An SBA Loan Deferment is a temporary remedial option. If your small business is having short term financial difficulty because of a seasonal slump and can prove through pro forma financial statements to the SBA lender of record or the Certified Development Corporation (CDC) that a turnaround is just around the corner and you need a temporary reprieve from paying on the SBA loan, you should consider applying for a deferment. Generally, if you qualify, the SBA lender or CDC, with the SBA’s approval can provide you with either a three (3), six (6), nine (9) or twelve (12) month reprieve from paying either the principal amount (and allow interest-only payments) or no principal and interest. However, if you consider this option, be advised that you may be asked to reaffirm the loan with personal guarantees or even pledge additional collateral. Needless to say, this is not an option that you should consider without either representation or consultation with a qualified SBA Attorney.
An SBA Loan Modification is a remedial option when the small business is still a viable concern, is still generating revenue but due to current circumstances, the old loan terms no longer make financial sense for all parties involved. A loan modification package is generally presented when it involves an SBA 504 Loan and the pledged collateral or building’s fair market value has decreased significantly such that the loan should be modified (i.e. principal and interest payment terms, modification of principal loan balance to reflect current fair market value appraisal of real estate collateral, payment schedule etc.). In this situation, special factors need to be evaluated, formal appraisals will need to be conducted, and a proposal should be made in order to apply for a loan modification which can benefit both parties. Again, the borrower will be required to provide updated business and personal financial information, additional pledged collateral may be requested, and formal appraisals will be done as part of the modification process. This is not a situation where the borrower or guarantor should engage in this process without qualified representation or consultation. However, if the small business feels that it doesn’t need assistance, we recommend that you review applicable SBA SOPs and the Code of Federal Regulations (CFRs) prior to presenting your loan modification application.
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