(a) The Secretary shall assign to each servicer a “Tier Ranking” based upon the servicer's performance in servicing guaranteed loans. There shall be four tiers, known as tier one, tier two, tier three, and tier four, with tier one being the highest rated and tier four the lowest. Upon the effective date of this regulation, every servicer of loans guaranteed by the Secretary shall be presumed to be in servicer tier two, and shall remain in tier two until the date specified in paragraph (c)(2) of this section.
(b) For purposes of this section, the term “calendar quarter” shall mean the 3-month periods ending on March 31, June 30, September 30, and December 31.
(1) No later than 30 calendar days after the last business day of the first calendar quarter occurring after the rules for determining tier rankings take effect, and then not later than 30 calendar days after the last business day of each subsequent calendar quarter, the Secretary shall provide each servicer with an evaluation of their performance under such rules.
(2) No later than 45 calendar days after the last business day of the fourth calendar quarter during which the Secretary evaluates the performance of servicers, and then annually thereafter, VA shall advise each servicer of its tier ranking.
(3) Any entity which begins servicing guaranteed loans after the first calendar quarter occurring after rules for determining tier rankings take effect shall be presumed to be in tier two. The Secretary will evaluate the performance of such servicer as provided in paragraph (c)(1) of this section. The Secretary will advise such servicer of its tier ranking at the time other servicers are advised of their tier rankings pursuant to paragraph (c)(2) of this section, provided the servicer has received evaluations for at least four continuous calendar quarters.
(d) The quarterly evaluation and tier ranking of a servicer shall be deemed to be confidential and privileged and shall not be disclosed by the Secretary to any other party.