United States Code

USC most recently checked for updates: Feb 04, 2023

§ 1989.
Rules and regulations
(a)
In general

The Secretary is authorized to make such rules and regulations, prescribe the terms and conditions for making or insuring loans, security instruments and agreements, except as otherwise specified herein, and make such delegations of authority as he deems necessary to carry out this chapter.

(b)
Debt service margin requirements
Notwithstanding subsection (a), in providing farmer program loan guarantees under this chapter, the Secretary shall consider the income of the borrower adequate if the income is equal to or greater than the income necessary—
(1)
to make principal and interest payments on all debt obligations of the borrower, in a timely manner;
(2)
to cover the necessary living expenses of the family of the borrower; and
(3)
to pay all other obligations and expenses of the borrower not financed through debt obligations referred to in paragraph (1).
(c)
Certified Lenders Program
(1)
In general

The Secretary shall establish a program under which the Secretary shall guarantee loans for any purpose specified in subchapter II that are made by lending institutions certified by the Secretary.

(2)
Certification requirements

The Secretary shall certify a lending institution that meets such criteria as the Secretary may prescribe in regulations, including the ability of the institution to properly make, service, and liquidate the loans of the institution.

(3)
Condition of certification

As a condition of the certification, the Secretary shall require the institution to undertake to service the loans guaranteed by the Secretary under this subsection, using standards that are not less stringent than generally accepted banking standards concerning loan servicing employed by prudent commercial or cooperative lenders. The Secretary shall, at least annually, monitor the performance of each certified lender to ensure that the conditions of the certification are being met.

(4)
Effect of certification
Notwithstanding any other provision of law:
(A)
The Secretary shall guarantee 80 percent of a loan made under this subsection by a certified lending institution as described in paragraph (1), subject to county committee certification that the borrower of the loan meets the eligibility requirements and such other criteria as may be applicable to loans guaranteed by the Secretary under other provisions of this chapter.
(B)
With respect to loans to be guaranteed by the Secretary under this subsection, the Secretary shall permit certified lending institutions to make appropriate certifications (as provided by regulations issued by the Secretary)—
(i)
relating to issues such as creditworthiness, repayment ability, adequacy of collateral, and feasibility of farm operation; and
(ii)
that the borrower is in compliance with all requirements of law, including regulations issued by the Secretary.
(C)
The Secretary shall approve or disapprove a guarantee not later than 14 calendar days after the date that the lending institution applied to the Secretary for the guarantee. If the Secretary rejects the loan application within the 14-day period, the Secretary shall state, in writing, all of the reasons the application was rejected.
(5)
Relationship to other requirements

Neither this subsection nor subsection (d) shall affect the responsibility of the Secretary to certify eligibility, review financial information, and otherwise assess an application.

(d)
Preferred Certified Lenders Program
(1)
In general
Commencing not later than two years after October 28, 1992, the Secretary shall establish a Preferred Certified Lenders Program for lenders who establish their—
(A)
knowledge of, and experience under, the program established under subsection (c);
(B)
knowledge of the regulations concerning the guaranteed loan program; and
(C)
proficiency related to the certified lender program requirements.
The Secretary shall certify any lending institution as a Preferred Certified Lender that meets such criteria as the Secretary may prescribe by regulation.
(2)
Revocation of designation

The designation of a lender as a Preferred Certified Lender shall be revoked at any time that the Secretary determines that such lender is not adhering to the rules and regulations applicable to the program or if the loss experiences of a Preferred Certified Lender are excessive as compared to other Preferred Certified Lenders, except that such suspension or revocation shall not affect any outstanding guarantee.

(3)
Condition of certification

As a condition of such preferred certification, the Secretary shall require the institution to undertake to service the loans guaranteed by the Secretary under this subsection using generally accepted banking standards concerning loan servicing employed by prudent commercial or cooperative lenders. The Secretary shall, at least annually, monitor the performance of each Preferred Certified Lender to ensure that the conditions of such certification are being met.

(4)
Effect of preferred lender certification
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Secretary shall—
(A)
guarantee 80 percent of an approved loan made by a certified lending institution as described in this subsection, subject to county committee certification that the borrower meets the eligibility requirements or such other criteria as may be applicable to loans guaranteed by the Secretary under other provisions of this chapter;
(B)
(C)
be deemed to have guaranteed 80 percent of a loan made by a preferred certified lending institution as described in paragraph (1), if the Secretary fails to approve or reject the application of such institution within 14 calendar days after the date that the lending institution presented the application to the Secretary. If the Secretary rejects the application within the 14-day period, the Secretary shall state, in writing, the reasons the application was rejected.
(e)
Administration of Certified Lenders and Preferred Certified Lenders programs

The Secretary may administer the loan guarantee programs under subsections (c) and (d) through central offices established in States or in multi-State areas.

(Pub. L. 87–128, title III, § 339, Aug. 8, 1961, 75 Stat. 318; Pub. L. 102–554, § 18, Oct. 28, 1992, 106 Stat. 4155; Pub. L. 106–31, title III, § 3019(a), May 21, 1999, 113 Stat. 99; Pub. L. 107–171, title V, § 5309, May 13, 2002, 116 Stat. 346; Pub. L. 115–334, title V, § 5401(d), Dec. 20, 2018, 132 Stat. 4674.)
cite as: 7 USC 1989