Your small business has failed ... The loan has been in default for years … The business has shut down … all business property, equipment, inventory and/or commercial real estate has been been liquidated, foreclosed or repossessed.
The originating lender has opted not to file a lawsuit against you on your personal guarantees. You think that everything is over … however, several years later, you receive a Notice from the SBA claiming you owe them a ton of money and need to contact them within 60 days of this Notice or you get a Collection Letter from the Treasury Department’s Bureau of Fiscal Service claiming that you owe the SBA an old debt and if you don’t contact them with arrangements for repayment, they will add up to 30% of the original balance to the SBA debt. What do you do?
First, if you received the Official 60-Day Notice from the SBA, do NOT ignore it (click here to view a Sample Official 60-Day Notice). There can be severe consequences if you do. The 60-Day Notice gives you a one-time opportunity to resolve your SBA debt either through an Offer in Compromise (where you pay a lesser amount based on unique factors pertinent to your case) or a Repayment Agreement (an agreed-upon installment pay-back plan, preferably for a lesser amount owed) with the SBA.
Second, if you received a Collection Letter from Treasury, do NOT ignore it (click here to view a Sample Collection Letter). However, you should not attempt to contact Treasury by yourself to try and resolve the debt as you do not want to acknowledge you owe the debt as alleged or provide them with any financial information because you could hurt your own negotiating position. Once your SBA debt has been transferred from the SBA to the Treasury Department’s Bureau of Fiscal Service, you may receive a series of collection letters and phone calls demanding that you contact Treasury.
Treasury’s collection agents say that they will only entertain settlement offers at a 20% discount if you pay the total amount (principal SBA debt balance plus up to 30% in accrued interest, penalties and administrative costs) if you pay them within 30 days. For example, if your alleged SBA debt is $200,000 and the accrued interest, penalties and costs is $60,000, totaling $260,000, Treasury’s collection agents will tell you they’ll settle your debt for $208,000 (80% of total SBA debt claimed with accruals). But, you must pay the $208,000 within 30 days of accepting Treasury's offer. Or, you can agree to their repayment agreement where you will have to pay $7,222 a month for the next 36 months (3 year term). For most folks, these settlement offers are virtually impossible to accept. If, however, you don’t accept their harsh offers, Treasury will then engage in enforced collection and use a series of administrative collection tools, such as Administrative Wage Garnishment (AWG), Treasury Offset against your federal salary, pension, benefits, contractor payments and/or tax refunds. Private collection agencies can be brought in to help them collect the outstanding debt. Further, your SBA debt can also be referred to the Department of Justice for collection litigation
Therefore, if your case is still with the SBA, it’s best to respond to the 60-Day Official Notice and petition for an SBA Offer in Compromise or, if you don’t qualify for an SBA OIC, to negotiate a Repayment Agreement. But if your case has been transferred to Treasury, and if there are grounds to do so, you should try to recall your debt back to the SBA. If you did NOT receive the Official 60-Day Notice from the SBA, you will want to hire qualified attorneys to leverage your rights to try and get your case recalled from Treasury back to the SBA for resolution.
If you need help with an SBA offer in compromise or would like to know if your SBA debt can be recalled from Treasury Department’s Bureau of Fiscal Service, contact us today for a Free initial case evaluation with an experienced SBA and Treasury workout attorney at 1-888-756-9969
We can analyze your prospects for an SBA offer in compromise, help neutralize Treasury’s aggressive collection demands and find out if your case is eligible for recall from Treasury back to the SBA.