PPP Update

If you are frustrated with the lack of direction from Washington to Customers Bank and other lenders telling us how we are supposed to process your application for loan forgiveness, you are not alone.

Borrowers and lenders alike need direction and guidance in order to move forward. But please understand the delays are not putting you in any regulatory or fiscal danger. You do not have any payments that are due, or late.

You likely read articles in the news or on social media explaining how federal lawmakers failed in recent days to compromise on a new COVID-19 economic stimulus bill. That legislation was expected to include statutory forgiveness for many PPP borrowers – a move that would save paperwork and the possible expense of accounting and legal services.

Meanwhile, the Trump Administration this weekend issued executive orders to extend unemployment payments, suspend federal payroll taxes, and impose a moratorium on evictions. Unfortunately, none of these steps address the uncertainty and lack of clarity regarding PPP Loan forgiveness. Making matters worse, the executive orders might kill the drive for legislative action.

Where does this leave us, and you? The PPP ended last Friday. Customers Bank was the sixth largest lender (measured in number of loans) in the nation. Perhaps more importantly, Customers Bank was second in the nation among the major lenders for the smallest average loan size, meaning Customers Bank helped the small businesses who needed aid the most. We are very proud of our success and the assistance we were able to provide to small business.

The SBA did provide some FAQs on forgiveness that Customers Bank has reviewed. While this document does not tell us anything we did not already know and convey to you on our PPP forgiveness webpage, it may be as good as it will get for some weeks to come. And, the FAQs do not contravene the plans we were making for taking forgiveness applications.

Customers Bank will finalize a plan to move forward in the absence of federal action. Our plan will, in all likelihood, be similar to the plans adopted by other major PPP lenders. On August 18, we will issue a weekly report on the status of PPP Loan Forgiveness that outlines our process for moving forward.

As I wrote, last week, if you have special circumstances, such as the sale of the company or a change in the company ownership, that require the loan issues to be resolved quickly, or have other business issues with which we can help; call me and we will work together to find a customized solution.