Servicing of Water Programs Loans and Grants
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS), an Agency delivering the United States Department of Agriculture's Rural Development Utilities Programs, hereinafter referred to as Rural Development, consolidates and amends the regulations utilized to service water and waste loan and grant programs. The rule will combine the water and waste loan and grant servicing regulations found in 7 CFR parts 1951, 1955, and 1956 into one regulation. Unnecessary and burdensome requirements for water and waste loan and grant servicing under the program will be eliminated. The streamlining of the water and waste loan and grant servicing regulation will allow the Agency to provide better service to entities needing assistance in resolving financial and economic problems in their communities and, in general, improve the quality of life in rural areas. Additionally, this rule implements Section 6018 of the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (7 U.S.C. 1936a) for Rural Development's Business, Housing and Utilities programs.
Rural Development Guaranteed Loans
Rural Development, a mission area within the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is proposing a unified guaranteed loan platform for enhanced delivery of four existing Rural Development guaranteed loan programsCommunity Facility; Water and Waste Disposal; Business and Industry; and Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvement Projects. This proposed rule would eliminate the existing loan guarantee regulations for these four programs and consolidate them under a new, single part. In addition to consolidating these four programs, the proposed rulemaking incorporates provisions that will enable the Agency to better manage the risk associated with making and servicing guaranteed loans and that will reduce the cost of operating the guaranteed loan programs. Such provisions include incorporating specific project eligibility criteria, revisions to the requirements for lenders to participate in the programs, allowing approved lenders to become preferred lenders, and allowing guaranteed loan applications to be submitted with less documentation accompanying the application under certain conditions.