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The SBA’s new Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) regarding SBA Personal Guarantees

We provide individuals who are facing either SBA Personal Guarantees, SBA loan default or DOT collection action with solutions. For instance, we help you understand different SBA loan problems or Treasury Department collection actions and teach you about either the SBA offer in compromise or DOT compromise package.

As we reported before on a previous blog entry, on January 1, 2014, SOP 50 10 5(F) became effective.  This SBA Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) significantly alters the collateral requirements for SBA loans with regard to the types of assets that principals of borrowers must now pledge or mortgage.

Under this new SOP, principals are only required to pledge their personally owned real estate if their loan is not otherwise fully secured. In addition, there is no longer any requirement that principals pledge their publicly traded securities or other non-real estate assets.

As a practical matter, when combined with the proposed repeal of the resources test, this means that individuals and entities with substantial personal wealth may now serve as personal guarantors on SBA loans, and SBA lenders may be in a position to pursue and collect significant unsecured assets when litigating against those guarantors. Simply put, personal guarantors will have more at stake, and they will have the resources needed to secure litigation defense counsel, protect and defend their assets and possibly assert lender liability claims against their lender or bank.

Under SOP 50 10 5(F), lenders will, for the first time, have the option to use their own customized SBA personal guarantee agreements instead of using SBA Form 148 (or Form 148L), as long as their personal guarantee agreements are “equivalent” to the terms found in the SBA’s Forms.

This means that SBA lenders may be able to include clauses and terms in their personal guarantee agreements that were not previously included in the SBA’s standard forms.

However, as defense counsel for many personal guarantors of defaulted SBA Loans, it should be advised that SBA lenders should seriously reconsider taking advantage of this opportunity to craft their own personal guarantee agreements with clauses or provisions that are entirely favorable to to them at the expense of the personal guarantor as they may easily find themselves having to defend their personal guarantee agreements based on arguments of typical affirmative defenses, such as, unfairness, bad faith, breach of covenant of good faith and fair dealing, contract of adhesion, unconscionability, and/or misrepresentation.

As noted above, the anticipated changes in terms regarding personal guarantees in light of SOP 50 10 5(F) will likely become more important as lenders begin enforcing their SBA personal guarantee agreements against individuals who have sufficient personal resources to retain defense counsel and defend the claims of the lenders.

The landscape between SBA personal guarantors of defaulted SBA loans and purportedly aggrieved lenders or banks has changed dramatically.  Both parties should be apprised of this new frontier and get ready to rumble.

The attorneys in our office want to help you figure out your SBA or DOT situation. No matter how difficult your circumstances may seem, the right lawyer can assist you. We understand that you probably have questions regarding a wide range of issues, including how to respond to an SBA or DOT demand letter, what SBA loan foreclosure actually entails, and what a tax offset program is. One of our specialists can tell you about all of these topics and more. We urge you to read our blog to learn more about subjects that are confusing to you and to contact us right away if you have specific questions. We look forward to working with you during this period of your life.


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