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17 Q&As from Our YouTube Channel

From the very beginning of the pandemic, Linda Rey and I set out to provide thoughtful, truthful, and accurate information to struggling Small Business Owners.  Literally, on March 18, 2020, we discussed how scammers, sharks, bad bloggers, and click-baiters, would emerge from the slimy depths of the internet to give bad information, poor advice, and misleading directions.

We’ve been answering questions ever since. During the pandemic, while we processed hundreds of EIDL applications for a total of $70M in approved funding, we answered questions on free phone calls, email inquiries, and our live YouTube broadcasts.

We’re passionate about Small Business and we want to do our small part to demonstrate our commitment to their success. Here’s a sampling of recent comments and questions we’ve received in response to a variety of our YouTube videos.

Q: The only choice, it seems, is to bk the loan if you truly can’t pay. I’d say ignoring sounds like a bad idea. Many of these youtubers have people thinking forgiveness is coming. One was cheering because he heard people saying loans were being charged off. He has no idea that’s not a good thing, yet he pumped that nonsense.

Our Response:

The Federal government has a long memory.” That’s why ignoring your COVID-19 EIDL is a BAD idea!

Even if you’re making your payments, you might be inadvertently ignoring simple basics to comply with the terms of the Loan Agreement you signed. Things like submitting annual financial statements or notifying SBA of changes to your business. Failing to comply is literally considered a DEFAULT by SBA in the Loan Agreement!!!!

Our Post-Closing EIDL Blueprint has all the info you need to remain compliant and NOT IGNORE the COVID-19 EIDL!

As for filing bankruptcy: this is another one of those topics tossed around carelessly by the pseudo-experts. While filing bankruptcy could potentially discharge the debt, that means you may have to ALSO file a personal bankruptcy. AND THAT MEANS starting all over with your credit. Or, even worse, having to include your other personal assets and liabilities in your personal BK just because you listened to some fool pretending to give expert advice!

There are other ways to manage a challenge with payments. Our Post-Closing EIDL Blueprint discusses remediation in depth.

Q: I’m closing my small business down due to health reasons. There’s no personal guarantee. Am I personally affected?

Our Response:

Trevor and I are truly sorry to hear about your having to close your business! We have seen so many small business owners suffering during these uncertain economic times.
You should be aware that, even absent a personal guarantee, according to the SBA’s Loan Authorization and Agreement (LAA), you may still have a personal liability for a defaulted loan. Meaning, SBA could potentially come after you for repayment of the debt. This is one of those murky areas where SBA’s poor communications fails to provide clarity.

If a business has a COVID-19 EIDL and is closing down, you must contact SBA, whether or not there’s a personal guarantee. SBA has a process for every situation and challenge, and closing a business is no different.

Q: You need to go back and research personal property. It clear states that you guaranteed the loan . With your personal assets. So that’s what my attorney’s said and my CPA if the loan is over 200 thousand

Our Response: 

1. We created our Post-Closing Blueprint to delve deeper into complicated concepts like this.  If you purchase the guide today, you will receive free updates through December 2024. We’re updating the guide occasionally due to the changing landscape of the COVID-19 EIDL requirements.  In our recent experience, SBA is literally changing the rules on the LAA, and, we know that internally they are still working out procedures for the new challenges facing the COVID-19 EIDL Borrowers, including defaulting loans, hardship accommodations, and the concepts of personal guarantee and personal liability.

2. SBA’s communications for this complicated topic are terrible. As with so much about the SBA program, it is nearly impossible to get clear guidance on a challenge or an answer to a question.  Your Attorney and your CPA are reading this one way, and I’m reading it in a different way because of my background as a Loan Officer.

The other element to your comments is that it is difficult to properly explain these complicated concepts in our videos. We do our best, but our Post-Closing Blueprint provides a more comprehensive discussion on these topics.

Our intention with our guide is to provide background to help the Small Business Owner come to an understanding of complicated SBA concepts instead of solely relying on a “pat” answer to a complicated question posed to an attorney or CPA, which is, IMHO, what happened in this case.

Our guide gives you all the information and tools you need to manage your COVID-19 EIDL. We made our best effort to untangle the complications of SBA’s confusing communications.

Q: ⁠what if you have less than 20% ownership but also have a personal guarantee w loan over 200,000?

Our Response: 

We define and explain the personal guarantee in great depth in our expert guidebook “Post-Closing Blueprint” but a short answer is this: personal guarantee means the guarantor(s) (business owner(s) with 20% or greater ownership interest) will take over the responsibility to repay the loan in the event the business entity cannot make payments.  The assets of the business owners are not considered collateral for the purpose of the EIDL, but those personal assets can be seized in legal proceedings that result in a judgment.

Click to Watch Video Where we Answer This Question
Click to Watch Video Where we Answer This Question

Q: Thank you for your response. However, I do know of a loan over $200,000 with (4) personal guarantees. None of the members personally own more than 20% but collectively own over 51% of the company. Each name is and was included in the loan and it was approved. Was this a mistake to have the loan issued in the first place? Are the members liable as a collection even though they don’t personally own more than 20%. Thanks Again guys love your videos.

Our Response: 

I often saw where an SBA Loan Officer would request a “list” of all owners with less than 20% ownership and require that all ownership percentages total out to 100%.  But the “list” did not require SSNs or similar personal information, only a full name and percentage of ownership.  The fact that a person with <20% has their name on a “list” with an EIDL application does not mean they are on the loan.

If they were required to sign the EIDL LAA, that’s a whole other story, and likely the application was prepared incorrectly.  If so, SBA probably didn’t question it as so many of those early applications went through an automated process.

Q: Would the same apply to a sole prop business?

Our Response:

It’s not unusual for Small Business Owners with COVID-19 EIDLs to express confusion and concern about various requirements and restrictions imposed by this SBA program.

That’s why we created our comprehensive expert guidebook “Post-Closing Blueprint” as your single source “go-to” reference guide before you interact with the SBA.  We urge Small Business Owners to purchase the guide now because the EIDL is a 30-year loan and many questions and issues will come up.

If a Sole Proprietor has the equipment they use for the business enterprise, then the equipment can be considered collateral.

Click to Watch Video Where we Answer This Question

Other “intangible” assets such as Accounts Receivables, payments due on contracts, etc., are considered collateral. Our guidebook delves into the definition of collateral and business assets in detail.

Click to Watch Video Where we Answer This Question

Q: Any chance they may extend the 10% hardship payment longer than 1 year?

Our Response:

The SBA’s hardship accommodation is actually six months, not one year.  And, as per the SBA’s comments on their website, at their discretion, SBA may extend a hardship accommodation an additional six months.

In fact, the EIDL program generally allows for SBA to provide multiple hardship accommodations throughout the life of the 30-year loan!

As you may know from watching our YouTube videos, we only focus on facts, and we tend to demur from pure speculation. We don’t want to disappoint, that’s why we don’t speculate and why we prefer to focus on facts.

That’s why we stridently urge Small Business Owners to aggressively communicate with their U.S. Senators and Congresspeople to implore the federal government to both reauthorize the SBA and to enhance remediation for Small Business Owners with the COVID-19 EIDLs.

Congress controls the process!  Let them know how you feel and about the help you need to continue your recovery from the pandemic!

Q: The issue…for me at least…the economy is still crap. And my business has not recovered 100% so my income has declined and cost of living has increased. I really fear I will have to BK at some point.

Our Response:

We’re always disappointed to hear how Small Business Owners continue to struggle in this post-pandemic era.

We believe the U.S. Congress can certainly do more to relieve the suffering by providing some guidance to SBA to either increase deferments for the COVID-19 EIDLs, or to lower the interest rate, or, heavens-to-Betsy, offer FORGIVENESS!!!!

In the meantime, with our experience over decades in business ourselves, through all kinds of economic “storms” including recessions and the global mortgage meltdown, maybe we can offer you some kind and positive advice?

First, Trevor, a retired Loan Officer and “student of economic history” believes the economy is doing much better than most folks believe!  Yes, he knows that’s an unusual take, but it’s based on actual economic metrics, and ignores all those confusing media messages (you know, “There’s a recession coming!” “No recession!” “Is it recession yet?” and blah-blah-blah).

Second, from our own experiences, we believe that, when the going gets tough, the tough get going by focusing on ONE THING: Marketing!  We have so often seen how small businesses suffer at the hands of their own failures to increase marketing efforts.  In our opinion, the best way to overcome most business challenges is to get out there and try to find more customers.  The only way to do that is to invest 85% of your time and effort (and money) on MARKETING.

We can personally attest to how our increased marketing efforts have helped us to build our new business initiative after the SBA’s COVID-19 program ended, effectively “putting us out of business” in May 2022.

Marketing works! We truly hope you’ll find a way to overcome the business challenges facing your small business and that filing for bankruptcy will only be a distant and unrealized concept!

Q: I feel its vital folks out there get a sense for what is really happened to small businesses and what heartache and hardship we were put through. I mean the sba can cancel the interest and allow businesses to pay back the loan at hardship accommodation mode for 5 years. This is going to take a long time for mom and pop places to recover from. And county level officials need to be proactive and hold urgency when small businesses get their licenses taken away. We cant wait for legislation for next year for this to help. We need help at real time! Both parties need to mature up.

Our Response:

SBA cannot cancel interest and is not currently allowing hardship accommodations for 5 years.

We discuss SBA’s hardship accommodation and other loan remediation policies, including providing strategies for Small Business Owners to negotiate and communicate with SBA in our comprehensive Post-Closing Blueprint guidebook.

We stridently urge businesses with the COVID-19 EIDL to purchase our guide as their “GO-TO” reference before interacting with the SBA.

Q: Does the SBA automatically put a lien on you assets if the loan amount is 50k ? If I am current would their be a lien on my property?

Our Response:

We answer this question in detail in our Post-Closing Blueprint.  We encourage business owners with a COVID-19 EIDL to purchase our guide as the “GO-TO” reference before interacting with SBA for any questions or concerns about the EIDL.

The short answer: SBA put a UCC lien against the business assets for a COVID-19 EIDL if the loan amount was greater than $25,000.00.

There is no lien against your personal assets.

The lien is there from the beginning of getting the loan; they don’t put additional liens later on.

Q: They accused me of fraud six ways from Sunday, they denied my loan by accusing me of fraud, isn’t that negligence and character defamation? They did the same to hundreds of legitimate SBOs, so I’m wondering why we’re not banding together and filing a class action…I was shocked at how focused they were on fraud, against all logic and common sense, and they refused to hear me out or entertain the idea that they were wrong. Maybe the reason they’re making such a big deal about the alleged d fraud is because they finally realized they were actually negligent AND defamed innocent people’s characters, but don’t want to get sued…?

Our Response:

Call SBA Disaster Customer Service at 1-833-853-5638. Explain briefly the history of your application, focusing on these four key elements:

ONE: You Signed the Loan Agreement for a COVID-19 EIDL (You should have this in front of you on the call with the SBA Disaster Loan number located in the upper left hand corner of the agreement)

TWO: You never received the funds
THREE: You were told your file was flagged for “fraudulent activity”
FOUR: You want to confirm that you do NOT have a COVID-19 EIDL loan with SBA that needs to be repaid.

The SBA representative will transfer to the servicing center if a loan was funded. You will need to repeat your story again, but your goal is to ensure you have NO DEBT for the COVID-19 EIDL program.

Please note that we offer a one-hour phone consultation where Trevor will call SBA with you on the line if you prefer to have our expert professional assistance. You can schedule the paid consultation call here.

Q: ….so I get it…that’s why I continue to make monthly payments. Yet I wonder if defaults reach a serious level what in your opinion will Congress or the SBA attempt to do to prevent their defaults from snow balling well beyond any foreseeable limits? Obviously the US government isn’t benevolent unless you are a too big to jail bank but are the bureaucrats that heartless?

Our Response:

We literally have no idea how SBA and/or Congress will react to a high number of COVID-19 EIDL defaults. There’s no true precedent, except for maybe Hurricane Katrina where a portion of the SBA disaster loans were ultimately forgiven thanks to a strenuous campaign by political representatives from Louisiana.

Currently, the mood in the Senate, at least, led by Senator Joni Ernst, seems to be to demand that SBA aggressively enforce collections on ALL COVID-19 EIDLs.  There does not seem to be a mood to accommodate and support Small Business Owners, the so-called “backbone of the American economy.”

The best course of action we can recommend is this:
1: Begin a constant communications campaign with your United States Senators and your local Congressional representative.

2: Demand that Congress create a response to these defaulted loans and future defaulting loans to help business owners emerge as undamaged as possible, including forgiveness, loan remediation to include longer hardship accommodation periods (currently six months), and potentially reducing the interest rate on the COVID-19 EIDLs.

3: Demand that Congress reauthorize the SBA and EXPAND the SBA with funding and expanded Congressional guidance.

Q: I have an eidl loan that was $50,000. I am a sole prop, i do not have or own any business assets, did not put up any collaterall , i rent an apt, finance my car and basically have a dead seasonal service based self employment type ” business”. I cannot pay this loan back – what will happen?

Our Response:

We’re so very sorry to hear about your situation!  So many small businesses continue to suffer due to the economic ravages of the pandemic.

We know that SBA is wrangling internally with issues about defaulting COVID-19 EIDL loans. Their procedures are evolving frequently.

When all is said and done, even without collateral and without a personal guarantee, a defaulted federal debt is a serious problem. We address this issue in our comprehensive expert guide, the Post-Closing Blueprint.

We’re hoping you and other folks in your situation will rely on our guide as the primary reference source BEFORE you interact with the SBA to try to resolve the defaulted loan situation.

One word of caution: a lot of the “urban mythology” out there would have folks believing “the SBA is never coming after me and my little business” leading them to simply ignore the debt obligation.   We believe this is a tragically horrible strategy.  The federal government has a long memory and you don’t want to be on the receiving end of their collection efforts, ever.

Especially as several US Senators are urgently pressing the SBA to aggressively enforce collection on these debts, even those loans for less than $100,000!

Don’t ignore the debt; contact the SBA to work out a resolution. Use our guidebook to prepare you before you contact the SBA. We wish you all the very best in this terrible situation!

Q: a general question about ERC and worry about being scammed

Our Response:

In our experience, the IRS sends the refundable tax credit to THE BUSINESS, not to the ERC consultant. Hopefully, you did not give the consultant access to your bank account.  

The ERC consultant on our Referral Partners team gets paid by the Client AFTER the Client receives the IRS refund and the consultant has to trust the Client to pay the consultant fee.  

The IRS scam warning focuses on consultants who take fees upfront and/or who improperly process ERC requests, including with incorrect documentation or for ineligible businesses. Get our FREE ERC Guide.

We created a FREE ERC guide. Click on image to download.

Q: So what are my options if I’m not able to pay back my loan? I’m sure there are thousands of people out there that cannot pay these loans back

Our Response:

We’re sorry you’re experiencing difficulties with repayment of the COVID-19 EIDL.  So many Small Businesses suffered through the pandemic and subsequent economic difficulties.

We’re not sure what “…not able to pay back my loan” means, whether your business failed, or you’re still in business and cannot afford to make any payments at all, or if you need temporary assistance with a reduced payment until revenue improves.

We tried to anticipate all three of these situations and more in our Post-Closing Blueprint where we provide detailed guidance to answer questions like yours.  

We assembled our expert comprehensive guidebook based on our experience with SBA processing, our experience as financial services professionals, and over the past 9 months, speaking with Small Business Owners and the SBA to get the right answers to questions like these.

Our guidebook gives you strategic solutions including WHO and HOW to call at SBA, SBA forms you might need, TEMPLATES for submitting requests to SBA, and Step-By-Step instructions to help you resolve challenges with the SBA loan program.

Keep in mind that, while a business may be unable to pay these COVID-19 EIDLs, these are legal debts and SBA will require repayment in one way or another, either now or in the future through debt collection practices.  In other words, these loans are not simply a matter of “walking away.” Hope that helps!

Q: I am in the trucking business and with everything and the stimulus that I borrowed, it is going badly for me and I cannot pay the full monthly payment, if this economy does not improve, then they can do what they want with me and what I have been able to achieve so far

Our Response:

We are sorry to hear your business is still struggling.  The harsh realities of the pandemic combined with the following economic issues such as supply chain and inflation is certainly impacting millions of Small Business Owners.

SBA will allow you to pay a reduced payment of as little as 10% of the monthly payment (must be a minimum of $25.00) for a six-month period.  You can request this hardship accommodation on your MySBA portal.

If the issues are more urgent, then we recommend using our Post-Closing Blueprint to guide you on how to call the SBA, who to speak to, and the SBA’s forms and process.