Request for Waiver of Debt

B-196637: Feb 27, 1980

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A Navy officer requested reconsideration of the denial of his application for waiver of his debt to the Government which arose from overpayments of basic allowance for quarters (BAQ). Due to administrative error, the officer continued to receive BAQ after he moved into Government quarters whereupon the BAQ should have been discontinued. The officer contended that his only knowledge of the matter was when he noticed that his pay decreased when the error was corrected and that he had been assured that his pay was accurate. He further contended that payment of the debt would result in extreme financial hardship. It was held that the officer should have known that the payments were erroneous and that financial hardship is not sufficient reason for a member to retain overpayments. Therefore, the previous denial of waiver was sustained.