§ 120.542Payment by SBA of legal fees and other expenses.
(a)Legal fees SBA will not pay.
(1) SBA will not pay legal fees or other costs that a Lender or Authorized CDC Liquidator incurs:
(i) In asserting a claim, cross claim, counterclaim, or third-party claim against SBA or in defense of an action brought by SBA, unless payment of such fees or costs is otherwise required by federal law.
(ii) In connection with actions of a Lender or Authorized CDC Liquidator's outside counsel for performing non-legal liquidation services, unless authorized by SBA prior to the action.
(iii) In taking actions which solely benefit a Lender or Authorized CDC Liquidator and which do not benefit SBA, as determined by SBA.
(2) SBA will not pay legal fees or other costs a Lender or CDC incurs in the defense of, or pay for any settlement or adverse judgment resulting from, a suit, counterclaim or other claim by a borrower, guarantor, or other party that seeks damages based upon a claim that the Lender or CDC breached any duty or engaged in any wrongful actions, unless SBA expressly directed the Lender or CDC to undertake the allegedly wrongful action that is the subject of the suit, counterclaim or other claim.
(b)Legal fees SBA may decline to pay. In addition to any right or authority SBA may have under law or contract, SBA may, in its discretion, decline to pay a Lender or Authorized CDC Liquidator for all, or a portion, of legal fees and/or other costs incurred in connection with the liquidation and/or litigation of a 7(a) loan or 504 loan under any of the following circumstances:
(1) SBA determines that the Lender or Authorized CDC Liquidator failed to perform liquidation or litigation promptly and in accordance with commercially reasonable standards, in a prudent manner, or in accordance with any Loan Program Requirement or SBA approvals of either a liquidation or litigation plan or any amendment of such a plan.
(2) A Lender or Authorized CDC Liquidator fails to obtain prior written approval from SBA for any liquidation or litigation plan, or for any amended liquidation or litigation plan, or for any action set forth in § 120.536, when such approval is required by these regulations or a Loan Program Requirement.
(3) If SBA has not specifically approved fees or costs identified in an original or amended liquidation or litigation plan under § 120.540, and SBA determines that such fees or costs are not reasonable, customary or necessary in the locality in question. In such cases, SBA will pay only such fees as it deems are necessary, customary and reasonable in the locality in question.
(c)Fees for liquidation actions performed by Authorized CDC Liquidators. Subject to paragraph (d) of this section, SBA will compensate Authorized CDC Liquidators for their liquidation actions on 504 loans, whether such actions are performed by the CDC or the CDC's contractor retained in accordance with § 120.975(a)(2) or (b)(2)(ii). The compensation fee will be a percentage (to be published in the Federal Register from time to time, but not to exceed 10%) of the net recovery proceeds realized from the sale of collateral or other liquidation actions on an individual loan, up to a fee of $25,000 for such loan, and a lower percentage (also to be published in the Federal Register from time to time, but not to exceed 5%) of the realized net recovery proceeds above such amounts. The compensation fee limits set forth in this paragraph (c) do not include reasonable, customary and necessary administrative costs related to liquidation activities on such loan that are incurred in accordance with the liquidation plan, or amendments thereto, approved by SBA pursuant to § 120.540(b). The Authorized CDC Liquidator may compensate its contractor up to the amount it receives from SBA. All requests for compensation fees must be received by SBA within nine months from the date of SBA's purchase of the defaulted debenture. Fee requests not received within such timeframe will be automatically rejected.
(d)Appeals—liquidation costs. A Lender or Authorized CDC Liquidator that disagrees with a decision by an SBA office to decline to reimburse all, or a portion, of the fees and/or costs incurred in conducting liquidation may appeal this decision in writing to the D/FA within 30 days of the decision. The decision of the D/FA or designee will be made in consultation with the Associate General Counsel for Litigation, and will be the final Agency decision.
(e)Appeals—litigation costs. A Lender or Authorized CDC Liquidator that disagrees with a decision by SBA to decline to reimburse all, or a portion, of the legal fees and/or costs incurred in conducting debt collection litigation may appeal this decision in writing to the Associate General Counsel for Litigation within 30 days of the decision. The decision of the Associate General Counsel for Litigation will be made in consultation with the D/FA, and will be the final Agency decision.