PPP Instructions for SBA Forms 3509, 3510 Released on Forgiveness Platform

Mary Ellen Biery
December 1, 2020
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The SBA released Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) lender instructions for the Form 3509/3510 Loan Necessity Questionnaire, which has raised concerns among financial institution trade groups and others representing PPP borrowers of $2 million or more.

Instructions say manual data entry required on 3509, 3510

In a letter and accompanying instructions sent to lenders Nov. 25 and published by the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) and others, the Small Business Administration said lenders will receive notice of a loan review via the PPP Forgiveness Platform inbox. The notice will state whether the borrower has to fill out a Loan Necessity Questionnaire. If the borrower does need to fill out the form, the lender will need to download the appropriate form (either for a for-profit business or a non-profit firm) and send it to the borrower within five days of receiving the SBA notice. Lenders also have five business days to respond to the notice received in the inbox by uploading the standard loan review documentation requested in the notification, according to the instructions.

The lender’s next obligation is to manually enter each borrower’s responses to the questionnaire on the SBA Forgiveness Platform, in addition to uploading the borrower’s completed questionnaire and supporting documents. Lenders have five business days of receiving the completed form to complete the submission, the SBA said. “Lenders are not required to verify or validate any of the Borrower’s responses or supporting documentation,” said the guidance, which the SBA said can be accessed by lenders only on the SBA PPP Forgiveness Platform.

An SBA spokesman did not immediately respond to an email request for a copy of the letter and instructions, but several trade groups, including the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA), have published them on their websites.

The SBA has estimated about 52,000 of the 5.2 million loans it approved through the PPP were for more than $2 million.

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Groups seek suspension of PPP forms 3509, 3510

The ICBA and other groups have asked the SBA to suspend use of the questionnaires, saying they seem to indicate a change in how the SBA will evaluate borrower eligibility for the loans. “Troublingly, the questionnaire asks borrowers for business information in the months after the loans were disbursed,” the ICBA said in a Nov. 17 letter to Congressional leaders. “This is a bait and switch with the potential to cause real harm. Borrower certifications were based on a good faith estimation of necessity at the time of application. Are borrowers now to be judged and potentially disqualified based on an evaluation of necessity in the period after the loan was disbursed?”

In the letter to lenders, the SBA said that while the information in the questionnaires would help the SBA assess borrowers’ certifications in their loan applications regarding the necessity of the loan for ongoing operations, a request to complete the form 3509 or 3510 “does not mean that SBA is challenging a borrower’s certification.”

Instructions: PPP Certification based on ‘multi-factor analysis’

“SBA’s assessment of a borrower’s certification will be based on the totality of the borrower’s circumstances through a multi-factor analysis,” the SBA said. “All borrowers will have the opportunity to explain the circumstances that provided the basis for their good-faith loan necessity certification. This targeted, multi-step approach will ensure the integrity of the evaluation process and properly allocate SBA’s finite resources to those loans that require additional review.”

The SBA advised lenders that their failure to respond to any SBA request in a timely manner could result in payment delays to the lender of the forgiven amount, if any, of the PPP loan, or a determination of ineligibility for the loan or the amount requested to be forgiven.

Previously, the SBA had been sending forms 3509 and 3510 to lenders only as it requested specific borrowers fill them out, but the SBA said in the letter that it has now added links to the forms to the PPP Forgiveness Platform’s Resources dashboard under the “Additional Resources” tab. The SBA advised lenders with questions about the forms to email PPPForgivenessRequests@sba.gov using the subject line “Loan Necessity Questionnaire.” Lenders can also message the SBA via the PPP Forgiveness Platform inbox or contact the PPP Lender Hotline at (833) 572-0502.

About the Author

Mary Ellen Biery

Senior Writer and Content Specialist
Mary Ellen Biery is Senior Staff Writer & Content Specialist at Abrigo, where she works with advisors and other experts to develop whitepapers, original research, and other resources that help financial institutions drive growth and manage risk. A former equities reporter for Dow Jones Newswires whose work has been published

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