Businesses face enormous financial risks throughout their entire existence, but they are never more vulnerable than during their first few years or immediately following a large expansion. During these periods of change and adjustment the owners must also deal with higher costs. Much of this expense is due to the business loans, often from the Small Business Administration (SBA), that enabled them to open or expand. When everything goes as planned the books will balance and the loans are paid. Unfortunately, this is not always how it works in the business world. This leads to companies falling behind in their bills and not making their loan payments as promised.
When a loan is not paid on time there is a traditional method of collection that the lender will use. An SBA demand letter is usually sent after several missed payments and when other contact methods have failed. This letter will demand repayment of the balance of the loan because it is now considered to be in default. An SBA loan default is a serious issue because the business property and any personal belongings used as collateral are at risk. If payment is not received or an additional agreement not made once the loan is in default an SBA loan foreclosure is possible. This is the point when the SBA may seek to seize personal and business assets and levy bank accounts. The SBA may also initiate a Tax Offset Program to collect any tax refunds the borrower is due and use them to reduce the debt.
Business owners have options to prevent the loss of their property. An SBA Offer in Compromise is a plan agreed to by the borrower and the SBA where the lender accepts a payoff for the loan that is less than the full balance owed. It is a good solution for businesses that have closed and are liquidating. By using the funds received from their sold property they can potentially protect their personal property and savings from being seized. Whether this method or some other form of negotiation is used it is very important to seek the assistance of an attorney familiar with SBA loans. Small business loans offer many people the opportunity to fund their dreams, but when a business fails it is imperative that the borrower work to find a mutually acceptable compromise.