The SBA Office of Inspector General (OIG) recently issued an Alert regarding SBA EIDL Loans and the potential warning signs involving COVID-19 fraud and abuse. This video article is an exact reproduction of the SBA OIG’s Notice of Alert that was published on 7/14/2020.
Lender Alert: Economic Injury Disaster Loans
The Small Business Administration’s (SBA’s) Economic Injury Disaster Loan program is part of the nation’s response to the Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). These economic injury loans are intended to help eligible small businesses with expenses such as:
- fixed debts,
- accounts payable and
- other eligible bills.
Interest rates vary between 2.75 percent and 3.75 percent. Terms are based on the borrower’s ability to repay but may be up to a maximum of 30 years. Eligibility determination is the same as for SBA’s Payroll Protection Program loans.
Note: Beginning July 11, 2020, SBA no longer offers advances on Economic Injury Disaster Loans. Until July 10, 2020, eligible small business owners in all U.S. states, Washington, D.C., and territories were able to request an advance of up to $10,000.
The current maximum loan amount is $150,000 per entity or a maximum amount of $2 million for all affiliated businesses. Loan disbursements and advances are made through the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s automated clearing house system as deposits from SBA.
What to Do if You Must Return Funds to SBA
Lenders who have questions about eligibility or need to return money should contact SBA at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What to Do if You Suspect Fraud
- Using stolen identities to qualify for funds
- Applications from ineligible persons (nonbusiness entities, suspended or debarred individuals, etc.)
- Fake businesses established specifically to apply for SBA assistance
- Borrowers working with third parties to obtain Economic Injury Disaster Loan funds in exchange for keeping a percentage of the funds
- Borrowers using economic injury loan money to start businesses
- Misuse of loan funds
- Reporting inflated business and financial information, etc.
- Borrowers declining loans after advance funds have been deposited
Lenders who suspect attempted fraud should contact the National Center for Disaster Fraud Hotline at 1-866-720-5721 or fill out the Web Complaint Form at https://www.justice.gov/disaster-fraud/ncdf-disaster-complaint-form.
Lenders may also report fraud, waste, abuse, or mismanagement of federal funds involving SBA programs, operations, or personnel to the SBA OIG Hotline at (800) 767-0385. You can also submit a complaint form at https://www.sba.gov/about-sba/oversight-advocacy/office-inspector-general/office-inspector-general-hotline#section-header-0
If your Small Business is approved for an SBA EIDL, seek advice of counsel prior to signing the SBA loan instruments
Seeking and obtaining advice of counsel is an important step that small businesses should utilize prior to executing the final SBA EIDL loan documents and accepting receipt of federal funds in order to defend against an SBA OIG investigation or audit for potential fraud and abuse.
Protect Law Group has proven, nationwide experience handling regulatory and compliance issues involving the SBA loan program.
Owe more than $30,000? Contact Protect Law Group for a Case Evaluation or call us toll-free at 1-888-756-9969.
We can analyze your SBA debt or Treasury problems and advise you on potential solutions.
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