§ 36.4353Withdrawal of authority to close loans on the automatic basis.
(1) As provided in 38 U.S.C. 3702(e), the authority of any lender to close loans on the automatic basis may be withdrawn by the Secretary at any time upon 30 days notice. The automatic processing authority of both supervised and non-supervised lenders may be withdrawn for engaging in practices which are imprudent from a lending standpoint or which are prejudicial to the interests of veterans or the Government but are of a lesser degree than would warrant complete suspension or debarment of the lender from participation in the program.
(2) Automatic-processing authority may be withdrawn at any time for failure to meet basic qualifying and/or annual recertification criteria.
(A) Automatic authority may be withdrawn for lack of a VA-approved underwriter, failure to maintain $50,000 in working capital or $250,000 in adjusted net worth, or failure to file required financial information.
(B) During the 1-year probationary period for newly approved lenders, automatic authority may be temporarily or permanently withdrawn for any of the reasons set forth in this section regardless of whether deficiencies previously have been brought to the attention of the probationary lender.
(ii)Supervised lenders. Automatic authority will be withdrawn for loss of status as an entity subject to examination and supervision by a Federal or State supervisory agency as required by 38 U.S.C. 3702(d).
(3) Automatic processing authority may also be withdrawn for any of the causes for debarment set forth in 2 CFR parts 180 and 801.
(b) Authority to close loans on the automatic basis may also be temporarily withdrawn for a period of time under the following schedule.
(1) Withdrawal for 60 days may occur when:
(i) Automatic loan submissions show deficiencies in credit underwriting, such as use of unstable sources of income to qualify the borrower, ignoring significant adverse credit items affecting the applicant's creditworthiness, etc., after such deficiencies have been repeatedly called to the lender's attention;
(ii) Employment or deposit verifications are handcarried by applicants or otherwise improperly permitted to pass through the hands of a third party;
(iii) Automatic loan submissions are consistently incomplete after such deficiencies have been repeatedly called to the lender's attention by VA; or
(iv) There are continued instances of disregard of VA requirements after they have been called to the lender's attention.
(2) Withdrawal for 180 days may occur when:
(i) Loans are closed automatically which conflict with VA credit standards and which would not have been made by a lender acting prudently;
(ii) The lender fails to disclose to VA significant obligations or other information so material to the veteran's ability to repay the loan that undue risk to the Government results;
(iii) Employment or deposit verifications are allowed to be handcarried by applicant or otherwise mishandled, resulting in the submission of significant misinformation to VA;
(iv) Substantiated complaints are received that the lender misrepresented VA requirements to veterans to the detriment of their interests (e.g., veteran was dissuaded from seeking a lower interest rate based on lender's incorrect advice that such options were precluded by VA requirements);
(v) Closing documentation shows instances of improper charges to the veteran after the impropriety of such charges has been called to the lender's attention by VA, or refusal to refund such charges after notification by VA; or
(vi) There are other instances of lender actions which are prejudicial to the interests of veterans such as deliberate delays in scheduling loan closings.
(3) Withdrawal for a period of from one year to three years may occur when:
(i) The lender fails to properly disburse loans (e.g., loan disbursement checks returned due to insufficient funds);
(ii) There is involvement by the lender in the improper use of a veteran's entitlement (e.g., knowingly permitting the veteran to violate occupancy requirements, lender involvement in sale of veteran's entitlement, etc.).
(4) A continuation of actions that have led to previous withdrawal of automatic authority justifies withdrawal of automatic authority for the next longer period of time.
(5) Withdrawal of automatic processing authority does not prevent a lender from processing VA guaranteed loans on the prior approval basis.
(6) Action by VA to remove a lender's automatic authority does not prevent VA from also taking debarment or suspension action based on the same conduct by the lender.
(7) VA field facilities are authorized to withdraw automatic privileges for 60 days, based on any of the violations set forth in paragraphs (b)(1) through (b)(3) of this section, for non-supervised lenders without operations in other stations' jurisdictions. All determinations regarding withdrawal of automatic authority for longer periods of time or multi-jurisdictional lenders must be made in Central Office.
(c) VA will provide 30 days notice of a withdrawal of automatic authority in order to enable the lender to either close or obtain prior approval for a loan on which processing has begun. There is no right to a formal hearing to contest the withdrawal of automatic processing privileges. However, if within 15 days after receiving notice the lender requests an opportunity to contest the withdrawal, the lender may submit in person, in writing, or through a representative, information and argument in opposition to the withdrawal.
(d) If the lender's submission in opposition raises a dispute over facts material to the withdrawal of automatic authority, the lender will be afforded an opportunity to appear with a representative, submit documentary evidence, present witnesses, and confront any witnesses VA presents. The Under Secretary for Benefits will appoint a hearing officer or panel to conduct the hearing.
(e) A transcribed record of the proceedings shall be made available at cost to the lender, upon request, unless the requirement for a transcript is waived by mutual agreement.
(f) In actions based upon a conviction or civil judgment, or in which there is no genuine dispute over material facts, the Under Secretary for Benefits shall make a decision on the basis of all the information in the administrative record, including any submission made by the lender.
(g) In actions in which additional proceedings are necessary to determine disputed material facts, written findings of fact will be prepared by the hearing officer or panel. The Under Secretary for Benefits shall base the decision on the facts as found, together with any information and argument submitted by the lender and any other information in the administrative record.