(1) In response to the notice of intent to offset, the employee may propose to establish an alternative schedule for the voluntary repayment of the debt by submitting a written request to the Department official designated in the notice of intent to offset. An employee who wishes to repay the debt without salary offset shall also submit a proposed written repayment agreement. The proposal shall admit the existence of the debt, and the agreement must be in such form that it is legally enforceable. The agreement must:
(i) Be in writing;
(ii) Be signed by both the employee and the Department;
(iii) Specify all the terms of the arrangement for payment; and
(iv) Contain a provision accelerating the debt in the event of default by the employee, but such an increase may not result in a deduction that exceeds 15 percent of the employee's disposable pay unless the employee has agreed in writing to deduction of a greater amount.
(2) Any proposal under paragraph (a)(1) of this section must be received by the Department within 30 days of the date of the notice of intent to offset.
(b) In response to a timely request as described in paragraph (a) of this section, the designated Department official shall notify the employee whether the proposed repayment schedule is acceptable. It is within the Secretary's discretion to accept a proposed alternative repayment schedule, and to set the necessary terms of a voluntary repayment agreement.
(c) No voluntary repayment agreement will be binding on the Secretary unless it is in writing and signed by both the Secretary and the employee.