lenders, including community banks and credit unions, and the “pool assemblers” that securitize their loans have been left with government-guaranteed SBA loans and securities on their books. This has prevented them from making or buying new loans. Today, the Treasury Department announces that – in order to get credit moving immediately to small businesses – it will:
— Stand Ready to Purchase Securities Backed by 7(a) Loans Packaged Since Last July: Treasury has hired an investment manager who will be authorized to purchase – starting by the end of this month – securities backed by guaranteed portions of 7(a) loans packaged on or after July 1, 2008. This will help clear the backlog of securities that has built up since the beginning of the credit crisis last year, providing pool assemblers and banks with a source of liquidity so that new lending can occur.
— Stand Ready to Purchase New 7(a) Securities Packaged Between Now and the End of the Year: Between now and the expiration of Emergency Economic Stabilization Act (EESA) authority on December 31, 2009, Treasury stands ready to purchase new securities backed by the guaranteed portions of 7(a) loans. By making this pledge, Treasury provides assurances to community banks and other lenders that they can sell the new 7(a) loans they make, providing them with cash they can use to extend even more credit.
— Make Direct Purchases to Unlock Credit Markets for SBA’s 504 Community Development Loan Program: The SBA’s 504 program combines government-backed loans with mortgage loans from private lenders to provide long-term financing of up to $10 million that directly supports economic development within a community. First-lien mortgage loans made by private-sector lenders – which account for 50 percent of the financing for 504 projects, and are not SBA guaranteed – were often traded in the past on an active secondary market that has frozen in the last year, leaving billions in unsold assets on the books of banks. To get the 504 lending market moving again, Treasury will:
— Stand Ready to Purchase Securities Packaged From 504 First-Lien Mortgages: Treasury will stand ready to buy first-lien mortgage securities connected to SBA’s 504 loan program. No later than May, Treasury will begin purchasing securities packaged on or after July 1, 2008 that meet eligibility criteria designed to protect taxpayers.
— Prepare to Buy 504 First-Lien Mortgage Securities That Receive New SBA Guarantees: As part of the Recovery Act, SBA is working to develop a secondary market guarantee program for securities issued from pooled 504 first mortgage loans. Once this program is fully implemented by SBA, Treasury will stand ready to purchase these government-guaranteed securities.
— Provide Liquidity While Keeping The Secondary Market in Place: These direct purchases of 7(a) and 504 securities will provide liquidity to lenders, including community banks and credit unions, enabling them to restart the process of recycling capital and extending loans. At the same time, the TALF component of the Consumer and Business Lending Initiative will provide investors with an attractive source