OF THE INDEBTEDNESS. WITH REGARD TO YOUR CONTENTION THAT YOU ARE NOT INDEBTED TO THE UNITED STATES BECAUSE THE HOUSE IS NOW BEING PURCHASED BY ANOTHER PARTY. WHILE OUR OFFICE IS SYMPATHETIC WITH YOUR FINANCIAL DIFFICULTIES.

B-136103, MAY 28, 1958

TO MR. BART J. PATRICK:

THIS REFERS TO YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 15, 1958, TO THE CLAIMS DIVISION OF THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE WHICH CONCERNS AN INDEBTEDNESS OF $209.38 PLUS INTEREST OWED BY YOU TO THE UNITED STATES. THIS DEBT AROSE FROM YOUR DEFAULT ON A LOAN GUARANTEED BY THE ADMINISTRATOR OF VETERANS' AFFAIRS WHICH WAS MADE PURSUANT TO SECTION 500, TITLE III OF THE SERVICEMEN'S READJUSTMENT ACT OF 1944, AS AMENDED, 38 U.S.C. 694.

IN YOUR LETTER YOU CONTEND THAT THE INDEBTEDNESS IS NOT OWED BY YOU BECAUSE THE HOUSE FOR WHICH THE LOAN WAS MADE IS NOW BEING PURCHASED BY ANOTHER PARTY. YOU ALSO SAY THAT AS OF MAY 16, 1958, YOU ARE TO BE SEPARATED FROM YOUR EMPLOYMENT AT THE UNITED STATES NAVAL TRAINING CENTER, BAINBRIDGE, MARYLAND, AND BECAUSE YOU HAVE A WIFE, MOTHER, AND SEVEN CHILDREN TO SUPPORT YOU HAVE REFUSED TO CONSENT TO DEDUCTION FROM YOUR FINAL PAY AND RETIREMENT FUND IN LIQUIDATION OF THE INDEBTEDNESS. ALTHOUGH NOT SPECIFICALLY SO STATED, YOUR LETTER APPEARS TO ALSO BE A REQUEST THAT YOUR FINAL PAY NOT BE OBLIGATED TOWARD THE INDEBTEDNESS.

WITH REGARD TO YOUR CONTENTION THAT YOU ARE NOT INDEBTED TO THE UNITED STATES BECAUSE THE HOUSE IS NOW BEING PURCHASED BY ANOTHER PARTY, PLEASE BE INFORMED THAT UNDER THE APPLICABLE LAW THE SUBSEQUENT PURCHASE BY A THIRD PARTY IN NO WAY EXONERATES YOU FROM YOUR PROMISE TO PAY THE AMOUNT CLAIMED. AS PREVIOUSLY ADVISED BY OUR OFFICE, THE INDEBTEDNESS REPRESENTS A CLAIM PAID BY THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION ON MARCH 15, 1950, BECAUSE OF YOUR DEFAULT ON GUARANTEED LOAN NO. LH-8070 W-VA., PLUS INTEREST AT 4 PERCENT PER ANNUM. YOUR INDEBTEDNESS TO THE GOVERNMENT AROSE IN THE FOLLOWING MANNER. WHEN THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION MADE PAYMENT TO THE CORRINE COAL AND LAND COMPANY, THE PRIOR HOLDER OF YOUR NOTE, THE UNITED STATES BECAME SUBROGATED TO THE RIGHTS OF THAT COMPANY AND ANY AMOUNT PAID THEM BY THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION BECAME DUE THE UNITED STATES.

WHILE OUR OFFICE IS SYMPATHETIC WITH YOUR FINANCIAL DIFFICULTIES, IT ALSO IS CHARGED WITH THE DUTY OF PROTECTING THE INTEREST OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AND IS WITHOUT AUTHORITY TO RELEASE THE AMOUNT OWED OR TO WAIVE THE OPPORTUNITY OF A POSSIBLE SETOFF AGAINST THE AMOUNT DUE. IN THIS REGARD, THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY IS SIMILARLY LACKING IN AUTHORITY TO WAIVE THE AMOUNT DUE AND SET-OFF FROM YOUR FINAL SALARY PAYMENT MUST BE MADE BY THAT DEPARTMENT PURSUANT TO ITS REGULATIONS. UNDER THE APPLICABLE LAWS THE DETERMINATION MADE BY THE ADMINISTRATOR OF VETERANS' AFFAIRS RESPECTING THE AMOUNT OF YOUR UNLIQUIDATED INDEBTEDNESS IS FINAL AND CONCLUSIVE UPON ALL OFFICERS OF THE GOVERNMENT AND ANY ADJUSTMENT AUTHORIZED IN CONNECTION THEREWITH IS A MATTER SOLELY WITHIN THE JURISDICTION OF THAT OFFICIAL.

ACCORDINGLY, UNTIL YOU OBTAIN A WAIVER OF THE AMOUNT DUE FROM THE ADMINISTRATOR OF VETERANS' AFFAIRS PURSUANT TO 38 U.S.C. 694 J (A) (4), THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY WILL BE OBLIGED TO WITHHOLD FROM YOUR FINAL SALARY AND LEAVE PAYMENT AN AMOUNT EQUAL TO YOUR REMAINING OUTSTANDING OBLIGATION.