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Rule

Business Loan Program

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Small Business Administration (SBA).

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This final rule would implement Public Law 106-22, enacted on April 27, 1999, which establishes new rules for the loan loss reserve fund which an intermediary must maintain to participate in SBA's microloan program.

DATE:

This rule is effective on April 3, 2000.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Jody Raskind, 202-205-6497.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Public Law 106-22, enacted on April 27, 1999, amended section 7(m) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 636(7)(m)) in order to change the requirements for the loan loss reserve fund (LLRF) which each intermediary in the SBA's microloan program must maintain. The LLRF is an interest-bearing deposit account at a bank. An intermediary must establish an LLRF to pay any shortage in its day-to-day revolving account caused by delinquencies or losses on microloans it makes to qualified small business borrowers. An intermediary must maintain the LLRF until it repays all obligations it owes to the SBA.

On July 26, 1999, SBA published a proposed rule in the Federal Register (64 FR 40310). Since SBA received no comments, it is publishing in final the rule as proposed and making it effective on the date of publication in the Federal Register.

Under the present rule, an intermediary, during its first year in the microloan program, must maintain its LLRF at a level equal to at least 15 percent of the total outstanding balance of notes receivable owed to it by its microloan borrowers (Portfolio). Thereafter, the minimum balance that an intermediary must maintain in its LLRF must be the percent of its Portfolio equal to its actual average loan loss rate after its first year in the microloan program. The maximum level of the LLRF, under the present rule, cannot exceed 15 percent of the Portfolio. There is no prescribed minimum level.

Under the final rule, until the intermediary is in the microloan program for at least five years, it would be required to maintain a balance on deposit in its LLRF equal to 15 percent of its Portfolio. After an intermediary is in the microloan program for five years, it may request SBA's Associate Administrator for Financial Assistance (AA/FA) to grant the intermediary's request to reduce the percentage of its Portfolio which it must maintain in its LLRF to an amount equal to its actual average loan loss rate during the preceding five year period. The AA/FA would review the intermediary's annual loss rate for that five-year period and determine whether he or she should grant the intermediary's request. The AA/FA could not reduce the loan loss reserve to under ten percent of the Portfolio.

Under the final rule, to get a reduction in its loan loss reserve, an intermediary must demonstrate to the satisfaction of the AA/FA that (1) its average annual loss rate during the preceding five years is under fifteen percent, and (2) no other factors exist that might impair its ability to repay all obligations which it may owe to SBA under the microloan program.

Compliance With Executive Orders 13132, 12988 and 12866, the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601-612), and the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. Ch. 35)

This final rule does not constitute a significant rule within the meaning of Executive Order 12866, since it is not likely to have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more, result in a major increase in costs or prices, or have a significant adverse effect on competition or the U.S. economy.

SBA has determined that this final rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities within the meaning of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601-612. SBA estimates that there are a total of 130 microintermediaries who are small entities that will be affected by this rule. However, SBA does not believe that this rule will have a significant economic impact because this rule relates only to Microloan Program intermediarie's internal accounting procedures and is not expected to have any economic effect.

SBA has determined that this final rule does not impose any additional reporting or recordkeeping requirements under the Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C. chapter 35.

For purposes of Executive Order 13132, SBA has determined that this final rule has no federalism implications.

For purposes of Executive Order 12988, SBA certifies that this final rule is drafted, to the extent practicable, to accord with the standards set forth in section 3 of that Order.

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List of Subjects in 13 CFR Part 120

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For the reasons stated in the preamble, under the authority in section 5(b)(6) of the Small Business Act (

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PART 120—BUSINESS LOANS

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1. The authority citation for Part 120 continues to read as follows:

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Authority: 15 U.S.C. 634(b)(6) and 636(a) and (h).

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2. Amend § 120.710 by revising paragraphs (b) and (c) and by adding paragraphs (d) and (e) to read as follows:

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What is the Loan Loss Reserve Fund?
* * * * *

(b) Level of Loan Loss Reserve Fund. Until it is in the Microloan program for at least five years, an Intermediary must maintain a balance on deposit in its LLRF equal to 15 percent of the outstanding balance of the notes receivable owed to it by its Microloan borrowers (“Portfolio”).

(c) SBA review of Loan Loss Reserve Fund. After an Intermediary has been in the Microloan program for five years, it may request SBA's Associate Administrator for Financial Assistance (“AA/FA”) to reduce the percentage of its Portfolio which it must maintain in its LLRF to an amount equal to the actual average loan loss rate during the preceding five-year period. Upon receipt of such request, the AA/FA will review the Intermediary's annual loss rate for the most recent five-year period preceding the request.

(d) Reduction of Loan Loss Reserve Fund. The AA/FA has the authority to reduce the percentage of an Intermediary's Portfolio that it must maintain in its LLRF to an amount equal to the actual average loan loss rate during the preceding five-year period. The AA/FA can not reduce the LLRF to less than ten percent of the Portfolio.

(e) What must an intermediary demonstrate to get a reduction in Loan Loss Reserve Fund? To get a reduction in its LLRF, an Intermediary must demonstrate to the satisfaction of the AA/FA that: Start Printed Page 17440

(1) Its average annual loss rate during the preceding five years is less than fifteen percent, and

(2) No other factors exist that may impair the Intermediary's ability to repay all obligations which it owes to the SBA under the Microloan program.

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Dated: March 24, 2000.

Aida Alvarez,

Administrator.

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[FR Doc. 00-8117 Filed 3-31-00; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 8025-01-P