Well, they say, “Don’t look now.” But really, you’d better: SBA’s fiscal year end, 9/30/2021, has lenders in its headlights. While we’re not singing “Auld Lang Syne” for FY 2020-2021 just yet, the new fiscal year is coming fast. Strategic planning time for the next fiscal year is here. You’re reviewing budgets, determining staffing needs, and setting goals for loan volume while navigating uncertain waters as we wait to see how the economy is further impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. All this in the midst of trying to close loans by year end. Phew.

How did you do this fiscal year? So much has happened to fill your platter: additional loan payment support from SBA, temporary suspension of guaranty fees and increase of SBA’s guaranty to 90%, not to mention PPP lending, and the carload of SBA Notices and regulations that came along with it. When we get busy, we tend to focus on the most pressing needs, meaning to circle back to what we’ve put on the backburner.

At JRB, we traditionally issue an eBulletin reminding lenders about the importance of loan reviews – and that the time to work on them is now. You should be scheduling internal loan reviews in preparation for yearend reporting. With the overwhelming amount of PPP loan requests — and loan forgiveness requests — many lenders find it challenging to keep up with other lending activities, namely 7(a) loan processing. When SBA temporarily suspended guaranty fees and raised its guaranty to 90%, lending staff was pushed to get everything done.

As the dust settles from this whirlwind activity, it’s important to focus on those backburner items:  Were all loans documented and closed properly?  Are the files complete?  Is the guaranty safe?

Relief is here. Easing PPP Loan Forgiveness overload. Are You on the list? Join the nearly 1,300 lenders participating in SBA’s Direct Forgiveness program. As my JRB colleague Lisa Lerner wrote in her recent eBulletin, SBA has opened the Direct Forgiveness Portal, giving borrowers with loans of $150,000 or less an easy way to seek forgiveness. Easy for them. Easy for lenders who have opted in. Save stress, time and headaches by opting into Direct Forgiveness on the program’s platform. I encourage you to take advantage of this program so you can concentrate on what you do best: originate and process SBA loans.

Relief is here. Taking the pressure off Loan Reviews. Save time and gain peace of mind. At JRB, we’re expert at loan reviews and have consistently advised regular, ongoing portfolio reviews. We’re ready to assist you by reviewing your recently closed loans, and your seasoned ones, for completeness, accuracy, and compliance with SBA requirements. Contact JRB.

Paul Baker
JRB Associate