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Title 7

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Title 7

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Subpart A - Liquidation of Loans Secured by Real Estate and Acquisition of Real and Chattel Property
§ 1955.1 Purpose.

This subpart delegates authority and prescribes procedures for the liquidation of loans to individuals and to organizations as identified in § 1955.3 of this subpart. It pertains to the Multi-Family Housing (MFH) and Community Facility (CF) programs of the Rural Housing Service (RHS), and direct programs of the Rural Business-Cooperative Service (RBS). Guaranteed RBS loans are liquidated upon direction from the Deputy Administrator, Business Programs, RBS. This subpart does not apply to Farm Service Agency, Farm Loan Programs, to RHS single family housing loans, or to CF loans sold without insurance in the private sector. These CF loans will be serviced in the private sector, and future revisions to this subpart no longer apply to such loans. This subpart does not apply to the Rural Rental Housing, Rural Cooperative Housing, or Farm Labor Housing Programs of RHS. In addition, this subpart does not apply to Water and Waste Programs of the Rural Utilities Service, Watershed loans, and Resource Conservation and Development loans, which are serviced under part 1782 of this title.

[72 FR 55019, Sept. 28, 2007, as amended at 72 FR 64123, Nov. 15, 2007]

§ 1955.2 Policy.

When it has been determined in accordance with applicable loan servicing regulations that further servicing will not achieve loan objectives and that voluntary sale of the property by the borrower (except for Multiple Family Housing (MFH) loans subject to prepayment restrictions) cannot be accomplished, the loan(s) will be liquidated through voluntary conveyance of the property to Rural Development or by foreclosure as outlined in this subpart. For MFH loans subject to the prepayment restrictions, voluntary liquidation may be accomplished only through voluntary conveyance to Rural Development in accordance with applicable portions of § 1955.10 of this subpart. Nonprogram (NP) loans, except for Community and Business Programs, will be liquidated as provided in subpart J of part 1951 of this chapter, unless specifically referenced in this subpart.

[51 FR 4138, Feb. 3, 1986, as amended at 53 FR 27826, July 25, 1988; 58 FR 52652, Oct. 12, 1993]

§ 1955.3 Definitions.

As used in this subpart, the following definitions apply:

Closing agent. An attorney or title insurance company which is approved as a loan closing agent in accordance with subpart B of part 1927 of this chapter.

CONACT or CONACT property. Property acquired or sold pursuant to the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act. Within this subpart, it shall also be construed to cover property which secured loans made pursuant to the Agriculture Credit Act of 1978; the Emergency Agricultural Credit Adjustment Act of 1978; the Emergency Agricultural Credit Act of 1984; the Food Security Act of 1985; and other statutes giving agricultural lending authority to the government.

Farmer Programs loans. The term “Farmer Program loans” (FP) refers to the following types of loans: Farm Ownership (FO), Soil and Water (SW), Recreation (RL), Economic Opportunity (EO), Operating (OL), Emergency (EM), Economic Emergency (EE), Softwood Timber (ST), and Rural Housing Loans for farm service buildings (RHF).

Government. The United States of America acting through the RBS, RHS, and RUS of the U.S. Department of Agriculture;

Homestead protection. The Farmer Programs borrower-owner's right to lease with an option to purchase the principal residence located on or off the farm and up to 10 acres of adjoining land possessed and occupied by the borrower-owner, including a reasonable number of farm outbuildings located on the adjoining land that are useful to the occupants of the homestead.

Interest credit. The terms “interest credit” and “interest credit assistance,” as they relate to Single Family Housing (SFH) loans, are interchangeable with the term “payment assistance.” Payment assistance is the generic term for the subsidy provided to eligible SFH borrowers to reduce mortgage payments.

Loans to individuals. Farm Ownership (FO), Soil and Water (SW), Recreation (RL), Special Livestock (SL), Economic Opportunity (EO), Operating (OL), Emergency (EM), Economic Emergency (EE), Softwood Timber (ST), and Rural Housing loans for farm service buildings (RHF), whether to individuals or entities, referred to in this subpart as Farmer Programs (FP) loans; and Land Conservation and Development (LCD); and Single-Family Housing (SFH), including both Section 502 and 504 loans.

Loans to Native Americans. Farmer Program loans secured by real estate located within the boundaries of a federally recognized Indian reservation. The Native American borrower-owner is defined as the party who pledged real estate as collateral for an FP loan and is the tribe or a member of the tribe with control over the reservation.

Loans to organizations. Community Facility (CF); Water and Waste Disposal (WWD); Association Recreation; Watershed (WS); Resource Conservation and Development (RC&D); insured Business and Industrial (B&I) both to individuals and groups; Rural Development Loan Fund (RDLF); Intermediary Relending Program (IRP); Nonprofit National Corporations (NNC); loans to associations for Irrigation and Drainage (I&D) and other Soil and Water conservation measures; loans to Indian Tribes and Tribal Corporations; Shift-In-Land Use (Grazing Association); Economic Opportunity Cooperative (EOC); Rural Housing Site (RHS); Rural Cooperative Housing (RCH); Rural Rental Housing (RRH) and Labor Housing (LH) to both individuals and groups. The housing-type organization loans identified here are referred to in this subpart collectively as Multiple-family Housing (MFH) loans.

Market value. The most probable price which property should bring, as of a specific date, in a competitive and open market, assuming the buyer and seller are prudent and knowledgeable, and the price is not affected by undue stimulus such as forced sale or loan interest subsidy.

Nonrecoverable cost is a contractual or noncontractual program loan cost expense not chargeable to a borrower, property account, or part of the loan subsidy.

OGC. The Office of the General Counsel, U.S. Department of Agriculture; refers to the Regional Attorney or Attorney-in-Charge in an OGC field office unless otherwise indicated.

Prior lien. A security instrument (such as a mortgage or deed of trust) or a judgment which was of public record before the Rural Development security instrument(s) as well as real estate taxes or assessments which are or will become a lien against the property which is superior to Rural Development's security instrument(s).

Recoverable cost is a contractual or noncontractual program loan cost expense chargeable to a borrower, property account, or part of the loan subsidy.

Servicing official. For loans to individuals as defined in paragraph (d) of this section, the servicing official is the County Supervisor. For insured B&I loans, the servicing official is the State Director. For RDLF and IRP, the servicing official is the Director, Business and Industry Division. For NNC, the servicing official is the Director, Community Facility Division. For all other types of loans, the servicing official is the District Director.

[50 FR 23904, June 7, 1985, as amended at 50 FR 45782, Nov. 1, 1985; 52 FR 26138, July 13, 1987; 53 FR 27826, July 25, 1988; 53 FR 30664, Aug. 15, 1988; 53 FR 35762, Sept. 14, 1988; 56 FR 15821, Apr. 18, 1991; 56 FR 29402, June 27, 1991; 56 FR 67484, Dec. 31, 1991; 58 FR 68723, Dec. 29, 1993; 60 FR 55147, Oct. 27, 1995; 62 FR 44395, Aug. 21, 1997; 63 FR 41716, Aug. 5, 1998]

§ 1955.4 Redelegation of authority.

Authorities will be redelegated to the extent possible, consistent with program requirements and available resources.

(a) Except as provided in § 1900.6(c) of this chapter, any authority in this subpart which is specifically delegated to the Administrator or to an Deputy Administrator may only be delegated to a State Director. The State Director cannot redelegate such authority.

(b) Except as provided in paragraph (a) of this section, the State Director is authorized to redelegate, in writing, any authority delegated to the State Director in this subpart to a Program Chief, Program Specialist or Property Management Specialist on the State Office staff; except the authority to approve or disapprove foreclosure as outlined in § 1955.115(a)(2) of this subpart may not be redelegated. However, a duly-designated Acting State Director may approve or disapprove foreclosure.

(c) The District Director is authorized to redelegate, in writing, any authority delegated to the District Director in this subpart to an Assistant District Director or District Loan Specialist determined by the District Director to be qualified; except the authority to approve or disapprove foreclosure as outlined in § 1955.15(a)(1) of this subpart may not be redelegated. However, a duly designated Acting District Director may approve or disapprove foreclosure. Authority of District Directors in this subpart applies to Area Loan Specialists in Alaska and the Director for the Western Pacific Territories.

(d) The County Supervisor is authorized to redelegate, in writing, any authority delegated to the County Supervisor in this subpart to an Assistant County Supervisor, GS-7, or above, determined by the County Supervisor to be qualified. Authority of County Supervisors in this subpart applies to Area Loan Specialists in Alaska and Area Supervisors in the Western Pacific Territories and American Samoa.

(e) The monetary limitations on acceptance of voluntary conveyance as provided in § 1955.10(a) of this subpart may not be redelegated from a higher-level official to a lower level official.

[53 FR 27826, July 25, 1988, as amended at 54 FR 6875, Feb. 15, 1989; 59 FR 43441, Aug. 24, 1994; 62 FR 44395, Aug. 21, 1997]

§ 1955.5 General actions.

(a) Assignment of notes to Rural Development. When liquidation action is approved and the insured note is not held in the County or District Office, the approval official will request the Finance Office to purchase the note and forward it to the appropriate office. Voluntary conveyance may be closed pending receipt of the note(s), and foreclosure may also be processed pending receipt of the note(s), unless the original note is required in connection with the foreclosure action.

(b) Execution of documents.

(1) After liquidation of loans to individuals has been approved by the appropriate official, the County Supervisor is authorized to execute all necessary forms and documents except notices of acceleration required to complete transactions covered by this subpart.

(2) After liquidation of loans to organizations has been approved by the appropriate official, the District Director is authorized to execute all forms and documents for completion of the liquidation except:

(i) Notice of acceleration; or

(ii) Other form or document which specifically required State or National Office approval because of monetary limits or policy statement established elsewhere in this subpart.

(c) Unused loan funds.

(1) Funds remaining in a supervised bank account will be handed in accordance with § 1902.15 of subpart A of part 1902 of this chapter before a voluntary conveyance or foreclosure is processed.

(2) Funds remaining in a construction or other account will be applied to the borrower's Rural Development accounts.

(d) Payment of costs. Costs related to liquidation of a loan or acquisition of property will be paid according to RD Instruction 2024-A as either a recoverable or nonrecoverable cost as defined in § 1955.3 of this subpart.

(e) Escrow funds. Any funds remaining in the borrower's escrow account at the time of liquidation by voluntary conveyance or foreclosure are nonrefundable and will be credited to the borrower's loan account.

[50 FR 23904, June 7, 1985, as amended at 56 FR 6953, Feb. 21, 1991, 57 FR 36590, Aug. 14, 1992]

§§ 1955.6-1955.8 [Reserved]
§ 1955.9 Requirements for voluntary conveyance of real property located within a federally recognized Indian reservation owned by a Native American borrower-owner.

(a) The borrower-owner is a member of the tribe that has jurisdiction over the reservation in which the real property is located. An Indian tribe may also meet the borrower-owner criterion if it is indebted for Farm Credit Programs loans.

(b) A voluntary conveyance will be accepted only after all preacquisition primary and preservation servicing actions have been considered in accordance with subpart S of part 1951 of this chapter.

(c) When all servicing actions have been considered under subpart S of part 1951 of this chapter and a positive outcome cannot be achieved, the following additional actions are to be taken:

(1) The county official will notify the Native American borrower-owner and the tribe by certified mail, return receipt requested, and by regular mail if the certified mail is not received, that:

(i) The borrower-owner may convey the real estate security to FSA and FSA will consider acceptance of the property into inventory in accordance with paragraph (d) of this section.

(ii) The borrower-owner must inform FSA within 60 days from receipt of this notice of the borrower and owner's decision to deed the property to FSA;

(iii) The borrower-owner has the opportunity to consult with the Indian tribe that has jurisdiction over the reservation in which the real property is located, or counsel, to determine if State or tribal law provides rights and protections that are more beneficial than those provided the borrower-owner under Agency regulations;

(2) If the borrower-owner does not voluntarily deed the property to FSA, not later than 30 days before the foreclosure sale, FSA will provide the Native American borrower-owner with the following options:

(i) The Native American borrower-owner may require FSA to assign the loan and security instruments to the Secretary of the Interior. If the Secretary of the Interior agrees to such an assignment, FSA will be released from all further responsibility for collection of any amounts with regard to the loans secured by the real property.

(ii) The Native American borrower-owner may require FSA to complete a transfer and assumption of the loan to the tribe having jurisdiction over the reservation in which the real property is located if the tribe agrees to the assumption. If the tribe assumes the loans, the following actions shall occur:

(A) FSA shall not foreclose the loan because of any default that occurred before the date of the assumption.

(B) The assumed loan shall be for the lesser of the outstanding principal and interest of the loan or the fair market value of the property as determined by an appraisal.

(C) The assumed loan shall be treated as though it is a regular Indian Land Acquisition Loan made in accordance with subpart N of part 1823 of this chapter.

(3) If a Native American borrower-owner does not voluntarily convey the real property to FSA, not less than 30 days before a foreclosure sale of the property, FSA will provide written notice to the Indian tribe that has jurisdiction over the reservation in which the real property is located of the following:

(i) The sale;

(ii) The fair market value of the property; and

(iii) The ability of the Native American borrower-owner to require the assignment of the loan and security instruments either to the Secretary of the Interior or the tribe (and the consequences of either action) as provided in § 1955.9(c)(2).

(4) FSA will accept the offer of voluntary conveyance of the property unless a hazardous substance, as defined in the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980, is located on the property which will require FSA to take remedial action to protect human health or the environment if the property is taken into inventory. In this case, a voluntary conveyance will be accepted only if FSA determines that it is in the best interests of the Government to acquire title to the property.

(d) When determining whether to accept a voluntary conveyance of a Native American borrower-owner's real property, the county official must consider:

(1) The cost of cleaning or mitigating the effects if a hazardous substance is found on the property. A deduction equal to the amount of the cost of a hazardous waste clean-up will be made to the fair market value of the property to determine if it is in the best interest of the Government to accept title to the property. FSA will accept the property if clear title can be obtained and if the value of the property after removal of hazardous substances exceeds the cost of hazardous waste clean-up.

(2) If the property is located within the boundaries of a federally recognized Indian reservation, and is owned by a member of the tribe with jurisdiction over the reservation, FSA will credit the Native American borrower-owner's account based on the fair market value of the property or the FSA debt against the property, whichever is greater.

[62 FR 44395, Aug. 21, 1997]

§ 1955.10 Voluntary conveyance of real property by the borrower to the Government.

Voluntary conveyance is a method of liquidation by which title to security is transferred to the Government. Rural Development will not make a demand on a borrower to voluntarily convey. If there is equity in the property. Rural Development should advise the borrower, in writing, that there is equity in the property before accepting an offer to voluntarily convey. If Rural Development receives an offer of voluntary conveyance, acceptance should only be considered when the Government will likely receive a recovery on its investment. In cases where there are outstanding liens, a full assessment should be made of the debts against the property compared to the current market value. Rural Development should refuse the voluntary conveyance, if the Rural Development lien has neither present nor prospective value or recovery of the value would be unlikely or uneconomical. Instead, for loans to individuals, Rural Development should release its lien as valueless in accordance with § 1965.25(d) of subpart A of part 1965 of this chapter or § 1965.118(c) of subpart C of this chapter, as appropriate. For non-FP borrowers, a voluntary conveyance should only be considered after all available servicing actions outlined in the respective servicing regulations have been used or considered and it is determined that the borrower will not be successful. For FP borrowers, if the borrower has not received exhibit A with attachments 1 and 2 of subpart S of part 1951 of this chapter, a voluntary conveyance should be accepted only after the borrower has been sent exhibit A with attachments 1 and 2 of subpart S of 1951 of this chapter; all available servicing actions outlined in the respective program servicing regulations have been used or considered; and it will be in the Government's best financial interest to accept the FP voluntary conveyance. Exhibit G of this subpart will be used to determine whether or not to accept an FP voluntary conveyance. In determining if the acceptance of the FP voluntary conveyance is in the best financial interest of the Government, the County Supervisor will determine if the borrower has exhausted all possibilities of restructuring the loan to where a feasible plan of operation may be developed, the borrower has acted in good faith in trying to service the debt and Rural Development may recover its investment in return for the acceptance of the voluntary conveyance. In addition, prior to acceptance of a voluntary conveyance of farm real property that collateralizes an FP loan, the County Supervisor will remind the borrower-owner of possible deed restrictions and easement that may be placed on the property in the event the property contains wetlands, floodplains, historical sites and/or other federally protected environmental resources as set forth in part 1970 of this chapter and § 1955.137 of this part. When it is determined that all conditions of § 1951.558(b) of subpart L of part 1951 of this chapter have been met, loans for unauthorized assistance will be treated as authorized loans and exhibit A with attachments 1 and 2 of subpart S of part 1951 of this chapter will be sent prior to accepting a voluntary conveyance. Those borrowers who are indebted for nonprogram (NP) loans who wish to voluntarily convey property will not be sent exhibit A with attachments 1 and 2 of subpart S of part 1951 of this chapter. For Farmer Program borrowers who have received exhibit A with attachments 1 and 2 of subpart S of part 1951 of this chapter, a voluntary conveyance should only be accepted when it is determined to be in the Government's best financial interest. Rejection of an offer of voluntary conveyance made before or after acceleration from an FP borrower is appealable. For borrowers having both FP and non-FP loans secured by a farm tract, a voluntary conveyance should be handled as outlined above for non-FP loans secured by farm tracts, except that the applicable servicing option for the FP and non-FP loans should be considered separately. This separation of servicing options may permit a borrower to retain the nonfarm tract. For newly constructed SFH properties with major construction defects, see subpart F of part 1924 of this chapter.

(a) Authority -

(1) Loans to individuals -

(i) SFH loans. The County Supervisor is authorized to accept voluntary conveyances regardless of amount of indebtedness.

(ii) [Reserved]

(2) Loans to organizations.

(i) The State Director is authorized to approve voluntary conveyance of property securing Farmer Programs and EOC loans regardless of amount of indebtedness.

(ii) The State Director is authorized to approve voluntary conveyance of property securing MFH loans if the total indebtedness against the property, including prior and junior liens, does not exceed his/her approval authority for the type loan involved. Loan approval authorities are outlined in exhibits A through E of RD Instruction 1901-A (available in any Rural Development office).

(iii) Offers to convey property securing loans other than those outlined in paragraphs (a)(2)(i) and (ii) of this section will be submitted to the Administrator for approval prior to acceptance of the conveyance offer. Submissions will include the case file; OGC's opinion on settling any other liens involved; a statement of essential facts; and recommendations of the State Director and Program Chief. Submissions are to be addressed to the Administrator, ATTN: (appropriate program division.)

(b) Forms and documents. All forms and documents in connection with voluntary conveyance will be prepared and distributed in accordance with the respective FMI or applicable OGC instructions. For loans to individuals when the County Supervisor has approval authority, the facts will be documented in the running record of the borrower's case file. For all other loans, the servicing official will submit the voluntary conveyance offer, the case file and a narrative report to the appropriate approval official.

(c) Liens against the property other than Rural Development liens -

(1) Prior liens.

(i) The approval official will determine whether or not prior liens will be paid. Normally, the Government will pay prior liens in full prior to acquisition if:

(A) A substantial recovery on the Government's investment plus the amount of the prior lien(s) can be obtained; and

(B) The holder of the prior lien(s) objects to the Government accepting voluntary conveyance subject to the prior lien(s), if consent of the prior lienholder(s) is required.

(ii) If property is acquired subject to prior lien(s), payment of installments on the lien(s) may be made while title to the property is held by the Government in accordance with § 1955.67 of subpart B of part 1955 of this chapter.

(2) Junior liens. The borrower must satisfy junior liens on the property (except Rural Development liens) and pay real estate taxes or assessments which are or will become a lien on the property. However, if the borrower is unable or unwilling to do so, settlement of the liens may be made by Rural Development if settlement would be in the best interest of the Government, considering all factors such as length of time required to foreclose, vandalism or other deterioration of the property which might occur, and effect on management of a MFH project and its tenants. An Rural Development official will contact junior lienholders, negotiate the most favorable settlement possible, and determine whether it is in the Government's best interest to settle the junior liens and accept the voluntary coveyance.

(i) For loans to individuals, the approval official is authorized to settle junior liens in the smallest amount possible, but not to exceed an aggregate amount of $1,000 in each SFH case or $5,000 for other type loans. For junior liens in greater amounts when the approval official is the County Supervisor or District Director, prior authorization must be obtained from the State Director.

(ii) For loans to organizations, the State Director will determine whether or not junior liens will be settled and voluntary conveyance accepted.

(3) Payment of liens. A lien to be settled in accordance with paragraph (c)(1)(i) or (c)(2) of this section will be paid as outlined in § 1955.5(d) of this subpart and charged to the borrower's account as a recoverable cost.

(d) Offer of voluntary conveyance. An offer of voluntary conveyance will consist of the following:

(1) Form RD 1955-1, “Offer to Convey Security.”

(2) Warranty deed, or other deed approved by OGC to comply with State Laws. The deed will not be recorded until it is determined the voluntary conveyance will be accepted. At the time of the offer, the borrowers will be informed that the conveyance will not be accepted until the property has been appraised and a lien search has been obtained. If the voluntary conveyance is not accepted, the deed and Form RD 1955-1, properly executed, will be returned to the borrower along with a memorandum stating the reason(s) for nonacceptance.

(3) A current financial statement containing information similar to that required to complete Forms RD 410-1, “Application for Rural Development Services” or RD 442-3, “Balance Sheet,” and information on present income and potential earning ability. Exception for SFH loans: Rural Development requires a budget and/or financial statement and, if necessary to discover suspected undisclosed assets, a search of public records, only when the value of the security property may be less than the debt.

(4) For organization borrowers, a duly-adopted Resolution by the governing body authorizing the conveyance and certified by the attesting official with the corporate seal affixed. The Resolution will indicate which officials are authorized to execute the offer to convey and the deed on behalf of the borrower. If shareholder approval is necessary, the Resolution will specifically recite that shareholder approval has been obtained.

(5) If water rights, mineral rights, development rights, or other use rights are not fully covered in the deed, the advice of OGC will be obtained and appropriate documents to transfer rights to the Government will be obtained before the voluntary conveyance is accepted. The documents will be recorded, if necessary, in connection with closing the conveyance.

(6) If property is under lease, an assignment of the lease to the Government will be obtained with the effective date being the date the voluntary conveyance is closed. If an oral lease is in force, it will be reduced to writing and assigned to the Government.

(7) The borrower may be required to provide a title insurance policy or a final title opinion from a designated attorney when the State Director determines it is necessary to protect the Government's interest. Such title insurance policy or final title opinion will show title vested to the Government subject only to exceptions and liens approved by the County Supervisor.

(8) Farmer program loan borrowers who voluntarily convey after receiving the appropriate loan servicing notice(s) contained in the attachments of exhibit A of subpart S of part 1951 of this chapter, must properly complete and return the acknowledgement form sent with the notice.

(9) For MFH loans, assignment of Housing Assistance Payments (HAP) Contracts will be obtained. Rental Assistance will be retained until the State Director is advised by OGC that the Agency has title to the property. After a voluntary conveyance, the Agency may transfer Rental Assistance in accordance with 7 CFR part 3560, subpart F.

(e) Appraisal of property. After an offer of voluntary conveyance, but before acceptance by Rural Development, an appraisal of the property will be made to establish the current market value of the property. If a qualified Rural Development appraiser is not available to appraise property securing a loan other than MFH, the State Director may obtain an appraisal from a qualified appraiser outside Rural Development in accordance with RD Instruction 2024-A (available in any Rural Development office). For property securing MFH, prior authorization must be obtained by the Assistant Administrator, Housing, to secure an appraisal from a source outside Rural Development. For property securing FP loan(s), the contract appraiser must complete the appraisal in accordance with § 761.7 of this title for FP property, or subpart C of part 1922 for Single Family Housing property. Also, the appraiser must meet at least one of the following qualifications:

(1) Certification by a National or State Appraisal Society.

(2) If a certified appraiser is not available, the appraiser may be one who meets the criteria for certification in a National or State Appraisal Society.

(3) The appraiser has recent, relevant documented appraisal experience or training, or other factors clearly establishing the appraiser's qualifications.

(f) Processing offer to convey security and acceptance by Rural Development. If a borrower has both SFH and other type loans, the portion of this paragraph dealing with the loan(s) other than SFH will be followed.

(1) SFH loans. Rural Development does not solicit or encourage conveyance of SFH security property to the Government and will consider a borrower's offer to convey by deed in lieu of foreclosure only after the debt is accelerated and when it is in the Government's interest. Upon receipt of an offer to convey, the servicing official will remind the borrower of provisions for voluntary liquidation under 7 CFR part 3550,and the consequences of a conveyance by deed in lieu of foreclosure as follows: All costs related to the conveyance which Rural Development pays will be added to the debt; a credit equal to the market value of the property, as determined by Rural Development, less prior liens, will be applied to the debt; and if the credit does not satisfy the debt, the borrower will not automatically be released of liability. The unsatisfied debt, after acceleration under § 1955.10(h)(5) of this subpart, may be settled according to subpart B of part 1956 of this chapter; however, a deficiency judgment will not be pursued when the borrower was granted a moratorium if the borrower faithfully tried to meet loan obligations. The conveyance is processed as follows:

(i) Before accepting the offer, the County Supervisor will transmit the deed to a closing agent requesting a title search covering the period of time since the latest title opinion in the case file. The same agent who closed the loan should be used, if possible; otherwise one will be selected from the approved list of closing agents, taking care that cases are distributed fairly among approved agents. The closing agent may be instructed that the County Supervisor considers the voluntary conveyance offer conditionally approved, and the closing agent may record the deed after the title search if there are no liens against the property other than:

(A) The Rural Development lien(s);

(B) Prior liens when Rural Development has advised the closing agent that title will be taken subject to the prior lien(s) or has told the closing agent that the prior lien(s) will be handled in accordance with § 1955.10(c)(1) of this subpart; and/or

(C) Real estate taxes and/or assessments which must be paid when title to the property is transferred.

(ii) If junior liens are discovered, the closing agent will be requested to provide Rural Development with the lienholder's name, amount of lien, date recorded, and the recording information (recording office, book and page), return the unrecorded deed to Rural Development, and await further instructions from Rural Development. In such cases, the County Supervisor will proceed in accordance with § 1955.10(c)(2) of this subpart. If agreement has been reached with the lienholder(s) for settling the junior lien(s) in order to accept the conveyance, the deed will be returned to the closing agent for a title update and recording.

(iii) The closing agent will be requested to provide a certification of title to Rural Development after recordation of the deed. A certification of title in a statement that fee title is vested in the Government subject only to the Rural Development lien(s) and prior liens previously approved by Rural Development. After receipt of the certification of title, the County Supervisor will notify the borrower that the conveyance has been accepted in accordance with § 1955.10(g) of this subpart.

(2) Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act (CONACT) loans to individuals. If the Agency indebtedness plus any prior liens exceeds the market value of the property, the indebtedness cannot be satisfied but a credit can be given equal to the market value less prior liens. Debt settlement will be considered in accordance with subpart B of part 1956 of this chapter.

(i) Crediting accounts. The Agency will credit an account by an amount equal to the market value less prior liens, unless the borrower is Native American. Native American borrower-owners will be credited with the fair market value or the Agency debt against the property, whichever is greater, provided:

(A) The borrower-owner is a member of a tribe or the tribe, and

(B) The property is located within the confines of a federally recognized Indian reservation.

(ii) Agency approval. The same procedure outlined in paragraphs (f)(1)(i) through (f)(1)(iii) of this section will be followed for approving the voluntary conveyance. The conveyance will be accepted in full satisfaction of the indebtedness unless the market value of the property to be conveyed is less than the total of Government indebtedness and prior liens, and the borrower has agreed to accept a credit in the amount of the market value of the security property less prior liens, if any.

(3) Loans to organizations. When an offer of voluntary conveyance is received from an organization borrower, and the market value of the property being conveyed (less prior liens, if any) is less than the Government debt, full consideration must be given to the borrower's present situation and future prospects for paying all or a part of the debt.

(g) Closing of conveyance.

(1) The conveyance to the Government will be considered closed when the recorded deed has been returned to Rural Development, a certification of title is received from the closing agent that title is vested in the Government with no outstanding encumbrances other than the Rural Development lien(s) or previously approved prior liens, and the borrower is notified of the acceptance of the conveyance. For loans to organizations, OGC will be requested to review the case to verify that it was closed properly. The property will be assigned an ID number and entered into the Acquired Property Tracking System through the Automated Discrepancy Processing System (ADPS) terminal in the County Office.

(2) When costs incident to the completion of the transaction are to be paid by the Government, the servicing official will prepare and process the necessary documents as outlined in § 1955.5(d) of this subpart and the costs will be charged to the borrower's account as recoverable costs. This includes taxes and assessments, water charges which protect the right to receive water, other liens, closing agent's fee, and any other costs related to the conveyance.

(h) Actions to be taken after closing conveyance.

(1) When the Rural Development account is satisfied, the note(s) will be stamped “Satisfied by Surrender of Security and Borrower Released from Liability,” and the statement must be signed by the servicing official.

(2) When the Rural Development account is not satisfied and the borrower is not released from liability, the note(s) will be retained by Rural Development.

(3) The servicing official will release the lien(s) of record, indicating that the debt was satisfied by surrender of security or that the lien is released but the debt not satisfied, whichever is applicable. If the lien is to be released but the debt not satisfied, OGC will provide the type of instrument required to comply with applicable State laws.

(4) After release of the lien(s), the servicing official will return the following to the borrower:

(i) If borrower is released from liability, the satisfied note(s) and a copy of Form RD 1955-1 showing acceptance by the Government; or

(ii) If borrower is not released from liability, a copy of Form RD 1955-1 showing acceptance by the Government.

(5) When the Rural Development account is not satisfied and the borrower not released from liability, the account balance, after deducting the “as is” market value and prior liens, if any, will be accelerated utilizing exhibit F of this subpart (available in any Rural Development office).

(6) For MFH loans, the State Director will cancel any interest credit and suspend any rental assistance. These actions will be accomplished by notifying the Finance Office unit which handles MFH accounts. In the interm the tenants will continue rental payments in accordance with their lease. Tenants will be informed of the pending liquidation action and the possible consequences of the action. If the project is to be removed from the Rural Development program, a minimum of 180 days' notice to the tenants is required. Letters of Priority Entitlement must be made available to any tenants that will be displaced.

(7) Actions outlined in § 1955.18 of this subpart will be taken, as applicable.

[50 FR 23904, June 7, 1985, as amended at 50 FR 45782, Nov. 1, 1985; 69 FR 69105, Nov. 26, 2004; 82 FR 19319, Apr. 27, 2017]

§ 1955.11 Conveyance of property to Rural Development by trustee in bankruptcy.

(a) Authority. With the advice of OGC (and prior approval of the National Office for MFH, Community Programs, and insured B&I loans), the State Director within his/her authority is authorized to accept a conveyance of property to the Government by the Trustee in Bankruptcy, provided:

(1) The Bankruptcy Court has approved the conveyance;

(2) The conveyance will permit a substantial recovery on the Rural Development debt; and

(3) Rural Development will acquire title free of all liens and encumbrances except Rural Development iens.

(b) Fees and deed.

(1) Rural Development may pay any necessary and proper fees approved by the bankruptcy court in connection with the conveyance. Before paying a fee to a trustee for a Trustee's Deed in excess of $300 for any loan type(s) other than Farmer Programs or $1,000 for Farmer Program loans, prior approval of the Administrator must be obtained. The State Director will process the necessary documents as outlined in § 1955.5(d) of this subpart for payment of fees as recoverable costs.

(2) Conveyance may be by Trustee's Deed instead of a warranty deed. If upon advice of OGC it is determined a deed from any other person or entity (including the borrower) is necessary to obtain clear title, a deed from such person or entity will be obtained.

(c) Acceptance. The conveyance will be accepted for an amount of credit to the borrower's Rural Development account(s) as set forth in § 1955.18(e)(4) of this subpart.

(d) Reporting. Acquisition of property under this section will be reported in accordance with § 1955.18(a) of this subpart.

[50 FR 23904, June 7, 1985, as amended at 53 FR 27827, July 25, 1988]

§ 1955.12 Acquisition of property which served as security for a loan guarantee by Rural Development or at sale by another lienholder, bankruptcy trustee, or taxing authority.

When the servicing regulations for the type of loan(s) involved permit Rural Development to acquire property by one of these methods, the acquisition will be reported in accordance with § 1955.18(a) of this subpart.

§ 1955.13 Acquisition of property by exercise of Government redemption rights.

When the Government did not protect its interest in security property in a foreclosure by another lienholder, and if the Government has redemption rights, the State Director will determine whether to redeem the property. This determination will be based on all pertinent factors including the value of the property after the sale, and costs which may be incurred in acquiring and reselling the property. For Farmer Program loans, the County Supervisor will document the determination on exhibit G of this subpart. The decision must be made far enough in advance of expiration of the redemption period to permit exercise of the Government's rights. If the property is to be redeemed, complete information documenting the basis for not acquiring the property at the sale and factors which justify redemption of the property will be included in the case file. The assistance of OGC will be obtained in effecting the redemption. If the State Director decides not to redeem the property, the Government's right of redemption under Federal law (28 U.S.C. 2410) may be waived without consideration. If a State law right of redemption exists and may be sold, it will not be disposed of for less than its value.

[53 FR 35762, Sept. 14, 1988]

§ 1955.14 [Reserved]
§ 1955.15 Foreclosure by the Government of loans secured by real estate.

Foreclosure will be initiated when all reasonable efforts have failed to have the borrower voluntarily liquidate the loan through sale of the property, voluntary conveyance, or by entering into an accelerated repayment agreement when applicable servicing regulations permit; when either a net recovery can be made or when failure to foreclose would adversely affect Rural Development programs in the area. Also, in Farmer Program cases (except graduation cases under subpart F of part 1951 of this chapter), the borrower must have received exhibit A with attachments 1 and 2 of subpart S of part 1951 of this chapter, and any appeal must have been concluded. For real property located within the confines of a federally recognized Indian reservation and owned by a Native American borrower, proper notice of voluntary conveyance must be given as outlined in § 1955.9 (c)(1) of this subpart.

(a) Authority -

(1) Loans to individuals. The District Director is authorized to approve or disapprove foreclosure and accelerate the account.

(2) Loans to organizations.

(i) The State Director or District Director is authorized to approve or disapprove foreclosure of Rural Development secured debt does not exceed their respective loan approval authority. The State Director is authorized to approve or disapprove foreclosure of I&D, Shift-In-Land-Use (Grazing Association), loans to Indian Tribes and Tribal Corporations, and EOC loans, regardless of the amount of debt.

(ii) For all other organization loans, foreclosure will not be initiated without prior approval of the Administrator. The State Director will obtain OGC's opinion on the steps necessary to foreclose the loan, and forward the appropriate problem case report, a statement of essential facts, his/her recommendation, a copy of the OGC opinion, and the borrower's case file to the Administrator, Attn: Assistant Administrator (appropriate loan division) with a request for authorization to initiate foreclosure.

(b) Problem case report. When foreclosure is recommended, the servicing official will prepare Form RD 1955-2 for Farmer Program or SFH loans, exhibit A to this subpart for MFH loans, or exhibit A of RD Instruction 1951-E (available in any Rural Development office) for other organization loans. If chattel security is also involved, Forms RD 455-1, “Request for Legal Action”; 455-2, “Evidence of Conversion”; and 455-22, “Information for Litigation”; as applicable to the case, will be prepared in accordance with the respective FMIs and made a part of the problem case submission. A statement must be included by the servicing official in the narrative that all servicing actions required by Rural Development loan servicing regulations have been taken and all required notices given to the borrower.

(1) Appraisal. The market value of the property may be estimated in completing the problem case report unless there are one or more prior liens other than current-year real estate taxes. Where such prior liens are involved, an appraisal report reflecting market value in existing condition will be included in the case file as a basis for determining the Government's prospects for financial recovery through foreclosure.

(2) Recommendation for deficiency judgment. If the debt will not be satisfied by the foreclosure, the borrower's financial situation will be assessed to determine if there is a possibility of further recovery on the account through a deficiency judgment. A summary of these determinations will be fully documented and appropriate recommendations made concerning deficiency judgment in the applicable problem case report.

(3) Historic preservation. If it is likely that Rural Development will acquire title to the property as a result of the foreclosure, and the structure(s) on the property will be in excess of 50 years old at the time of acquisition or meet any of the other criteria contained in § 1955.137(c) of subpart C of part 1955 of this chapter, steps should be initiated to meet the requirements of the National Historic Preservation Act as outlined in § 1955.137(c). Formal steps should not be initiated until the conclusion of all appeals. However, any such documentation required may be completed when the problem case report is prepared. This action should eliminate delays in selling the property after acquisition.

(c) Submission of problem case. The servicing official will submit the completed problem case docket to the official authorized to approve the foreclosure (approval official). Before approval of foreclosure and acceleration of the account, the approval official is responsible for review of the problem case report to see that all items are complete and that all required servicing actions have been taken and all required notices given the borrower. The narrative portion of the report should provide complete information on the borrower's financial condition, deficiency judgment in case the debt is not satisfied by the foreclosure, and other pertinent background items. The approval official will approve or disapprove the foreclosure, or make a recommendation and refer the case to the National Office, if not within his/her approval authority. If foreclosure is not approved, the case will be returned to the originating office with instructions for further servicing. Problem case submission is as follows:

(1) For loans to individuals. The County Supervisors will submit the case to the District Director.

(2) For loans to organizations. The District Director will submit the case to the State Director along with a proposed liquidation and management plan covering the time the foreclosure is in process. The State Director will obtain the advice of OGC if required in connection with the type of loan being liquidated.

(d) Approval of foreclosure. When foreclosure is approved, it will be handled as follows:

(1) Prior lien(s). If there is a prior lien, all foreclosure alternatives should be explored including whether Rural Development will give the prior lienholder the opportunity to foreclose; join in the action if the prior lienholder wishes to foreclose; or foreclose the Rural Development loan(s), either settling the prior lien or foreclosing subject to it. The provisions of § 1965.11(c) of subpart A of part 1965 of this chapter must be followed for loans serviced under subpart A of part 1965. The assistance of OGC should be obtained in weighing the alternatives, with the objective being to pursue the course which will result in the greatest net recovery by the Government. After it is decided which option will be most advantageous to the Government, the approval official, either directly or through a designee, will contact the prior lienholder to outline Rural Development's position. If State laws affect this action, a State Supplement will be issued with the advice of OGC to establish the procedure to be followed. For real property located within the confines of a federally recognized Indian reservation owned by a Native American borrower-owner, an analysis of whether Rural Development should acquire title must include facts which demonstrate the fair market value after considering the cost of clean-up of hazardous substances on the property.

(2) Acceleration of account. Subject to paragraphs (d)(2)(i), (d)(2)(ii), and (d)(2)(iii) of this section, the account will be accelerated using a notice substantially similar to exhibits B, C, D, or E of this subpart, or for multi-family housing, Guide Letters 1955-A-1 or 1955-A-2 (available in any Rural Development Office), as appropriate, to be signed by the official who approved the foreclosure. The accounts of borrowers with pending Chapter 12 and 13 cases which have not been discharged will be accelerated in accordance with instructions from OGC. Upon OGC approval, accounts of these borrowers may be accelerated using a notice substantially similar to exhibit D of this subpart. Loans secured by chattels must be accelerated at the same time as loans secured by real estate in accordance with § 1965.26 (c) of subpart A of part 1965 of this chapter. The notice will be sent by certified mail, return receipt requested, to each obligor individually, addressed to the last known address. If different from the property address and/or the address the Finance Office uses, a copy of the notice will also be mailed to the property address and the address currently used by the Finance Office. (In chattel liquidation cases which have been referred for civil action under subpart A of part 1962 of this chapter, the Finance Office will be sent a copy of exhibits D, E, or E-1 (available in any Rural Development office) as applicable. County Office and Finance Office loan records will be adjusted to mature the entire debt in such cases). If a signed receipt for at least one of these acceleration notices sent by certified mail is received, no further notice is required. If no receipt is received, a copy of the acceleration notice will be sent by regular mail to each address to which the certified notices were sent. This type mailing will be documented in the file. A State Supplement may be issued if OGC advises different or additional language or format is required to comply with State laws or if notice and mailing instructions are different from that outlined in this paragraph. A conformed copy of the acceleration notice will be forwarded to the servicing official. Farmer Program appeals will be concluded before acceleration. For MFH loans, a copy of the acceleration letter will also be forwarded to the National Office, ATTN: MFH Servicing and Property Management Division, for monitoring purposes. Accounts may be accelerated as follows:

(i) Where monetary default is involved, the account may be accelerated immediately after approval of foreclosure.

(ii) Where monetary default is not involved, the account will not be accelerated until the concurrence of OGC is obtained.

(iii) If borrower obtained the loan while a civilian, entered military service after the loan was closed, the Rural Development has not obtained a waiver of rights under the Soldiers and Sailors Relief Act, the account will not be accelerated until OGC has reviewed the case and given instructions.

(iv) If the decision is made to liquidate the farm loan(s) of a borrower who also has a SFH loan(s), and the dwelling was used as security for the farm loan(s) it will not be necessary to meet the requirements of 7 CFR part 3550 prior to accelerating the account. Except that, if the borrower is in default on his/her farm loan(s), the SFH account must have been considered for interest credit and/or moratorium at the time servicing options are being considered for the FP loan(s) prior to acceleration. If it is later determined the FP loan(s) are to receive additional servicing in lieu of liquidation, the RH loan will be reinstated simultaneously with the FP servicing actions and may be reamortized in accordance with 7 CFR part 3550. Accounts of a borrower who has both Farmer Program and SFH loan(s) may be accelerated as follows:

(A) When the borrower's dwelling is financed with an SFH loan(s) is secured by and located on the same farm real estate as the Farmer Program loan(s) (dwelling located on the farm), the SFH loan(s) will be serviced in accordance with § 1965.26(c)(1) of subpart A of part 1965 of this chapter.

(B) When the borrower's dwelling is financed with an SFH loan(s) and is located on a nonfarm tract which also serves as additional security for the Farmer Program loan(s), the loans(s) will be serviced in accordance with § 1965.26 (c)(2) of subpart A of part 1965 of this chapter.

(C) When the borrower's dwelling is financed with an SFH loan(s) and is on a non-farm tract which does not serve as additional security for the Farmer Program loan(s), it will NOT be accelerated simultaneously with sending out attachments 5 and 6, or 5-A and 6-A, or attachment 9 and 10, or 9-A and 10-A, of exhibit A of subpart S of part 1951 of this chapter, as applicable, unless it is subject to liquidation based on provisions of 7 CFR part 3550, taking into consideration the prospects for success that may evolve when the borrower's livelihood is from a source other than the farming operation. If the SFH loan is in default and subject to liquidation based on provisions of 7 CFR part 3550, the SFH loan(s) must be accelerated at the same time the borrower is sent attachment 5 and 6, or 5-A and 6-A, or attachments 9 and 10, or 9-A and 10-A, to exhibit A of subpart S of part 1951 of this chapter, as applicable. For those borrowers who are in non-monetary default on their Farmer Programs loans and fail to return attachment 4 of exhibit A of subpart S of part 1951 of this chapter, the Farmer Programs loans and SFH loans will be accelerated at the same time. If the borrower appeals, one appeal hearing and one review will be held for both adverse actions.

(D) If a borrower's FP loan(s) were accelerated prior to May 7, 1987, and the SFH loan(s) is not accelerated, the SFH loan will be accelerated at the same time the borrower is sent attachments 5 and 6, or 5-A and 6-A, or attachments 7 and 8 to exhibit A of subpart S of 1951 of this chapter, as applicable, unless the requirements of § 1965.26 of subpart A of part 1965 of this chapter are met or the liquidation of the SFH loan is based on provisions of 7 CFR part 3550. If the borrower is sent attachments 5 and 6, or 5-A and 6-A to exhibit A of subpart S of 1951 of this chapter, as applicable, and requests an appeal, one hearing and one review will be held for both the adverse action on the FP loan restructuring request and SFH acceleration notices. If the borrower is sent attachments 7 and 8 to exhibit A of subpart S of 1951 of this chapter, there are no further appeals on the FP loans; but, the borrower is entitled to a hearing and a review on the SFH acceleration notice.

(v) For MFH loans, the acceleration notice will advise the borrower of all applicable prepayment requirements, in accordance with 7 CFR part 3560, subpart N. The requirements include the application of restrictive-use provisions to loans made on or after December 21, 1979, prepaid in response to acceleration notices and all tenant and agency notifications. The acceleration notice will also remind borrowers that rent levels cannot be raised during the acceleration without Rural Development approval, even after subsidies are canceled or suspended. Tenants are to be notified of the status of the project and of possible consequences of these actions. If the borrower wishes to prepay the project in response to the acceleration and Rural Development makes a determination that the housing is no longer needed, a minimum of 180 days' notice to tenants is required before the project can be removed from the Rural Development program. Letters of Priority Entitlement must be made available.

(3) Offers by borrowers after acceleration of account -

(i) Farmers Programs (FP) accelerations. This category also includes non-FP loans to the same borrower which have been accelerated as part of the same action. After the account is accelerated, the borrower will have 30 days from the date of the acceleration notice to make payment in full to stop the acceleration, unless State or tribal law requires that the foreclosure be withdrawn if the account is brought current and a State supplement is issued to specify the requirement.

(A) Payment in full [see exhibit D of this subpart (available in any Rural Development office)] may consist of the following means of fully satisfying the debt.

(1) Cash.

(2) Transfer and assumption.

(3) Sale of property.

(4) Voluntary conveyance.

(B) Payments which do not pay the account in full can be accepted subject to the following requirements:

(1) Payments will be accepted if there is no remaining security for the debt (real estate and chattel).

(2) If the borrower is in the process of selling security or nonsecurity, payments may be accepted unless State law would require the acceleration to be reversed. In States where payments cannot be accepted unless the acceleration is reversed, the payments will not be accepted. A State supplement will be issued to address State law on accepting payments after acceleration.

(3) If payments are mistakenly credited to the borrower's account, no waiver or prejudice to any rights which the United States may have for breach of any promissory note or convenant in the real estate instruments will result. Disposition of such payments will be made after consulting OGC.

(4) The servicing official will notify the approval official of any other offer. This includes a request by the borrower for an extension of time to accomplish voluntary liquidation or a proposal to cure the default(s). In all other cases, the approval official will decide whether an offer from a borrower will be accepted and servicing of the loan reinstated or whether foreclosure will be delayed to give the borrower additional time to voluntarily liquidate as authorized in servicing regulations for the type loan(s) involved. If an offer is received after the case has been referred to OGC, the approval official will consult OGC before accepting or rejecting the offer. The denial of an offer to stop foreclosure is not appealable. In all cases, the approval official will notify the servicing official of the decision made.

(ii) All other accelerations. After the account is accelerated, loan servicing ceases. For example, for SFH loans, the renewal or granting of interest credit or a moratorium is not authorized. The servicing official will accept no payment for less than the unpaid loan balance, unless State law requires that foreclosure be withdrawn if the account is brought current and a State supplement is issued to specify this requirement. If payments are mistakenly accepted and credited to the borrower's account, no waiver or prejudice to any rights which the United States may have for breach of any promissory note or covenants in the real estate instruments will result. Disposition of such payments will be made after consultation with OGC. The servicing official will notify the approval official of any offer received from the borrower. This includes a request by the borrower for an extension of time to accomplish voluntary liquidation or a written proposal to cure the default(s). The receipt of a payment with no proposal to cure the defaults is not considered a viable offer, and such payments will be returned to the borrower. The approval official will decide whether an offer from a borrower will be accepted and servicing of the loan reinstated or whether foreclosure will be delayed to give the borrower additional time to voluntarily liquidate as authorized in servicing regulations for the type loan involved. If an offer is received after the case has been referred to OGC, the approval official will consult OGC before accepting or rejecting the offer. The denial of an offer to stop foreclosure is not appealable. In all cases, the approval official will notify the servicing official of the decision made. For MFH loans, the National Office will be notified when foreclosure is withdrawn. When an account is reinstated under this section, the servicing official will grant or reinstate assistance for which the borrower qualifies, such as interest credit on an SFH loan. When granting interest credit in such a case:

(A) If an interest credit agreement expired after the account was accelerated, the effective date will be the date the previous agreement expired.

(B) If an interest credit agreement was not in effect when the account was accelerated, the effective date will be the date foreclosure action was withdrawn.

(C) For MFH loans with rental assistance, after acceleration and after any appeal or review has been concluded, rental assistance will be suspended if foreclosure is to continue. If the account is reinstated, the rental assistance will be reinstated retroactively to the date of suspension. In the interim, the tenants will continue rental payments in accordance with their leases, and all rental rates and lease renewals and provisions will be continued as if acceleration had not taken place.

(4) Statement of account. If a statement of account is required for foreclosure proceedings, Form RD 451-10, “Request for Statement of Account,” will be processed in accordance with the FMI. When an official statement of account is not required, account balances and recapture information may be obtained from the field office terminal.

(5) Appeals. All appeals will be handled pursuant to subpart B of part 1900 of this chapter. Foreclosure actions will be held in abeyance while an appeal is pending. No case will be referred to OGC for processing of foreclosure until a borrower's appeal and appeal review have been concluded, or until the time has elapsed during which an appeal or a request for review may be made. In Farmer Programs cases, (except graduation cases under subpart F of part 1951 of this chapter), the borrower must have received the appropriate notices and consideration for primary loan servicing per subpart S of part 1951 of this chapter. Any Farmer Programs cases may be accelerated after all primary loan servicing options have been considered and all related appeals concluded, but will not be submitted to OGC for foreclosure action until all appeals related to any preservation rights have been concluded.

(6) Petition in bankruptcy filed by borrower after acceleration of account.

(i) When bankruptcy is filed after an account has been accelerated, any foreclosure action initiated by Rural Development must be suspended until:

(A) The bankruptcy case is dismissed or closed (a discharge of debtor does not close the case);

(B) An Order lifting the automatic stay is obtained from the Bankruptcy Court; or

(C) The property is no longer property of the bankruptcy estate and the borrower has received a discharge.

(ii) The State Director will request the assistance of OGC in obtaining the Order(s) described in paragraph (c)(6)(i)(B) of this section.

(e) Referral of case. If the borrower fails to satisfy the account during the period of time specified in the acceleration notice, and no appeal is pending, the foreclosure process will continue:

(1) If the District Director is the approval official, he/she will forward the case file with all pertinent documents and information concerning the foreclosure action and appeal, if any, to the State Director for completion of the foreclosure.

(2) If the State Director is the approval official, or in cases referred by the District Director under paragraph (e)(1) of this section, the State Director will forward to OGC the case file and all documents needed by OGC to process the foreclosure. A State Supplement will be issued, with the advice and assistanced of OGC, to reflect the make-up of the foreclosure docket. Since foreclosure processing varies widely from State to State, each State Supplement will be explicit in outlining step-by-step procedures. At the time indicated by OGC in the foreclosure instructions, Form RD 1951-6, “Borrower Account Description Flag,” will be processed in accordance with the FMI. After referral to OGC, further actions will be in accordance with OGC's instructions for completion of the foreclosure. If prior approval of the Administrator is obtained, nonjudicial foreclosure for monetary default may be handled as outlined in a State Supplement approved by OGC without referral to OGC before foreclosure.

(f) Completion of foreclosure -

(1) Foreclosure advertisement for organization loans subject to title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

(i) The advertisement for foreclosure sale of property subject to title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 will contain a statement substantially similar to the following: “The property described herein was purchased or improved with Federal financial assistance and is subject to the nondiscrimination provisions of title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and other similarly worded Federal statutes and regulations issued pursuant thereto that prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, handicap, religion, age or sex in programs or activities receiving Federal financial assistance, for as long as the property continues to be used for the same or similar purposes for which the Federal assistance was extended or for so long as the purchaser owns it, whichever is later.” At least 30 days before the foreclosure sale, the County Supervisor will notify, in writing, the Indian tribe which has jurisdiction over the reservation, and in which the real property is owned by a Native American member of said tribe that a foreclosure sale will be conducted to resolve this account, and will provide:

(A) Projected sale date and location;

(B) Fair market value of property;

(C) Amount Rural Development will bid on the property; and

(D) Amount of Rural Development debt against the property.

(ii) The purchaser will be required to sign Form RD 400-4, “Assurance Agreement,” if the property will be used for its original or similar purposes.

(2) Restrictive-use provisions for MFH loans. For MFH loans, the advertisement will state the restrictive-use provisions which will be included in any deed used to transfer title.

(3) Expenses. Expenses which are incurred in connection with foreclosure, including legal fees, will be paid at the time recommended by OGC by processing the necessary documents as outlined in § 1955.5 (d) of this subpart. Costs will be charged as outlined in RD Instruction 2024-A (available in any Rural Development office).

(4) Notice of judgment. In states with judicial foreclosure, as soon as the foreclosure judgment is obtained, Form RD 1962-20, “Notice of Judgment,” will be processed in accordance with the FMI. This will establish a judgment account to accrue interest at the rate stated in the judgment order so that an accurate account balance can be obtained for calculating the Government's foreclosure bid.

(5) Gross investment. The gross investment is the sum of the following:

(i) The unpaid balance of one of the following, as applicable:

(A) In States with nonjudicial foreclosure, the borrower's Rural Development account balance reflecting secured loan(s) and advances; and where State law permits, unsecured debts; or

(B) In States with judicial foreclosure, the judgment account established as a result of the foreclosure judgment in favor of Rural Development.

(ii) All recoverable costs charged (or to be charged) to the borrower's account in connection with the foreclosure action and other costs which OGC advises must be paid from proceeds of the sale before paying the Rural Development secured debt, including but not limited to payment of real estate taxes and assessments, prior liens, legal fees including U.S. Attorney's and U.S. Marshal's, and management fees; and

(iii) If a SFH loan subject to recapture of interest credit is involved, the total amount of subsidy granted and principal reduction attributed to subsidy.

(6) Amount of Government's bid. Except for FP loans and as modified by paragraph (f)(7)(ii) of this section, the Government's bid will be the amount of Rural Development's gross investment or the market value of the security, whichever is less. For real property located within the confines of a federally recognized Indian reservation and which is owned by an Rural Development borrower who is a member of the tribe with jurisdiction over the reservation, the Government's bid will be the greater of the fair market value or the Rural Development debt against the property, unless Rural Development determines that, because of the presence of hazardous substances on the property, it is not in the best interest of the Government to bid such amount, in which case there may be a deduction from the bid for the costs for hazardous material assessment and/or mitigation. For FP loans, except as modified by paragraph (f)(7)(ii) of this section, the Government's bid will be the amount of Rural Development's gross investment or the amount determined by use of exhibit G-1 of this subpart, whichever is less. When the foreclosure sale is imminent, the State Director must request the servicing official to submit a current appraisal (in existing condition) as a basis for determining the Government's bid. Except for MFH properties, if an Rural Development appraiser is not available, the State Director may authorize an appraisal to be obtained by contract from a source outside Rural Development in accordance with RD Instruction 2024-A (available in any Rural Development office). For MFH properties, prior approval of the Assistant Administrator, Housing, is necessary to procure an outside appraisal.

(7) Bidding. The State Director will designate an individual to bid on behalf of the Government unless judicial proceedings or State nonjudicial foreclosure law provides for someone other than an Rural Development employee to enter the Government's bid. When the State Director determines attendance of an Rural Development employee at the sale might pose physical danger, a written bid may be submitted to the Marshal, Sheriff, or other party in charge of holding the sale. The Government's bid will be entered when no other party makes a bid or when the last bid will result in the property being sold for less than the bid authorized in paragraph (f)(6) of this section.

(i) When Rural Development is the senior lienholder, only one bid will be entered, and that will be for the amount authorized by the State Director.

(ii) When Rural Development is not the senior lienholder and OGC advises that the borrower has no redemption rights or if a deficiency judgment will be obtained, the State Director may authorize the person who will bid for the Government to make incremental bids in competition with other bidders. If incremental bidding is desired, the State Director's instructions to the bidder will state the initial bid, bidding increments, and the maximum bid.

(g) Reports on sale and finalizing foreclosure. Immediately after a foreclosure sale at which the State Director has designated a person to bid on behalf of the Government, the servicing official will furnish the State Director a report on the sale. The State Director will forward a copy of this report to OGC and, for MFH loans, to the National Office. Based on OGC's instructions, a State supplement will provide a detailed outline of actions necessary to complete the foreclosure.

[50 FR 23904, June 7, 1985, as amended at 80 FR 9895, Feb. 24, 2015]

§§ 1955.16-1955.17 [Reserved]
§ 1955.18 Actions required after acquisition of property.

The approval official may employ the services of local designated attorneys, of a case by case basis, to process all legal procedures necessary to clear the title of foreclosure properties. Such attorneys shall be compensated at not more than their usual and customary charges for such work. Contracting for such attorneys shall be accomplished pursuant to the Federal acquisition regulations and related procurement regulations and guidance.

(a-d) [Reserved]

(e) Credit to the borrower's account or foreclosure judgment account -

(1) For SFH accounts. When Rural Development acquired the property, the account will be satisfied unless:

(i) In a voluntary conveyance case where the debt exceeds the market value of the property and the borrower is not released from liability, in which case the account credit will be the market value (less outstanding liens if any); or

(ii) In a foreclosure where the bid is less than the account balance and a deficiency judgment will be sought for the difference, in which case the account credit will be the amount of Rural Development's bid.

(2) For all types of accounts other than SFH. When Rural Development acquired the property, the account credit will be as follows:

(i) In a voluntary conveyance case:

(A) Where the market value of the property equals or exceeds the debt or where the borrower is released from liability for any difference, the account will be satisfied.

(B) Where the debt exceeds the market value of the property and the borrower is not released from liability, the account credit will be the market value (less outstanding liens, if any).

(ii) In a foreclosure, the account credit will be the amount of Rural Development's bid except when incremental bidding as provided for in § 1955.15(f)(7)(ii) of this subpart was used, in which case the account credit will be the maximum bid that was authorized by the State Director.

(3) For all types of accounts when Rural Development did not acquire the property. The sale proceeds will be handled in accordance with applicable State laws with the advice and assistance of OGC, including remittance of funds, application of the borrower's account credit, and disbursement of any funds in excess of the amount due Rural Development.

(4) In cases where Rural Development acquired security property by means other than voluntary conveyance or foreclosure. In these cases, such as conveyance by a bankruptcy trustee or by Court Order, the account credit will be as follows:

(i) If the market value of the acquired property equals or exceeds the debt, the account will be satisfied.

(ii) If the debt exceeds the market value of the acquired property, the account credit will be the market value.

(f-l) [Reserved]

[50 FR 23904, June 7, 1985, as amended at 52 FR 41957, Nov. 2, 1987; 53 FR 27827, July 25, 1988; 53 FR 35764 Sept. 14, 1988; 55 FR 35295, Aug. 29, 1990; 56 FR 10147, Mar. 11, 1991; 56 FR 29402, June 27, 1991; 58 FR 38927, July 21, 1993; 58 FR 68725, Dec. 29, 1993; 60 FR 34455, July 3, 1995]

§ 1955.19 [Reserved]
§ 1955.20 Acquisition of chattel property.

Every effort will be made to avoid acquiring chattel property by having the borrower or Rural Development liquidate the property according to subpart A of part 1962 of this chapter and apply the proceeds to the borrower's account(s). Methods of acquisition authorized are:

(a) Purchase at the following types of sale:

(1) Execution sale conducted by the U.S. Marshal, sheriff or other party acting under Court order to satisfy judgment liens.

(2) Rural Development foreclosure sale conducted by the U.S. Marshal or sheriff in States where a State Supplement provides for sales to be conducted by them.

(3) Sale by trustee in bankruptcy.

(4) Public sale by prior lienholder.

(5) Public sale conducted under the terms of Form RD 455-4, “Agreement for Voluntary Liquidation of Chattel Security,” the power of sale in security agreements or crop and chattel mortgage, or similar instrument, if authorized by State Supplement.

(b) Voluntary conveyance. Voluntary conveyance of chattels will be accepted only when the borrower can convey ownership free of other liens and the borrower can be released from liability under the conditions set forth in § 1955.10(f)(2) of this subpart. Payment of other lienholders' debts by Rural Development in order to accept voluntary conveyance of chattels is not authorized. Before a voluntary conveyance from a Farmer Program loan borrower can be accepted, the borrower must be sent Exhibit A with Attachments 1 and 2 of subpart S of part 1951 of this chapter.

(1) Offer. The borrower's offer of voluntary conveyance will be made on Form RD 1955-1. If it is determined the conveyance offer can be accepted, the borrower will execute a bill of sale itemizing each item of chattel property being conveyed and will provide titles to vehicles or other equipment, where applicable.

(2) Acceptance of offer release from liability. Before accepting an offer to convey chattels to Rural Development, the concurrence of the State Director must be obtained. When chattel security is voluntarily conveyed to the Government and the borrower and cosigner(s), if any, are to be released from liability, the servicing official will stamp the note(s) “Satisfied by Surrender of Security and Borrower Released from Liability.” When the Agency debt less the market value and prior liens is $1 million or more (including principal, interest and other charges), release of liability must be approved by the Administrator or designee; otherwise, the State Director must approve the release of liability. All cases requiring a release of liability will be submitted in accordance with Exhibit A of Subpart B of Part 1956 of this chapter (available in any Rural Development office). Form RD 1955-1 will be executed by the servicing official showing acceptance by the Government, and the satisfied note(s) and a copy of Form RD 1955-1 will be furnished to the borrower.

(3) Release of lien(s). When an offer has been accepted as outlined in paragraph (b)(2) of this section, the servicing official will release any liens of record which secured the satisfied indebtedness.

(4) Rejection of offer. If it is determined an offer of voluntary conveyance will not be accepted, the servicing official will indicate on Form RD 1955-1 that the offer is rejected, execute the form, and furnish a copy to the borrower.

(c) Attending sales. The servicing official will:

(1) Attend all sales described in paragraph (a)(5) of this section unless an exception is authorized by the State Director because of physical danger to the Rural Development employee or adverse publicity would be likely.

(2) Attend public sales by prior lienholders when the market value of the chattel property is significantly more than the amount of the prior lien(s).

(3) Obtain the advice of the State Director on attending sales described in paragraphs (a) (1), (2), and (3) of this section.

(d) Appraising chattel property. Prior to the sale, the servicing official will appraise chattel property using Form RD 440-21, “Appraisal of Chattel Property.” If a qualified appraiser is not available to appraise chattel property, the State Director may obtain an appraisal from a qualified source outside Rural Development by contract in accordance with Rural Development Instruction 2024-A (available in any Rural Development office).

(e) Abandonment of security interest. The State Director may authorize abandonment of the Government's security interest when chattel property, considering costs of moving or rehabilitation, has no market value and obtaining title would not be in the best interest of the Government.

(f) Bidding at sale.

(1) The servicing official is authorized to bid at sales described in paragraph (a) of this section. Ordinarily, only one bid will be made on items of chattel security unless the State Director authorizes incremental bidding. Bids will be made only when no other party bids or when it appears bidding will stop and the property will be sold for less than the amount of the Government's authorized bid. When the State Director determines attendance of an Rural Development employee might pose physical danger, a written bid may be submitted to the party holding the sale. The bid(s) will be the lesser of:

(i) The market value of the item(s) less the estimated costs involved in the acquisition, care, and sale of the item(s) of security; or

(ii) The unpaid balance of the borrower's secured Rural Development debt plus prior liens, if any.

(2) Bids will not be made in the following situations unless authorized by the State Director:

(i) When chattel property under prior lien has a market value which is not significantly more than the amount owed the prior lienholder. If Rural Development holds a junior lien on several items of chattel property, advice should be obtained from the State Director on bidding.

(ii) After sufficient chattel property has been bid in by Rural Development to satisfy the Rural Development debt; prior liens, and cost of the sale.

(iii) When the sale is being conducted by a lienholder junior to Rural Development.

(iv) At a private sale.

(v) When the sale is being conducted under the terms of Form RD 455-3, “Agreement for Sale by Borrower (Chattels and/or Real Estate)”.

(g) Payment of costs. Costs to be paid by Rural Development in connection with acquisition of chattel property will be paid as outlined in § 1955.5(d) of this subpart as recoverable costs.

Note:

Payment of other lienholders' debts in connection with voluntary conveyance of chattels is not authorized.

(h) Reporting acquisition of chattel property. Acquisition of chattel property will be reported by use of Form RD 1955-3 prepared and distributed in accordance with the FMI.

[50 FR 23904, June 7, 1985, as amended at 50 FR 45783, Nov. 1, 1985; 51 FR 45433, Dec. 18, 1986; 53 FR 27828 July 25, 1988; 53 FR 35764, Sept. 14, 1988; 60 FR 28320, May 31, 1995]

§ 1955.21 Exception authority.

The Administrator may, in individual cases, make an exception to any requirement or provision of this subpart or address any omission of this subpart which is not inconsistent with the authorizing statute or other applicable law if the Administrator determines that the Government's interest would be adversely affected or the immediate health and/or safety of tenants or the community are endangered if there is no adverse effect on the Government's interest. The Administrator will exercise this authority upon the request of the State Director with recommendation of the appropriate program Assistant Administrator; or upon request initiated by the appropriate program Assistant Administrator. Requests for exceptions must be made in writing and supported with documentation to explain the adverse effect, propose alternative courses of action, and show how the adverse effect will be eliminated or minimized if the exception is granted.

§ 1955.22 State supplements.

State Supplements will be prepared with the assistance of OGC as necessary to comply with State laws or only as specifically authorized in this regulation to provide guidance to Rural Development officials. State supplements will be submitted to the National Office for post approval in accordance with RD Instruction 2006-B (available in any Rural Development office).

§§ 1955.23-1955.49 [Reserved]
§ 1955.50 OMB control number.

The collection of information requirements contained in this regulation have been approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and have been assigned OMB control number 0575-0109. Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to vary from 5 minutes to 5 hours per response, with an average of .56 hours per response including time for reviewing instructions, searching existing data sources, gathering and maintaining the data needed, and completing and reviewing the collection of information. Send comments regarding this burden estimate or any other aspect of this collection of information, including suggestions for reducing this burden, to Department of Agriculture, Clearance Officer, OIRM, room 404-W, Washington, DC 20250; and to the Office of Management and Budget, Paperwork Reduction Project (OMB #0575-0109), Washington, DC 20503.

[57 FR 1372, Jan. 14, 1992]

Exhibits A-F to Subpart A of Part 1955 [Reserved]