One of the consequences of a failing small business is SBA loan default. The owner ends up with the debt of the small business association (SBA) loan. There are a few avenues to take, once a SBA demand letter has been received. The first thing a failed business owner needs to do is hire a federally licensed SBA attorney and Treasury debt practitioner. That specialization means the attorney can handle a case once it has been referred to the Treasury. Non-legal entities cannot provide negotiation services from that point forward.
An SBA Offer in Compromise is one way to settle the debt without foreclosure or filing bankruptcy. A free case evaluation by the attorney will determine if owners are eligible for this option. The Offer in Compromise (OIC) is available when a business has failed due to mismanagement of finances. The basic requirements are that the business is no longer operational, and assets have already been liquidated. A negotiation can reduce the debt by as much as eighty percent. Lenders prefer to settle for a one lump sum, but payments can be made in installments under certain circumstances.
Another avenue is a Tax Offset Program in which the lender seizes the tax returns of the failed business owner every year, until the balance of the loan is paid off. That seems extreme, but can save the owner from a SBA loan foreclosure. In a foreclosure, the lender seizes any property listed on the loan documentation. If the value of the property does not cover the debt, the borrower’s home could be seized, if it was purchased with company funds. That is a substantial risk to to take.
Negotiations cannot begin until a letter is received, which is usually ninety days after the last loan payment was made. From that point, collection efforts will be fast and aggressive. Business assets, including bank accounts and property, can be seized immediately. It is wise not to wait that long to contact an attorney. Getting help as soon as the business fails allows time for the attorney to review the case, explain possible options, answer any questions, and let the owner know what to expect.