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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR data is current as of February 25, 2020

Title 7Subtitle BChapter XVIIISubchapter HPart 1980Subpart E → §1980.423


Title 7: Agriculture
PART 1980—GENERAL
Subpart E—Business and Industrial Loan Program


§1980.423   Interest rates.

(a) Guaranteed loans. Rates will be negotiated between the lender and the borrower. They may be either fixed or variable as long as they are legal. Interest rates will be those rates customarily charged borrowers in similar circumstances in the ordinary course of business and are subject to Rural Development review and approval. Should any part of the loan(s) be sold by the lender, Rural Development, in its analysis, will take into consideration in approving the lender's interest rate, the rate at which guaranteed loans are being sold or traded in the secondary market.

(1) A variable interest rate must be a rate that is tied to a base rate published periodically in a recognized national or regional financial publication specifically agreed to by the lender and borrower. The variable interest rate may be adjusted at different intervals during the term of the loan but the adjustments may not be more often than quarterly. The intervals between interest rate adjustments will be specified in the Loan Agreement. The lender must incorporate within the variable rate promissory note at loan closing, the provision for adjustment of payment installments coincident with an interest rate adjustment. This will assure that the outstanding principal balance is properly amortized within the prescribed loan maturity to eliminate the possibility of a balloon payment at the end of the loan.

(2) Under a Memorandum of Understanding between Rural Development and the Farm Credit Administration dated September 25, 1974, the interest rate on loans made by the Bank for Cooperatives, Federal Land Banks and Production Credit Associations may be a variable rate based on their administrative and borrowing costs.

(3) Any change in the interest rate between the date of issuance of the Form RD conditional Commitment For Guarantee,” and before the issuance of the Loan Note Guarantee must be approved by the State Director. Approval of such change will be shown on an amendment to Form RD 449-14.

(4) It is permissible to have one interest rate on the guaranteed portion of the loan and another interest rate on the unguaranteed portion of the loan, provided the lender and borrower agree and:

(i) The rate on the unguaranteed portion does not exceed that currently being charged on loans of similar size and purpose for borrowers under similar circumstances.

(ii) The rate on the guaranteed portion of the loan will not exceed the rate on the unguaranteed portion.

(5) When multi-rates are used, the lender will provide Rural Development with the overall effective interest rate for the entire loan.

(6) The borrower, lender and holder (if any) may collectively effect a permanent reduction in the interest rate of their B&I guaranteed loan at any time during the life of the loan upon written agreement by these parties. Rural Development must be notified by the lender, in writing, within 10 calendar days of the change. If the guaranteed portion has been repurchased by Rural Development, then Rural Development is a holder and must affirm or reject interest rate change proposals. When Rural Development is a holder, it will concur in such interest rate change only when it is demonstrated to Rural Development that the change is a more viable alternative than initiating or proceeding with liquidation of the loan or continuing with the loan in its present state and that the Government's financial interests are not adversely affected. Factors which will be considered in making such determination will include whether the proposed interest rate will be below the Government's cost of borrowing money, whether continuing with the loan would realistically promote or enhance rural development and employment in rural areas, whether the monetary recovery would be increased by proceeding immediately to liquidation, if applicable, or allowing the borrower to continue at a reduced interest rate, and whether an in-depth financial analysis by the lender reasonably indicates that the business would be successful at a lower interest rate and reasonably indicates that the borrower could make the reduced payment and pay off amounts in arrears, if any. The Rural Development will reflect the documentation of the interest rate change decision.

(i) Fixed rates cannot be changed to variable rates to reduce the interest rate to the borrower unless the variable rate has a ceiling which is less than the original fixed rate.

(ii) Variable rates can be changed to reduced fixed rates. In a final loss settlement, when qualifying rate changes were made with the required written agreements and notification, the interest will be calculated for the periods the given rates were in effect, except that interest claimed on a loan which originated at a variable rate can never exceed the amount which would have been eligible for claim had the variable interest remained in force. The lesser cost to the Government will always prevail. The lender must maintain records which adequately document the accrued interest claimed.

(iii) The lender is responsible for the legal documentation of interest changes by an allonge attached to the promissory note(s) or any other legally effective amendment of the rate(s); however, no new note(s) may be issued.

(7) No increases in interest rates will be permitted under the B&I loan guarantee except the normal fluctuations in approved variable interest rate loans.

(b) Insured loans. (1) Loans for other than those in paragraph (b)(2) of this section will bear interest at a rate prescribed by Rural Development, and will be announced periodically. The interest rate for insured loans will be the rate in effect at the time the loan is approved or at the time the loan is closed, whichever rate is lower.

(2) Loans to public bodies, nonprofit associations and Indian Tribes used to finance community facilities will bear interest at the rate prescribed in RD Instruction 440.1, Exhibit B (available in any Rural Development Office).

Administrative

Par (a)(6) and (a)(7). (Added 4-26-85, SPECIAL PN.) The Director will notify the Finance Office of any interest rate reduction by using Form RD 1980-47, “Guaranteed Loan Borrower Adjustments.” The State Director will make corrections to the Rural Community Facility Tracking System (FCFTS) reflecting the interest rate change. The Rural Development loan file, as well as the attachments to the copy of the promissory note in the file, will be documented by the State Director to reflect any change in the interest rate.

[52 FR 6501, Mar. 4, 1987, as amended at 54 FR 28022, July 5, 1989]

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