U.S. Code of Federal Regulations
Regulations most recently checked for updates: May 31, 2023
§ 1951.851 - Introduction.
(a) This subpart contains regulations for servicing or liquidating loans or other assistance made by the Rural Business-Cooperative Service or its successor agency under the IRP and the RMAP. All debt settlement cases under this subpart will be settled in accordance with the debt settlement provisions set forth in 7 CFR part 1956, subpart C. The provisions of this subpart supersede conflicting provisions of any other subpart.
(b) This subpart also contains regulations for servicing the existing Rural Development Loan Fund (RDLF) loans previously approved and administered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under 45 CFR part 1076. This action is needed to implement the provisions of Section 1323 of the Food Security Act of 1985, Pub. L. 99–198, which provides for the transfer of the loan servicing authority for those loans from the HHS to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
(c) These regulations do not negate contractual arrangements that were previously made by the HHS, Office of Community Services (OCS), or the intermediaries operating relending programs that have already been entered into with ultimate recipients under previous regulations.
(d) The loan program is administered by the Rural Development National Office. The Director, Business and Industry Division, is the point of contact for servicing activities unless otherwise delegated by the Administrator.
§ 1951.852 - Definitions and abbreviations.
(a) General definitions. The following definitions are applicable to the terms used in this subpart.
(1) Intermediary (Borrower). The entity receiving Rural Development loan funds for relending to ultimate recipients. Rural Development becomes an intermediary in the event it takes over loan servicing and/or liquidation.
(2) Loan Agreement. The signed agreement between Rural Development and the intermediary setting forth the terms and conditions of the loan.
(3) Low-income. The level of income of a person or family which is at or below the Poverty Guidelines as defined in section 673(2) of the Community Services Block Grant Act (42 U.S.C. 9902(2)).
(4) Market value. The most probable price which property should bring, as of a specific date in a competitive and open market, assuming the buyer and seller are prudent and knowledgeable, and the price is not affected by undue stimulus such as forced sale or loan interest subsidy.
(5) Principals of intermediary. Includes members, officers, directors, and other entities directly involved in the operation and management of an intermediary organization.
(6) Ultimate recipient. The entity receiving financial assistance from the intermediary. This may be interchangeable with the term “subrecipient” in some documents previously issued by HHS.
(7) Rural area. Includes all territory of a State that is not within the outer boundary of any city having a population of twenty-five thousand or more.
(8) State. Any of the fifty States, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands of the United States, Guam, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.
(9) Technical assistance or service. Technical assistance or service is any function unreimbursed by Rural Development performed by the intermediary for the benefit of the ultimate recipient.
(10) Working capital. The excess of current assets over current liabilities. It identifies the liquid portion of total enterprise capital which constitutes a margin or buffer for meeting obligations within the ordinary operating cycle of the business.
(b) Abbreviations. The following abbreviations are applicable:
B&I—Business and Industry
CSA—Community Services Administration
EIS—Environmental Impact Statement
HHS—U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
IRP—Intermediary Relending Program
OCS—Office of Community Services
OIG—Office of Inspector General
OGC—Office of the General Counsel
RDLF—Rural Development Loan Fund
USDA—United States Department of Agriculture
§ 1951.859 - Term of loans.
(a) No loans shall be extended for a period exceeding 30 years. Principal payments on loans will be made at least annually. The initial principal payment may be deferred not more than 3 years.
(b) The terms of loan repayment will be those stipulated in the loan agreement and/or promissory note.
§ 1951.866 - Security.
(a) Loans from RDLF intermediaries to ultimate recipients. Security requirements for loans from intermediaries to ultimate recipients will be negotiated between the intermediaries and ultimate recipients. Rural Development concurrence in the intermediary's security proposal is required only when security for the loan from the intermediary to the ultimate recipient will also serve as security for the Rural Development.
(b) Additional security. The Rural Development may require additional security at any time during the term of a loan to an intermediary if, after review and monitoring, an assessment indicates the need for such security.
(c) Appraisals. Real property serving as security for all loans to intermediaries and for loans to ultimate recipients serving as security for loans to intermediaries will be appraised by a qualified appraiser. For all other types of property, a valuation shall be made using any recognized, standard technique for the type of property involved (including standard reference manuals), and this valuation shall be described in the loan file.
§ 1951.872 - Other regulatory requirements.
Intergovernmental consultation. The RDLF program is subject to the provisions of Executive Order 12372 which requires intergovernmental consultation with State and local officials. For each ultimate recipient to be assisted with a loan under this subpart and for which the State in which the ultimate recipient is to be located has elected to review the program under their intergovernmental review process, the State Point of Contact must be notified. Notification, in the form of a project description, can be initiated by the intermediary or the ultimate recipient. Any comments from the State must be included with the intermediary's request to use the loan funds for the ultimate recipient. Prior to Rural Development's decision on the request, compliance with the requirements of intergovernmental consultation must be demonstrated for each ultimate recipient. These requirements should be carried out in accordance with the requirements set forth in U.S. Department of Agriculture regulations 2 CFR part 415, subpart C, and RD Instruction 1970–I, 'Intergovernmental Review,' available in any Agency office or on the Agency's Web site.
§ 1951.881 - Loan servicing.
(a) These regulations do not negate contractual arrangements that were previously made by the HHS, Office of Community Services (OCS), or the intermediaries operating relending programs that have already been entered into with ultimate recipients under previous regulations. Pre-existing documents control when in conflict with these regulations. The loan is governed by terms of existing legal documents of each intermediary. The RDLF/IRP intermediary is responsible for compliance with the terms and conditions of the loan agreement. Other than 7 CFR 1951.709(d)(1)(B)(iv), intermediaries receiving an unauthorized loan or using their revolving fund for unauthorized purposes will be serviced in accordance with 7 CFR part 1951, subpart O.
(b) Each intermediary will be monitored by Rural Development based on progress reports submitted by the intermediary, audit findings, disbursement transactions, visitations, and other contract with the intermediary as necessary.
(c) Loan servicing is intended to be preventive rather than a curative action. Prompt followup on delinquent accounts and early recognition of potential problems and pursuing a solution to them are keys to resolving many problem loan cases.
(d) Written notices on payments coming due will be prepared and sent to the intermediary by the Rural Development Finance Office approximately 15 days in advance of the due date of the payments. A copy of the notice will be sent to the Rural Development Under Secretary or designee.
(e) If the scheduled payment is not made by the intermediary within 30 days after the due date of the payment, the Finance Office will send a past due notice to the intermediary. The notice will show the late charge amount, if applicable, and the interest amount past due. The late charge amount, if applicable, and the interest past due amount will be capitalized as principal due 30 days after the due date of the monthly payment unless existing loan documents prior to this regulation state otherwise. If the loan documents state when late charge amounts or interest accruals are to be capitalized, the loan documents will prevail.
(1) A per diem amount will be shown on the late notice sent to the intermediary. The Finance Office will send this notice to the Administrator or designee 30 days after the past due notice has been sent to the intermediary and the account remains delinquent. Thereafter, further notices by Rural Development designee will be sent to the intermediary on the late payments or any further payments until the account is in a current status.
(2) The Finance Office will notify the Administrator or designee on any payments due from the delinquent intermediary. It will be the responsibility of the Administrator or designee to follow up on delinquent payments to bring the account to a current status.
(3) A copy of any correspondence or notice generated by the Administrator or designee on any delinquent loan will be sent to the Finance Office.
(4) Interest will be computed on a 365-day basis unless legal documents state otherwise.
(f) It is the responsibility of the Finance Office to maintain complete accounting records for each intermediary. The Finance Office will:
(1) Coordinate with the Administrator or designee to assure that interest and principal payments received are in accordance with the promissory notes and its companion documents, and the effective amortization schedule. If the payments received appear to be incorrect, the Finance Office will advise the Administrator or designee. The Administrator or designee will take the necessary action to clear the issue and promptly advise the Finance Office of the proper accounting procedure.
(2) Send monthly statements to the National Office reflecting all payments received to date on each borrower.
(3) Send to the Administrator or designee a monthly summary of all intermediary loans as follows:
(i) Number and amount of all loans.
(ii) Total advanced on all loans.
(iii) Total interest and principal received on the loans.
(iv) Total outstanding balance on all loans.
(4) Prepare reamortization schedules needed as a result of restructuring any loans and send to the Administrator or designee.
(5) Furnish in writing to the Administrator or designee a per diem amount on the actual interest amount due when requested by the Administrator.
(g) It is the responsibility of the Administrator or designee to:
(1) Review and analyze the semiannual report of the intermediaries and reconcile same to the annual audits.
(2) Review the annual audits of intermediaries.
(3) Review the semiannual reports of the intermediaries and take appropriate action when necessary.
(4) Follow up on delinquent intermediaries to bring the account current.
(5) Notify the Finance Office in writing when a loan is determined to be uncollectible in order for the Finance Office to make provisions for an appropriate timely entry to the loss account.
(6) Furnish to the Finance Office the necessary information to produce reamortization schedules.
(7) Provide the Finance Office a copy of any correspondence in regard to the restructuring of the loans.
(8) Review reamortization schedules, the schedule will then be forwarded to the intermediary.
(9) Confirm account balances. Payment history of loans and any other related matter will be furnished to the requesting party, (i.e. third party auditing firms) if warranted and proper. If there are discrepancies in any loan balances being confirmed, the Finance Office should be consulted before the Administrator or designee writes the requested parties.
(10) Furnish upon request by the Finance Office, the information necessary to help reconcile account balances, obtain evidence of payments made by the borrower, and any other related data necessary to keep the financial records correct and in balance.
(11) Answer Congressional and other correspondence.
(12) Review intermediary's plans, cash flow projections, balance sheets, and operating statements.
§ 1951.883 - Reporting requirements.
(a) Intermediaries are to provide Rural Development with reports as required in their respective loan agreements, applicable statutes and as required by Rural Development. The report shall include the following:
(1) An annual audit; dates of audit report period need not necessarily coincide with other reports on the RDLF/IRP. Audits shall be due 90 days following the audit period. Audits must cover all of the intermediary's activities. Audits will be performed by an independent certified public accountant or by an independent public accountant licensed and certified on or before December 31, 1970, by a regulatory authority of a State or other political subdivision of the United States. An acceptable audit will be performed in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards and include such tests of the accounting records as the auditor considers necessary in order to express an opinion on the financial condition of the intermediary. Rural Development does not require an unqualified audit opinion as a result of the audit. Compilations or reviews do not satisfy the audit requirement.
(2) Quarterly or semiannual reports (due 30 days after the end of the period).
(i) Reports will be required quarterly during the first year after loan closing and, if all loan funds are not utilized during the first year, quarterly reports will be continued until at least 90 percent of the Agency IRP loan funds have been advanced to ultimate recipients. Thereafter, reports will be required semiannually. Also, the Agency may require quarterly reports if the intermediary becomes delinquent in repayment of its loan or otherwise fails to fully comply with the provisions of its work plan or Loan Agreement, or the Agency determines that the intermediary's IRP revolving fund is not adequately protected by the current sound worth and paying capacity of the ultimate recipients.
(ii) These reports shall contain only information on the IRP revolving loan fund, or if other funds are included, the IRP loan program portion shall be segregated from the others; and in the case where the intermediary has more than one IRP revolving fund from the Agency a separate report shall be made for each of the IRP revolving funds.
(iii) The reports will include, on a form provided by the Agency, information on the intermediary's lending activity, income and expenses, financial condition, and a summary of names and characteristics of the ultimate recipients the intermediary has financed.
(3) An annual report on the extent to which increased employment income and ownership opportunities are provided to low-income persons, farm families, and displaced farm families for each loan made by such intermediary.
(4) Proposed budget for the following year.
(5) Other reports as Rural Development may require from time to time.
(b) Intermediaries shall report to Rural Development whenever an ultimate recipient is more than 90 days in arrears in the repayment of principal or interest.
§ 1951.884 - Revolved funds.
For ultimate recipients assisted by the intermediary with Rural Development, revolved funds derived from IRP funds shall be required to comply with the provisions of these regulations and/or loan agreement.
§ 1951.885 - Loan classifications.
All loans to intermediaries in the Rural Development portfolio will be classified by Rural Development at loan closing and again whenever there is a change in the loan which would impact on the original classification. No one classification should be viewed as more important than others. The uncollectibility aspect of Doubtful and Loss classifications is of obvious importance. However, the function of the Substandard classification is to indicate those loans that are unduly risky which may result in future losses. Substandard, Doubtful and Loss are adverse classifications. The special mention classification is for loans which are not adversely classified but which require the attention and followup of Rural Development. The loans will be classified as follows:
(a) Seasoned loan classification. To be classified as a seasoned loan, a loan must:
(1) Have a remaining principal loan balance of two-thirds or less of the original aggregate of all existing loans made to that intermediary.
(2) Be in compliance with all loan conditions and Rural Development regulations.
(3) Have been current on the loan(s) payments for 24 consecutive months.
(4) Be secured by collateral which is determined to be adequate to ensure there will be no loss on the loan.
(b) Current non-problem classification. This classification includes those loans which have been current for less than 24 consecutive months and are in compliance with the loan conditions and Rural Development regulations, and are not considered to pose a credit risk to Rural Development. These loans would be classified as seasoned but for the “24 months” and “two-thirds” requirements for seasoned loans.
(c) Special mention classification. This classification includes loans which do not presently expose Rural Development to a sufficient degree of risk to warrant a Substandard classification but do possess credit deficiencies deserving Rural Development's close attention because the failure to correct these deficiencies could result in greater risk in the future. This classification would include loans that may be high quality, but which Rural Development is unable to supervise properly because of an inadequate loan agreement, the condition or lack of control over the collateral, failure to obtain proper documentation or any other deviations from prudent lending practices. Adverse trends in the intermediary's operation or an imbalanced position in the balance sheet which has not reached a point that jeopardizes the repayment of the loan should be assigned to this classification. Loans in which actual, not potential, weaknesses are evident and significant should be considered for a Substandard classification.
(d) Substandard classification. This classification includes loans which are inadequately protected by the current sound worth and paying capacity of the obligor or of the collateral pledged, if any. Loans in this classification must have a well defined weakness or weaknesses that jeopardize the payment in full of the debt. If the deficiencies are not corrected, there is a distinct possibility that Rural Development will sustain some loss.
(e) Doubtful classification. This classification includes those loans which have all the weaknesses inherent in those classified Substandard with the added characteristic that the weaknesses make collection or liquidation in full, based on currently known facts, conditions and values, highly questionable and improbable.
(f) Loss classification. This classification includes those loans which are considered uncollectible and of such little value that their continuance as loans is not warranted. Even though partial recovery may be effected in the future, it is not practical or desirable to defer writing off these basically worthless loans.
§ 1951.889 - Transfer and assumption.
(a) All transfers and assumptions must be approved in advance in writing by Rural Development. Such transfers and assumptions must be to an eligible intermediary.
(b) Available transfer and assumption options to eligible intermediaries include the following:
(1) The total indebtedness may be transferred to another eligible intermediary on the same terms.
(2) The total indebtedness may be transferred to another eligible intermediary on different terms not to exceed those terms for which an initial loan can be made to an organization that would have been eligible originally.
(3) Less than total indebtedness may be transferred to another eligible intermediary on the same terms.
(4) Less than total indebtedness may be transferred to another eligible intermediary on different terms.
(c) The transferor will prepare the transfer document for Rural Development's review prior to the transfer and assumption.
(d) The transferee will provide Rural Development with a copy of its latest financial statement and a copy of its annual financial statement for the past 3 years if available; its Federal Tax Identification number; organizational charter; minutes from the Board of Directors authorizing the transaction; certification of good standing from the Secretary of State or whatever regulatory agency oversees nonprofit corporations for that State or Commonwealth where the entity is headquartered; and any other information that Rural Development deems necessary for its review.
(e) The assumption agreement will contain the Rural Development case nunber of the transferor and transferee.
(f) When the transferee makes a cash downpayment in connection with the transfer and assumption, any proceeds received by the transferor will be credited on the transferor's loan debt in inverse order of maturity.
(g) The Administrator or designee will approve or decline all transfers and assumptions.
§ 1951.890 - Office of Inspector General and Office of General Counsel referrals.
When facts or circumstances indicate that criminal violations, civil fraud, misrepresentations, or regulatory violations may have been committed by an applicant or an intermediary, Rural Development will refer the case to the appropriate Regional Inspector General for Investigations, OIG, USDA, in accordance with RD Instruction 2012–B (available in any Rural Development office) for criminal investigation. Any questions as to whether a matter should be referred will be resolved through consultation with OIG and Rural Development and confirmed in writing. In order to assure protection of the financial and other interests of the Government, a duplicate of the notification will be sent to the OGC. OGC will be consulted on legal questions. After OIG has accepted any matter for investigation, Rural Development staff must coordinate with OIG in advance regarding routine servicing actions on existing loans.
§ 1951.891 - Liquidation; default.
(a) In the event that Rural Development takes over the servicing of the ultimate recipient of an intermediary, those loans will be serviced by this regulation and in accordance with the contractual arrangement between the intermediary and the ultimate recipient. Should Rural Development determine that it is necessary or desirable to take action to protect or further the interests of Rural Development in connection with any default or breach of conditions under any loan made hereunder, the Rural Development may:
(1) Declare that the loan is immediately due and payable.
(2) Assign or sell at public or private sale, or otherwise dispose of for cash or credit at its discretion and upon such terms and conditions as Rural Development shall determine to be reasonable, any evidence of debt, contract, claim, personal or real property or security assigned to or held by the Rural Development in connection with financial assistance extended hereunder.
(3) Adjust interest rates, use fixed or variable rates, grant moratoriums on repayment of principal and interest, collect or compromise any obligations held by Rural Development and take such actions in respect to such loans as are necessary or appropriate, consistent with the purpose of the program and this subpart. The Administrator will notify the Rural Development Finance Office of any change in payment terms, such as reamortizations or interest rate adjustments, and effective dates of any changes resulting from servicing actions.
(b) Failure by an ultimate recipient to comply with the provisions of these regulations and/or loan agreement shall constitute grounds for a declaration of default and the demand for immediate and full repayment of its loan.
(c) Failure by an intermediary to comply with the provisions of these regulations or to relend funds in accordance with an approved work plan or loan agreement shall constitute grounds for a declaration of default and the demand for immediate and full repayment of the loan.
(d) In the event of default, the intermediary will promptly be informed in writing of the consequences of failing to comply with loan covenant(s).
(e) Protective advances to the intermediary will not be made in lieu of additional loans, in particular working capital loans. Protective advances are advances made by Rural Development for the purpose of preserving and protecting the collateral where the intermediary has failed to and will not or cannot meet its obligations. The Administrator or designee must approve in writing all protective advances.
(f) In the event of bankruptcy by the intermediary and/or ultimate recipient, Rural Development is responsible for protecting the interests of the Government. All bankruptcy cases should be reported immediately to the Regional Attorney. The Administrator must approve in advance and in writing the estimated liquidation expenses on loans in liquidation bankruptcy. These expenses must be considered by Rural Development to be reasonable and customary.
(g) Liquidation, management, and disposal of inventory property will be handled in accordance with subparts A, B, and C of part 1955 of this chapter.
§ 1951.894 - Debt settlement.
Debt settlement of all claims will be handled in accordance with subpart C of part 1956 of this chapter.
§ 1951.896 - Appeals.
Any appealable adverse decision made by FmHA or its successor agency under Public Law 103–354 which affects the borrower may be appealed upon written request of the aggrieved party in accordance with subpart B of part 1900 of this chapter.
§ 1951.897 - Exception authority.
The Administrator may, in individual cases, grant an exception to any requirement or provision of this subpart which is not inconsistent with an applicable law or opinion of the Comptroller General, provided the Administrator determines that application of the requirement or provision would adversely affect the Government's interest. The basis for this exception will be fully documented. The documentation will: demonstrate the adverse impact; identify the particular requirement involved; and show how the adverse impact will be eliminated.