The U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development has
taken a number of immediate actions to help rural residents, businesses and
communities affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.
Rural Development will keep customers, partners and
stakeholders continuously updated as more actions are taken to better serve
Visit www.rd.usda.gov/coronavirus for information on Rural
Development loan payment assistance, application deadline extensions, and more.
* On April 13, USDA unveiled a one-stop-shop of federal
programs that can be used by rural communities, organizations and individuals
impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The COVID-19 Federal Rural Resource Guide
(PDF, 349 KB) is a first-of-its-kind resource for rural leaders looking for
federal funding and partnership opportunities to help address this pandemic.
OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMMEDIATE RELIEF
Rural Development Guaranteed Loan Programs
Effective March 31 until Sept. 30, lenders may offer 180-day
loan payment deferrals without prior agency approval for Business and Industry
Loan Guarantees, Rural Energy for America Program Loan Guarantees, Community
Facilities Loan Guarantees, and Water and Waste Disposal Loan Guarantees. For
additional information, see page 17721 of the March 31, 2020, Federal Register.
On April 8, USDA expanded upon the deferral flexibilities.
Guaranteed lenders may also approve and make covered loans under the provisions
of Section 1102 of the CARES Act. Section 1102 pertains to the Small Business
Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program.
The expanded notice provides that guaranteed lenders may
also approve and make covered loans under the provisions of Section 1102 of the
CARES Act. Section 1102 pertains to the Small Business Administration’s
Paycheck Protection Program.
Guaranteed lenders must notify USDA Rural Development in
writing of any covered loans made under Section 1102 of the CARES Act. Written
notification will meet the standard for concurrence until Sept. 30, 2020. After
Sept. 30, lenders must resume obtaining Agency approval in accordance with all
applicable program regulations, forms and existing authorities. For additional
information, see page 19655 of the April 8, 2020, Federal Register.
Effective immediately upon receiving a request for a
forbearance from a borrower who attests to financial hardship directly or
indirectly caused by COVID-19, lenders shall provide immediate forbearance of
the borrower’s Single Family Housing Guaranteed Loan payment for a period of up
to 180 days. In addition, the initial forbearance period may be extended up to
an additional 180 days at the borrower’s request.
• Effective period: Lenders may approve the initial 180-day
COVID-19 Forbearance no later than October 30, 2020.
• Effective March 19, borrowers with USDA single-family
housing Direct and Guaranteed loans are subject to a moratorium on foreclosure
and eviction for a period of 60 days. This action applies to the initiation of
foreclosures and evictions and to the completion of foreclosures and evictions
Direct Loan Program:
• USDA has waived or relaxed certain parts of the
application process for Single-Family Housing Direct Loans, including site
assessments, and has extended the time period that certificates of eligibility
• A Direct Loan borrower who is experiencing a reduction of
income by more than 10 percent can request a Payment Assistance package to see
if he/she is eligible for payment assistance or for more assistance than
• Moratorium Assistance is available for Direct Loan
borrowers experiencing medical bill expenses (not covered by insurance) or job
loss because of COVID-19. Qualifying borrowers can receive a moratorium on
house payments for a period of time, repaid at a later date.
• Direct Loan questions should be directed to USDA’s
Customer Service Center at 800-414-1226 (7:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Eastern Time
Monday-Friday) or //www.rd.usda.gov/contact-us/loan-servicing. Call volume and
wait times are high at this time.
Guaranteed Loan Program:
• Guaranteed Loan borrowers who are in default or facing
imminent default due to a documented hardship can have payments reduced or
suspended by their lender for a period not to exceed 12 months delinquency.
Once the hardship is resolved, the lender can modify the loan to cure the
delinquency or make up the missed payments based on the borrower’s individual
• USDA is granting lenders temporary exceptions pertaining
to appraisals, repair inspections and income verification for the Single-Family
Housing Guaranteed Loan Program (SFHGLP) due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Effective immediately, the following exceptions to Agency guidance found at
HB-1-3555 are in effect for a period of 60-days. In accordance to the CARES
Act, this guidance remains unchanged and in effect.