The SBA just announced this week the opening of their Direct Forgiveness Portal at https://directforgiveness.sba.gov/ that will launch on August 4, 2021 for loans of $150,000 or less. The borrower’s bank will need to opt in to this program and so far, over 600 banks have elected to participate. This will enable about 2.17 million borrowers to apply through the portal, which represents 30% of loans $150,000 or less that have not yet submitted for forgiveness.
The SBA has put in place a customer service team to answer questions and directly assist borrowers with their forgiveness applications, whether they are using the direct portal or going through their bank. Borrowers that need assistance or have questions should call (877) 552-2692, Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. EST. This is great news, as I have found that many banks do not know the answers to their borrowers’ questions.
“This initiative will allow PPP borrowers to put their concerns of achieving full forgiveness behind them and focus on operating and growing their businesses again,” said Patrick Kelley, Associate Administrator for SBA’s Office of Capital Access. “We are pleased to be able to assist financial institutions across the U.S. in processing forgiveness applications for small business owners.”
The SBA also announced a streamlined process for forgiveness of second-draw PPP loans of $150,000 or less where the borrower did not submit documentation of revenue reduction at the time of the loan application. Each loan will be assigned a COVID Revenue Reduction Score that is determined by an independent third-party SBA contractor based on a variety of inputs including industry, geography, business size and current economic data on the economic recovery and return of businesses to operational status. The SBA will maintain the score and it will be visible to the lender to use as an alternative to document revenue reduction. The score will be visible to those borrowers who submit their loan forgiveness applications through the platform using the Direct Forgiveness Portal and when the score meets or exceeds the value required for validation of the borrower’s revenue reduction, use of the score will satisfy the requirement for the borrower to document revenue reduction. No further documentation will need to be provided for forgiveness. When the score does not meet the value required for validation of the borrower’s revenue reduction and the borrower has not already provided documentation to the lender validating their revenue reduction, then the borrower must provide documentation either directly to the lender (for those lenders that do not opt in to the direct borrower forgiveness process) or provide documentation to the lender by uploading it to the platform.
Lastly, the SBA has announced that they will defer any loan payments in the case where a loan is not 100% forgiven and the borrower timely appeals the SBA’s decision. The deferment will remain in place until the SBA’s Office of Hearings and Appeals (OHA) issues a final decision on the appeal. The borrower should notify the lender of the appeal, so the lender can extend the deferment period. The appeal petition must be filed with the OHA within 30 calendar days after the appellant’s receipt of the final SBA loan review decision.
While I make every attempt to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the information provided in this article, the information is provided “as-is” without warranty of any kind. As with every other COVID-19 related Act, situations and rules get defined over time and things can and do change. PPP forgiveness is 11 months old and it is still changing. PayMaster, Inc and Romeo Chicco do not accept any responsibility or liability for the accuracy, content, completeness, legality, or reliability of the information contained. Consult with your CPA, Attorney, and/or HR Professional.