(a)General. To participate in FSA guaranteed farm loan programs, a lender must meet the eligibility criteria in this part. The standard eligible lender must demonstrate eligibility and provide such evidence as the Agency may request.
(b)Standard eligible lender eligibility criteria. (1) A lender must have experience in making and servicing agricultural loans and have the capability to make and service the loan for which a guarantee is requested;
(2) The lenders must not have losses or deficiencies in processing and servicing guaranteed loans above a level which would indicate an inability to properly process and service a guaranteed agricultural loan.
(3) A lender must be subject to credit examination and supervision by an acceptable State or Federal regulatory agency;
(4) The lender must maintain an office near enough to the collateral's location so it can properly and efficiently discharge its loan making and loan servicing responsibilities or use Agency approved agents, correspondents, branches, or other institutions or persons to provide expertise to assist in carrying out its responsibilities. The lender must be a local lender unless it:
(i) Normally makes loans in the region or geographic location in which the applicant's operation being financed is located, or
(ii) Demonstrates specific expertise in making and servicing loans for the proposed operation.
(5) The lender, its officers, or agents must not be debarred or suspended from participation in Government contracts or programs or be delinquent on a Government debt.
(c)Substitution of lenders. A new eligible lender may be substituted for the original lender, upon the original lender's concurrence, under the following conditions:
(1) The Agency approves of the substitution in writing by executing a modification of the guarantee to identify the new lender, the amount of debt at the time of the substitution and any new loan terms if applicable.
(2) The new lender agrees in writing to:
(i) Assume all servicing and other responsibilities of the original lender and to acquire the unguaranteed portion of the loan;
(ii) Execute a lender's agreement if one is not in effect;
(iv) Give any holder written notice of the substitution. If the rate and terms are changed, written concurrence from the holder is required.
(3) The original lender will:
(i) Assign their promissory note, lien instruments, loan agreements, and other documents to the new lender.
(ii) If the loan is subject to an existing interest assistance agreement, submit a request for subsidy for the partial year that it has owned the loan.
(d)Lender name or ownership changes. (1) When a lender begins doing business under a new name or undergoes an ownership change the lender will notify the Agency.
(2) The lender's CLP or PLP status is subject to reconsideration when ownership changes.
(3) The lender will execute a new lender's agreement when ownership changes.