5 minute read | April.24.2020
President Trump on April 24 signed the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, adding $310 billion in funding to the $350 billion initially appropriated to the program under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act. The Federal Reserve Board, Treasury Department, and the Small Business Administration have issued important guidance in recent days related to loan participations, additional Fed support, borrower eligibility, and loan forgiveness. The SBA and the Fed have also provided more information on electronic execution and collection of loan documents, as the importance of digital loans continues to loom large with signatories working remotely.
Guidance on Loan Participations: The SBA issued a Procedural Notice on April 24 permitting lenders to sell up to a 100% participation interest in PPP loans to other participating lenders without SBA’s prior written consent, notwithstanding existing SBA regulations that otherwise would not permit such sales absent SBA consent. PPP lenders actively sought this relief, noting liquidity concerns in meeting the overwhelming loan demand.
Federal Reserve PPP Liquidity Facility: The Fed announced on April 23 that it was working to expand access to its Paycheck Protection Program Liquidity Facility for additional SBA-qualified lenders, likely including nondepository institutions in the days ahead. Through the facility, which the Fed recently put into operation, lenders that are depository institutions receive nonrecourse loans at face value of the PPP loans they pledge. The extensions of credit will be available until September 30, 2020.
Guidance on Eligibility: The SBA published an interim final rule targeting in part larger companies that have come under fire for applying for PPP loans instead of turning to the credit markets and other capital providers not typically available to smaller businesses. The new rule provides a limited safe harbor for borrowers that applied for a PPP loan prior to the issuance of this regulation, provided that they repay the loan in full by May 7, 2020. The SBA and Treasury earlier published guidance to clarify that although the CARES Act suspends the ordinary requirement that borrowers must be unable to obtain credit elsewhere, they are still required to certify in good faith that “current economic uncertainty makes this loan request necessary to support the ongoing operations of the applicant,” taking into account their ability to access other sources of liquidity.
Loan Forgiveness: The SBA has advised borrowers to review the PPP borrower application form for information that will be requested when seeking loan forgiveness that the CARES Act provides. In addition, borrowers should be prepared to submit:
The PPP lender must make a decision on forgiveness within 60 days of receiving an application. Lenders that forgive loan amounts can seek reimbursement from the SBA under:
Digital SBA Loans and ESIGN Requirements:
Lenders have at least two options for using electronic means to execute and collect loan documents remotely.
Please see Orrick's March 30 Special Alert and April 1 Special Alert for additional information on the PPP. We will continue to provide updates published on this topic on our dedicated SBA page, which includes additional SBA resources you may find helpful. If you have any questions regarding the matters discussed in this alert, please contact an Orrick attorney with whom you have worked in the past.