(a) Certified lenders program (1) In general
The Secretary may establish a program under which the Secretary may guarantee a loan for any rural development program that is made by a lender certified by the Secretary.
(2) Certification requirements
The Secretary may certify a lender if the lender meets such criteria as the Secretary may prescribe in regulations, including the ability of the lender to properly make, service, and liquidate the guaranteed loans of the lender.
(3) Condition of certification
As a condition of certification, the Secretary may require the lender to undertake to service the guaranteed loan using standards that are not less stringent than generally accepted banking standards concerning loan servicing that are used by prudent commercial or cooperative lenders.
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Secretary may guarantee not more than 80 percent of a loan made by a certified lender described in paragraph (1), if the borrower of the loan meets the eligibility requirements and such other criteria for the loan guarantee that are established by the Secretary.
With respect to loans to be guaranteed, the Secretary may permit a certified lender to make appropriate certifications (as provided in regulations issued by the Secretary)—
(A) relating to issues such as creditworthiness, repayment ability, adequacy of collateral, and feasibility of the operation; and
(B) that the borrower is in compliance with all requirements of law, including regulations issued by the Secretary.
(6) Relationship to other requirements
This subsection shall not affect the responsibility of the Secretary to determine eligibility, review financial information, and otherwise assess an application.
(b) Preferred certified lenders program (1) In general
The Secretary may establish a preferred certified lenders program for lenders who establish their—
(A) knowledge of, and experience under, the program established under subsection (a);
(B) knowledge of the regulations concerning the particular guaranteed loan program; and
(C) proficiency related to the certified lender program requirements.
(2) Additional lending institutions
The Secretary may certify any lending institution as a preferred certified lender if the institution meets such additional criteria as the Secretary may prescribe by regulation.
(3) Revocation of designation
The designation of a lender as a preferred certified lender shall be revoked if the Secretary determines that the lender is not adhering to the rules and regulations applicable to the program or if the loss experiences of the preferred certified lender are greater than other preferred certified lenders, except that the suspension or revocation shall not affect any outstanding guarantee.
(4) Condition of certification
As a condition of the preferred certification, the Secretary shall require the lender to undertake to service the loan guaranteed by the Secretary under this subsection using generally accepted banking standards concerning loan servicing employed by prudent commercial or cooperative lenders. The Secretary shall, at least annually, monitor the performance of each preferred certified lender to ensure that the conditions of the certification are being met.
(5) Effect of preferred lender certification
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Secretary may—
(A) guarantee not more than 80 percent of any approved loan made by a preferred certified lender as described in this subsection, if the borrower meets the eligibility requirements and such other criteria as may be applicable to loans guaranteed by the Secretary; and
(B) permit preferred certified lenders to make all decisions, with respect to loans to be guaranteed by the Secretary under this subsection relating to creditworthiness, the closing, monitoring, collection, and liquidation of loans, and to accept appropriate certifications, as provided in regulations issued by the Secretary, that the borrower is in compliance with all requirements of law and regulations issued by the Secretary.
PRIOR PROVISIONS A prior section 2006f, Pub. L. 87–128, title III, §364, as added Pub. L. 101–624, title XXIII, §2302(a)(1), Nov. 28, 1990, 104 Stat. 3979; amended Pub. L. 102–237, title VII, §701(d), Dec. 13, 1991, 105 Stat. 1879; Pub. L. 103–129, §4, Nov. 1, 1993, 107 Stat. 1366, established Rural Development Administration in Department of Agriculture and provided for the performance of specified functions, prior to repeal by Pub. L. 103–354, title II, §231(f)(3), Oct. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 3219. See section 6912 et seq. of this title.
7 U.S.C. § 2006f (2018)