SBA Deadline in South Carolina for Working Capital Loans Due to Excessive Rain is April 28

The U.S. Small Business Administration is reminding small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private non-profit organizations of all sizes that April 28, 2014 is the filing deadline for federal economic injury disaster loans in South Carolina as a result of the excessive rain that began on March 1, 2013.

The loans are available in the following counties: Abbeville, Aiken, Allendale, Anderson,
Bamberg, Barnwell, Beaufort, Berkeley, Calhoun, Charleston, Cherokee, Chester, Chesterfield,
Clarendon, Colleton, Darlington, Dillon, Dorchester, Edgefield, Fairfield, Florence, Georgetown,
Greenville, Greenwood, Hampton, Horry, Jasper, Kershaw, Lancaster, Laurens, Lee, Lexington, Marion, Marlboro, McCormick, Newberry, Oconee, Orangeburg, Pickens, Richland, Saluda, Spartanburg, Sumter, Union, Williamsburg and York in South Carolina.

Under this declaration, the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program is available to eligible farm-related and nonfarm-related entities that suffered financial losses as a direct result of this disaster. With the exception of aquaculture enterprises, SBA cannot provide disaster loans to agricultural producers, farmers, or ranchers.

The loans are for working capital and can be up to $2 million with interest rates of 4 percent for eligible small businesses and 2.875 percent for non-profit organizations, and terms up to 30 Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA’s secure
website at

Disaster loan information and application forms may also be obtained by calling the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing) or by sending an email to Loan applications can be downloaded from the SBA’s website at Completed applications should be mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.

Completed loan applications must be returned to SBA no later than April 28, 2014.

Bank Survey Reports Expectations of Tightened Lending Through 2012

The Federal Reserve’s October 2010 Senior Loan Officer Opinion Survey on Bank Lending Practices reports continued tight lending conditions by banks to businesses and households. The survey is based on responses from 57 domestic banks and 22 U.S. branches of foreign banks.

Despite reporting that some large banks have eased lending terms over the past three months, a special question in the October survey found that lending conditions would remain tight for the foreseeable future. In particular, the majority of respondents involved with residential and commercial real estate lending indicated they would not return to long-term norms of lending practices until after 2012.

On the other hand, 40 percent of respondents indicated that lending for mortgages and credit cards would return to long-term norms by the end of 2012.

With respect to residential real estate lending, the Fed reported that small fractions of banks reported tightened standards on prime and nontraditional mortgage loans.

Interestingly, the tightening was mostly reported by smaller banks, with larger banks leaving standards about unchanged. However, both small and large banks reported tightening standards for non-traditional mortgage loans. All banks reported small declines in demand for loans, likely related to the end of the home buyer tax credit.

The headline result of some easing of lending standards by big banks stands in contrast to recent NAHB survey data, which indicates continued tightening of lending to home builders.

Read the entire report at by clicking here.

Greenville has highest average credit score in South Carolina

Experian, one of the big three credit rating agencies, has published average credit scores for all of the major metropolitan areas in the country, and has ranked the top and bottom ten markets.

In Greenville, according to Experian, the average credit score is 740, the highest in the state. The other cities in South Carolina rated by Experian were:

  • Charleston, 729
  • Columbia, 716
  • Myrtle Beach, 709

Nationally, the cities with the highest average credit scores:

  • Minneapolis, 787
  • Madison, Wis., 785
  • Cedar Rapids, Iowa, 781
  • Green Bay, Wis., 780
  • San Francisco, 780
  • Boston, 779
  • Peoria, Ill., 778
  • La Crosse, Wis, 778
  • Seattle, Wash., 777
  • Sioux Falls, S.D., 777

Nationally, the cities with the lowest average credit scores:

  • Harlingen, Texas, 684
  • Jackson, Miss., 698
  • Corpus, Christi, Texas, 700
  • Shreveport, La., 701
  • El Paso, Texas, 706
  • Monroe, La., 706
  • Las Vegas, Nev., 707
  • Bakersfield, Calif., 708
  • Myrtle Beach, S.C., 709
  • Tyler, Texas, 709

Read the entire report and explore the credit ratings of other cities by clicking here.

Custom Builder Solves Riddle of Spec Lending

Not too many custom home builders are constructing spec homes these days, nor getting financing for them. David Werschay of Werschay Homes in St. Cloud, Minn., however, is an exception.

Werschay’s approach to spec homes is straightforward: “I can’t sell cars if I don’t have cars on my lot,” he says. “If I don’t have a house out there to drive traffic during these promotion times — or any other time — I’m not going to sell lots and I’m not going to sell houses,” he adds.

Read the entire story in Residential Design and Build by clicking here.

New Appraisal Guidance From Fannie Mae Announced

Fannie Mae recently released new appraisal-related policies and additional guidance addressing many of the primary concerns that home builders have raised with the agency regarding inappropriate appraisal practices.

According to its new policy, Fannie Mae will now require lenders to only use appraisers who have the appropriate knowledge and experience in specific geographic markets. Also, builder sales are acceptable as comparable properties, and an appraiser may view the HUD-1 for a new construction property to verify a recent sale not yet available through other data sources.

Meanwhile, Fannie Mae is requiring appraisers to make valuation adjustments for short sale and foreclosed properties used as comps by determining their condition and whether any stigma is associated with them. Other changes announced by Fannie Mae clarify that the Home Valuation Code of Conduct allows for appropriate communication with appraisal management companies and specific appraisers and also allows for authorized third parties, including builders, to provide additional information about the basis for a valuation or the need to correct objective factual errors in an appraisal report.

Read the complete announcement from Fannie Mae by clicking here.