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e-CFR data is current as of March 4, 2021

Title 7Subtitle BChapter XVIIPart 1780 → Subpart D


Title 7: Agriculture
PART 1780—WATER AND WASTE LOANS AND GRANTS


Subpart D—Information Pertaining to Preparation of Notes or Bonds and Bond Transcript Documents for Public Body Applicants


Contents
§1780.80   General.
§1780.81   Policies related to use of bond counsel.
§1780.82   [Reserved]
§1780.83   Bond transcript documents.
§§1780.84-1780.86   [Reserved]
§1780.87   Permanent instruments for Agency loans.
§1780.88   [Reserved]
§1780.89   Multiple advances of Agency funds using permanent instruments.
§1780.90   Multiple advances of Agency funds using temporary debt instruments.
§§1780.91-1780.93   [Reserved]
§1780.94   Minimum bond specifications.
§1780.95   Public bidding on bonds.
§§1780.96-1780.100   [Reserved]

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§1780.80   General.

This subpart includes information for use by public body applicants in the preparation and issuance of evidence of debt (bonds, notes, or debt instruments, referred to as bonds in this subpart) and other necessary loan documents.

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§1780.81   Policies related to use of bond counsel.

The applicant is responsible for preparation of bonds and bond transcript documents. The applicant will obtain the services and opinion of recognized bond counsel experienced in municipal financing with respect to the validity of a bond issue, except for issues of $100,000 or less. With prior approval of the approval official, the applicant may elect not to use bond counsel. Such issues will be closed in accordance with the following:

(a) The applicant must recognize and accept the fact that application processing may require additional legal and administrative time;

(b) It must be established that not using bond counsel will produce significant savings in total legal costs;

(c) The local attorney must be able and experienced in handling this type of legal work;

(d) The applicant must understand that it will likely have to obtain an opinion from bond counsel at its expense should the Agency require refinancing of the debt;

(e) Bonds will be prepared in accordance with this regulation and conform as closely as possible to the preferred methods of preparation stated in §1780.94; and

(f) Closing instructions must be issued by OGC.

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§1780.82   [Reserved]

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§1780.83   Bond transcript documents.

Any questions relating to Agency requirements should be discussed with Agency representatives. Bond counsel or local counsel, as appropriate, must furnish at least two complete sets of the following to the applicant, who will furnish one complete set to the Agency:

(a) Copies of all organizational documents;

(b) Copies of general incumbency certificate;

(c) Certified copies of minutes or excerpts from all meetings of the governing body at which action was taken in connection with the authorizing and issuing of the bonds;

(d) Certified copies of documents evidencing that the applicant has complied fully with all statutory requirements incident to calling and holding a favorable bond election, if one is necessary;

(e) Certified copies of the resolutions, ordinances, or other documents such as the bond authorizing resolutions or ordinances and any resolution establishing rates and regulating use of facility, if such documents are not included in the minutes furnished;

(f) Copies of the official Notice of Sale and the affidavit of publication of the Notice of Sale when State statute requires a public sale;

(g) Specimen bond, with any attached coupons;

(h) Attorney's no-litigation certificate;

(i) Certified copies of resolutions or other documents pertaining to the bond award;

(j) Any additional or supporting documents required by bond counsel;

(k) For loans involving multiple advances of Agency loan funds, a preliminary approving opinion of bond counsel (or local counsel if no bond counsel is involved) if a final unqualified opinion cannot be obtained until all funds are advanced. The preliminary opinion for the entire issue shall be delivered at or before the time of the first advance of funds. It will state that the applicant has the legal authority to issue the bonds, construct, operate and maintain the facility, and repay the loan, subject only to changes occurring during the advance of funds, such as litigation resulting from the failure to advance loan funds, and receipt of closing certificates;

(l) Final unqualified approving opinion of bond counsel, (and preliminary approving opinion, if required) or local counsel if no bond counsel is involved, including an opinion as to whether interest on bonds will be exempt from Federal and State income taxes. With approval of the State program official, a final opinion may be qualified to the extent that litigation is pending relating to Indian claims that may affect title to land or validity of the obligation. It is permissible for such opinion to contain language referring to the last sentence of section 306 (a)(1) or to section 309A (h) of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act (7 U.S.C. 1926 (a)(1) or 1929a (h)).

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§§1780.84-1780.86   [Reserved]

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§1780.87   Permanent instruments for Agency loans.

Agency loans will be evidenced by an instrument determined legally sufficient and in accordance with the following order of preference:

(a) First preference—Form RD 440-22, “Promissory Note”. Refer to paragraph (b) of this section for methods of various frequency payment calculations.

(b) Second preference—single instruments with amortized installments. A single instrument providing for amortized installments which follows Form RD 440-22 as closely as possible. The full amount of the loan must show on the face of the instrument, and there must be provisions for entering the date and amount of each advance on the reverse or an attachment. When principal payments are deferred, the instrument will show that “interest only” is due on interest-only installment dates, rather than specific dollar amounts. The payment period including the “interest only” installment cannot exceed 40 years, the useful life of the facility, or State statute limitations, whichever occurs first. The amortized installment, computed as follows, will be shown as due on installment dates thereafter.

(1) Monthly payments. Multiply by twelve the number of years between the due date of the last interest-only installment and the final installment to determine the number of monthly payments. When there are no interest-only installments, multiply by twelve the number of years over which the loan is amortized. Then multiply the loan amount by the amortization factor and round to the next higher dollar.

(2) Semiannual payments. Multiply by two the number of years between the due date of the last interest-only installment and the due date of the final installment to determine the correct number of semiannual periods. When there are no interest-only installments, multiply by two the number of years over which the loan is amortized. Then multiply the loan amount by the applicable amortization factor.

(3) Annual payments. Subtract the due date of the last interest-only installment from the due date of the final installment to determine the number of annual payments. When there are no interest-only installments, the number of annual payments will equal the number of years over which the loan is amortized. Then multiply the loan amount by the applicable amortization factor and round to the next higher dollar.

(c) Third preference—single instruments with installments of principal plus interest. If a single instrument with amortized installments is not legally permissible, use a single instrument providing for installments of principal plus interest accrued on the principal balance. For bonds with semiannual interest and annual principal, the interest is calculated by multiplying the principal balance times the interest rate and dividing this figure by two. Principal installments are to be scheduled so that total combined interest and principal payments closely approximate amortized payments.

(1) The repayment terms concerning interest only installments described in paragraph (b) of this section apply.

(2) The instrument shall contain in substance provisions indicating:

(i) Principal maturities and due dates;

(ii) Regular payments shall be applied first to interest due through the next principal and interest installment due date and then to principal due in chronological order stipulated in the bond; and

(iii) Payments on delinquent accounts will be applied in the following sequence:

(A) Billed delinquent interest;

(B) Past due interest installments;

(C) Past due principal installments;

(D) Interest installment due; and

(E) Principal installment due.

(d) Fourth preference—serial bonds with installments of principal plus interest. If instruments described under the first, second, and third preferences are not legally permissible, use serial bonds with a bond or bonds delivered in the amount of each advance. Bonds will be numbered consecutively and delivered in chronological order. Such bonds will conform to the minimum requirements of §1780.94. Provisions for application of payments will be the same as those set forth in paragraph (c)(2)(ii) of this section.

(e) Coupon bonds. Coupon bonds will not be used unless required by State statute. Such bonds will conform to the minimum requirements of §1780.94.

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§1780.88   [Reserved]

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§1780.89   Multiple advances of Agency funds using permanent instruments.

Where interim financing from commercial sources is not used, Agency loan proceeds will be disbursed on an “as needed by borrower” basis in amounts not to exceed the amount needed during 30-day periods.

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§1780.90   Multiple advances of Agency funds using temporary debt instruments.

When none of the instruments described in §1780.87 are legally permissible or practical, a bond anticipation note or similar temporary debt instrument may be used. The debt instrument will provide for multiple advances of Agency funds and will be for the full amount of the Agency loan. The instrument will be prepared by bond counsel, or local counsel if bond counsel is not involved, and approved by the State program official and OGC. At the same time the Agency delivers the last advance, the borrower will deliver the permanent bond instrument and the canceled temporary instrument will be returned to the borrower. The approved debt instrument will show at least the following:

(a) The date from which each advance will bear interest;

(b) The interest rate as determined by §1780.13;

(c) A payment schedule providing for interest on outstanding principal at least annually; and

(d) A maturity date which shall be no earlier than the anticipated issuance date of the permanent instruments and no longer than the 40-year statutory limit.

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§§1780.91-1780.93   [Reserved]

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§1780.94   Minimum bond specifications.

The provisions of this section are minimum specifications only and must be followed to the extent legally permissible.

(a) Type and denominations. Bond resolutions or ordinances will provide that the instruments be either a bond representing the total amount of the indebtedness or serial bonds in denominations customarily accepted in municipal financing (ordinarily in multiples of not less than $1,000). Single bonds may provide for repayment of principal plus interest or amortized installments. Amortized installments are preferred by the Agency.

(b) Bond registration. Bonds will contain provisions permitting registration for both principal and interest. Bonds purchased by the Agency will be registered in the name of “United States of America” and will remain so registered at all times while the bonds are held or insured by the Government. The Agency address for registration purposes will be that of the Finance Office.

(c) Size and quality. Size of bonds and coupons should conform to standard practice. Paper must be of sufficient quality to prevent deterioration through ordinary handling over the life of the loan.

(d) Date of bond. Bonds will normally be dated as of the day of delivery. However, the borrower may use another date if approved by the Agency. Loan closing is the date of delivery of the bonds or the date of delivery of the first bond when utilizing serial bonds, regardless of the date of delivery of the funds. The date of delivery will be stated in the bond if different from the date of the bond. In all cases, interest will accrue from the date of delivery of the funds.

(e) Payment date. Loan payments will be scheduled to coincide with income availability and be in accordance with State law.

(1) If income is available monthly, monthly payments are recommended unless precluded by State law. If income is available quarterly or otherwise more frequently than annually, payments must be scheduled on such basis. However, if State law only permits principal plus interest (P&I) type bonds, annual or semiannual payments will be used.

(2) The payment schedule will be enumerated in the evidence of debt, or if that is not feasible, in a supplemental agreement.

(3) If feasible, the first payment will be scheduled one full month, or other period, as appropriate, from the date of loan closing or any deferment period. Due dates falling on the 29th, 30th, and 31st day of the month will be avoided. When principal payments are deferred, interest-only payments will be scheduled at least annually.

(f) Extra payments. Extra payments are derived from the sale of basic chattel or real estate security, refund of unused loan funds, cash proceeds of property insurance and similar actions which reduce the value of basic security. At the option of the borrower, regular facility revenue may also be used as extra payments when regular payments are current. Unless otherwise established in the note or bond, extra payments will be applied as follows:

(1) For loans with amortized debt instruments, extra payments will be applied first to interest accrued to the date of receipt of the payment and second to principal.

(2) For loans with debt instruments with P&I installments, the extra payment will be applied to the final unpaid principal installment.

(3) For borrowers with more than one loan, the extra payment will be applied to the account secured by the lowest priority of lien on the property from which the extra payments was obtained. Any balance will be applied to other Agency loans secured by the property from which the extra payment was obtained.

(4) For assessment bonds, see paragraph (k) of this section.

(g) The place of payments on bonds purchased by the Agency will be determined by the Agency.

(h) Redemptions. Bonds will normally contain customary redemption provisions. However, no premium will be charged for early redemption on any bonds held by the Government.

(i) Additional revenue bonds. Parity bonds may be issued to complete the project. Otherwise, parity bonds may not be issued unless acceptable documentation is provided establishing that net revenues for the fiscal year following the year in which such bonds are to be issued will be at least 120 percent of the average annual debt serviced requirements on all bonds outstanding, including the newly-issued bonds. For purposes of this section, net revenues are, unless otherwise defined by State statute, gross revenues less essential operation and maintenance expenses. This limitation may be waived or modified by the written consent of bondholders representing 75 percent of the then-outstanding principal indebtedness. Junior and subordinate bonds may be issued in accordance with the loan resolution.

(j) Precautions. The following types of provisions in debt instruments should be avoided:

(1) Provisions for the holder to manually post each payment to the instrument.

(2) Provisions for returning the permanent or temporary debt instrument to the borrower in order that it, rather than the Agency, may post the date and amount of each advance or repayment on the instrument.

(3) Provisions that amend covenants contained in RUS Bulletins 1780-27 or 1780-28.

(4) Defeasance provisions in loan or bond resolutions. When a bond issue is defeased, a new issue is sold which supersedes the contractual provisions of the prior issue, including the refinancing requirement and any lien on revenues. Since defeasance in effect precludes the Agency from requiring refinancing before the final maturity date, it represents a violation of the statutory refinancing requirement; therefore, it is disallowed. No loan documents shall include a provision of defeasance.

(k) Assessment bonds. When security includes special assessment to be collected over the life of the loan, the instrument should address the method of applying any payments made before they are due. It may be desirable for such payments to be distributed over remaining payments due, rather than to be applied in accordance with normal procedures governing extra payments, so that the account does not become delinquent.

(l) Multiple debt instruments. The following will be adhered to when preparing debt instruments:

(1) When more than one loan type is used in financing a project, each type of loan will be evidenced by a separate debt instrument or series of debt instruments;

(2) Loans obligated in different fiscal years and those obligated with different terms in the same fiscal year will be evidenced by separate debt instruments;

(3) Loans obligated for the same loan type in the same fiscal year with the same term may be combined in the same debt instrument;

(4) Loans obligated in the same fiscal year with different interest rates that will be closed at the same interest rate may be combined in the same debt instrument.

[62 FR 33478, June 19, 1997, as amended at 64 FR 29947, June 4, 1999]

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§1780.95   Public bidding on bonds.

Bonds offered for public sale shall be offered in accordance with State law and in such a manner to encourage public bidding. The Agency will not submit a bid at the advertised sale unless required by State law, nor will reference to Agency's rates and terms be included. If no acceptable bid is received, the Agency will negotiate the purchase of the bonds.

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§§1780.96-1780.100   [Reserved]

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