7 CFR 1720.4 - General standards.
(a) In accordance with section 313A of the RE Act, a guarantee will be issued by the Secretary only if the Secretary determines, in accordance with the requirements set forth in this part, that:
(1) The proceeds of the guaranteed bonds will be used by the guaranteed lender to make loans to borrowers for electrification or telephone purposes eligible for assistance under this chapter, or to refinance bonds or notes previously issued by the guaranteed lender for such purposes;
(2) At the time the guarantee is executed, the total principal amount of guaranteed bonds outstanding would not exceed the principal amount of outstanding eligible loans previously made by the guaranteed lender;
(3) The proceeds of the guaranteed bonds will not be used directly or indirectly to fund projects for the generation of electricity; and
(4) The guaranteed lender will not use any amounts obtained from the reduction in funding costs provided by a loan guarantee issued prior to June 18, 2008, to reduce the interest rates borrowers are paying on new or outstanding loans, other than new concurrent loans as provided in part 1710 of this chapter.
(b) During the term of the guarantee, the guaranteed lender shall:
(1) Limit cash patronage refunds, for guaranteed lenders having a credit rating below “A−” on its senior secured debt without regard to the guarantee. For such guaranteed lenders, cash patronage refunds are limited to five percent of the total patronage refund eligible. The limit on patronage refunds must be maintained until the credit rating is restored to “A−” or above. For those guaranteed lenders subject to patronage limitations, equity securities issued as part of the patronage refund shall not be redeemable in cash during the term of any part of the guarantee, and the guaranteed lender shall not issue any dividends on any class of equity securities during the term of the guarantee.
(2) Maintain sufficient collateral equal to the principal amount outstanding, for guaranteed lenders having a credit rating below “A−” on its senior secured debt without regard to the guarantee, or in the case of a lender that does not have senior secured debt, a corporate (counterparty) credit rating below “A−” without regard to the guarantee. Collateral shall be in the form of specific and identifiable unpledged securities equal to the value of the guaranteed amount. In the case of a guaranteed lender's default, the U.S. government claim shall not be subordinated to the claims of other creditors, and the indenture must provide that in the event of default, the government has first rights on the asset. Upon application and throughout the term of the guarantee, guaranteed lenders not subject to collateral pledging requirements shall identify, with the concurrence of the Secretary, specific assets to be held as collateral should the credit rating of its senior secured debt, or its corporate credit rating, as applicable, without regard to the guarantee fall below “A−.” The Secretary has discretion to require collateral at any time should circumstances warrant.
(c) The final maturity of the guaranteed bonds shall not exceed 20 years.
(d) The guaranteed bonds shall be issued to the Federal Financing Bank on terms and conditions consistent with comparable government-guaranteed bonds and satisfactory to the Secretary.
(e) The Secretary shall guarantee payment son guaranteed bonds in such forms and on such terms and conditions and subject to such covenants, representations, warranties and requirements (including requirements for audits) as determined appropriate for satisfying the requirements of this part. The Secretary shall require the guaranteed lender to enter into a guarantee agreement to evidence its acceptance of the foregoing. Any guarantee issued under this part shall be made in a separate and distinct offering.