(a) Policy. Rural Housing Service (RHS) will manage custodial property and Real Estate Owned (REO) property to protect the Government's interest, and may dispose of REO property through direct sales, sealed bid, or auction. RHS will follow affirmative fair housing marketing policies.
(b) Custodial property. RHS may take custodial possession of security property that has been abandoned, or for other reasons necessary to protect the Government's security. After taking custodial possession of a security property, RHS may maintain and repair the security property as needed to protect the Government's interest, pay required real estate taxes and assessments, and secure personal property left on the premises. Expenses will be charged to the borrower's account. Custodial property may be leased when it is in the Government's best interest and in such cases the borrower's account will be credited for income from the security property.
(c) REO property -
(1) Classification. When RHS takes title to a security property, it is classified as either program or nonprogram (NP) property. An REO property that is eligible for financing under the section 502 program, or which could reasonably be repaired to be eligible, is classified as program property. An REO property that cannot reasonably be repaired to be eligible as section 502 property, and property that has been improved to a point that it will no longer qualify as modest under section 502, is classified as NP property.
(2) Disclosing decent, safe, and sanitary defects. When RHS determines that an REO property to be sold is not decent, safe, and sanitary, or does not meet cost-effective energy conservation standards, it will disclose the reasons why. The deed by which such an REO property is conveyed will contain a covenant restricting it from residential use until it is decent, safe, and sanitary and meets the RHS cost-effective energy conservation standards. RHS will also notify any potential purchaser of any known lead-based paint hazards.
(3) Property on Indian tribal allotted or trust land. REO property which is located on Indian tribal allotted or trust land, will be sold or otherwise disposed of only to a member of the particular tribe having jurisdiction over the allotted or tribal land, to the tribe, or to an Indian housing authority serving the tribe on a first-come, first-served basis.
(4) Reservation of program REO properties.
(i) Program REO properties are reserved for eligible direct or guaranteed single family housing loans under this part or part 1980, subpart D of this title and nonprofit organizations or public bodies providing transitional housing during the first 60 days after the date of the first notice of sale, and during the first 30 days following any reduction in price or any other change in credit terms or other sale terms. After the expiration of a reservation period, program REO properties can be bought by any buyer.
(ii) An offer on a program REO property from a buyer who does not qualify for a direct or guaranteed single family housing loan may be submitted during a reservation period, but is considered to have been received on the day after the reservation period ends.
(iii) No offer is considered until 3 business days after the date the property is offered for sale. An offer received during the 3-day holding period is not considered until the 4th day, and is evaluated with any other offers actually received on the 4th day.
(5) Priority of offers received the same day.
(i) Offers received on the same business day are selected in the following order:
(A) Offers from eligible direct or guaranteed single family housing loan applicants , with a request for credit on program terms. All offers are evaluated as if they were submitted at the listed price, regardless of the offering price.
(B) Offers from nonprofits or public bodies for conversion to use as transitional housing or for other special purposes as specified in paragraph (d)(4) of this section.
(C) Cash offers, from highest to lowest.
(D) NP credit offers, from highest to lowest.
(ii) Acceptable offers of equal priority received on the same business day are selected by lot.
(iii) REO properties are not held off the market pending the outcome of an appeal of RHS rejection of a request for financing.
(6) Sale by sealed bid or auction. RHS may authorize the sale of an REO property by sealed bid or public auction when it is in the best interest of the Government. RHS will publicly solicit requests for sealed bids and publicize auctions. If a successful bidder is unable to settle the transaction under the terms of the offer, except for the financing contingency, any required bid deposit may be retained by RHS. If the highest bid is lower than the minimum acceptable bid established by RHS, or if no acceptable bids are received, RHS may negotiate a sale without further public notice.
(d) Special purposes.
(1) REO property may be purchased for conversion to multiple family housing.
(2) When a nonprofit organization or public body notifies RHS in writing of its intent to buy an REO property to provide transitional housing for the homeless, RHS may withdraw the property from the market for up to 30 days to give the entity an opportunity to execute a purchase contract. The listed price may be discounted for offers on a nonprogram REO property at any time, and on a program REO property after the 60-day reservation period. No down payment is required, and the loan term will be for a maximum of 30 years. Until RHS executes a sales agreement, an offer from a program-eligible applicant will receive priority, regardless of a nonprofit's interest in purchasing the REO property for use as transitional housing.
(3) NP properties may be leased to a nonprofit organization or public body to provide transitional housing for the homeless at an annual cost of one dollar. When an REO property is to be leased as transitional housing, RHS will make repairs needed to put the property in decent, safe, and sanitary condition. The lessee is responsible for all future repairs and maintenance.
(4) REO property may be sold under special provisions to nonprofit organizations or public bodies for the purpose of providing affordable housing to very low- and low-income families.
(a) Applicability. Debt settlement procedures may be initiated to collect any amounts due to RHS including:
(1) Balances remaining on loan accounts after all liquidation proceeds or credits have been applied;
(2) Subsidy recapture or grant amounts due; and
(3) Unauthorized assistance due.
(b) Judgment. RHS may seek a judgment whenever a judgment might enable RHS to collect all or a significant portion of an amount owed.
(c) Multiple loans. RHS does not settle debts for one loan while other RHS loans on the same security property remain active.
(d) Cosigners and claims against estates. RHS may use any and all remedies available under law to collect from any cosigner and from a deceased borrower's estate.
(e) Reporting. RHS will report to the Internal Revenue Service and credit reporting agencies any debt settled through cancellation, compromise, or adjustment.
(f) Settlement during legal or investigative action. Cases that are under investigation for fiscal irregularity or have been referred to the Office of the Inspector General, the Office of the General Counsel, or the U.S. Attorney will not be considered for debt settlement until final action by the investigating or prosecuting entity has been taken.
(g) Offsets. RHS may request offsets as described in § 3550.210 to collect amounts owed.
(h) Escrow funds. At liquidation all funds held in escrow or unapplied funds will be applied against the debt.
Compromise or adjustment offers may be initiated by the debtor or by RHS. RHS will approve only those compromises and adjustments that are in the best interest of the Government.
(a) Compromise. A compromise is an agreement by RHS to release a debtor from liability upon receipt of a specified lump sum that is less than the total amount due.
(b) Adjustments. An adjustment is an agreement by RHS to release a debtor from liability generally upon receipt of an initial lump sum representing the maximum amount the debtor can afford to pay and periodic additional payments over a period of up to 5 years.
(c) Timing of offers.
(1) For a settlement offer to be considered, secured debts must be fully matured under the terms of the debt instrument or must have been accelerated by RHS.
(2) Unsecured debts owed after the sale of the security property may be proposed for compromise or adjustment at any time. Debts that were never secured may be proposed for compromise or adjustment when they are due and payable.
(d) Retention of security property. The debtor may retain the security property if the compromise payment is at least equal to the net recovery value, and it is in the best interest of the Government to allow the debtor to retain the security property.
The information collection requirements contained in this regulation have been approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and have been assigned OMB control number 0575-0172. Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to vary from 5 minutes to 3 hours per response, with an average of 11/2 hours per response, including time for review instructions, searching existing data sources, gathering and maintaining the data needed, and completing and reviewing the collection of information.