30 USC 934 - Fund defined; liability of operators to United States for repayments to fund; procedures applicable; rate of interest

(a) For purposes of this section, the term fund has the meaning set forth in section 902 (h) of this title.
(1) If
(A) an amount is paid out of the fund to an individual entitled to benefits under section 932 of this title, and

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(B) the Secretary determines, under the provisions of sections 932 and 933 of this title, that an operator was required to secure the payment of all or a portion of such benefits,

then the operator is liable to the United States for repayment to the fund of the amount of such benefits the payment of which is properly attributed to him plus interest thereon. No operator or representative of operators may bring any proceeding, or intervene in any proceeding, held for the purpose of determining claims for benefits to be paid by the fund, except that nothing in this section shall affect the rights, duties, or liabilities of any operator in proceedings under section 932 or section 933 of this title. In a case where no operator responsibility is assigned pursuant to sections 932 and 933 of this title, a determination by the Secretary that the fund is liable for the payment of benefits shall be final.

(2) If any operator liable to the fund under paragraph (1) refuses to pay, after demand, the amount of such liability (including interest), then there shall be a lien in favor of the United States for such amount upon all property and rights to property, whether real or personal, belonging to such operator. The lien arises on the date on which such liability is finally determined, and continues until it is satisfied or becomes unenforceable by reason of lapse of time.
(A) Except as otherwise provided under this subsection, the priority of the lien shall be determined in the same manner as under section 6323 of title 26. That section shall be applied for such purposes
(i) by substituting lien imposed by section 424(b)(2) of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 for lien imposed by section 6321; operator liability lien for tax lien; operator for taxpayer; lien arising under section 424(b)(2) of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 for assessment of the tax; payment of the liability is made to the Black Lung Disability Trust Fund for satisfaction of a levy pursuant to section 6332 (b); and satisfaction of operator liability for collection of any tax under this title each place such terms appear; and
(ii) by treating all references to the Secretary as references to the Secretary of Labor.
(B) In the case of a bankruptcy or insolvency proceeding, the lien imposed under paragraph (2) shall be treated in the same manner as a lien for taxes due and owing to the United States for purposes of the Bankruptcy Act or section 3713 (a) of title 31.
(C) For purposes of applying section 6323 (a) of title 26 to determine the priority between the lien imposed under paragraph (2) and the Federal tax lien, each lien shall be treated as a judgment lien arising as of the time notice of such lien is filed.
(D) For purposes of this subsection, notice of the lien imposed under paragraph (2) shall be filed in the same manner as under subsections (f) and (g) of section 6323 of title 26.

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(A) In any case where there has been a refusal or neglect to pay the liability imposed under paragraph (2), the Secretary may bring a civil action in a district court of the United States to enforce the lien of the United States under this section with respect to such liability or to subject any property, of whatever nature, of the operator, or in which he has any right, title, or interest, to the payment of such liability.
(B) The liability imposed by paragraph (1) may be collected at a proceeding in court if the proceeding is commenced within 6 years after the date on which the liability was finally determined, or before the expiration of any period for collection agreed upon in writing by the operator and the United States before the expiration of such 6-year period. The running of the period of limitation provided under this subparagraph shall be suspended for any period during which the assets of the operator are in the custody or control of any court of the United States, or of any State, or the District of Columbia, and for 6 months thereafter, and for any period during which the operator is outside the United States if such period of absence is for a continuous period of at least 6 months.
(5) The rate of interest under this subsection
(A) for any period during calendar year 1982, shall be 15 percent, and
(B) for any period after calendar year 1982, shall be the rate established by section 6621 of title 26 which is in effect for such period.