SBA Hears Frustrated Business Owners, Simplifies Disaster Loan Process
WASHINGTON - Nearly a week after the SBA testified at a hearing, which included complaints from business owners on the disaster loan application process, the agency said it's making the procedure simpler. The SBA announced Oct. 13 that it will relax some of its disaster loan filing requirements to expedite the processing of these loans. The agency will now waive the usual requirement of the submission of tax returns from the last three years. Business owners will also now be able to file a disaster loan application without providing a monthly sales analysis for the last three years. To fill in the gaps for the missing information, the SBA will, in the case of the missing tax documents, access income tax transcripts from the IRS to verify the applicant's income. In addition, the title or record search previously required before all loan disbursements above $25,000 will now only be required for loans exceeding $50,000, the SBA said. The SBA had come under fire for what some business owners from hurricane-impacted states said was a slow and long disaster loan process. The agency said it has hired more than 2,300 loan officers, damage inspectors, loan closers and customer service staffers to work in the Gulf states and in other cities.