7 CFR § 4279.30 - Lenders' functions and responsibilities.
(1) Lenders have the primary responsibility for the successful delivery of the guaranteed loan program. Any action or inaction on the part of the Agency does not relieve the lender of its responsibilities to originate and service the loan guaranteed under this subpart, subpart B of this part, and subpart B of part 4287 of this chapter. Lenders may contract for services but are ultimately responsible for underwriting, loan origination, loan servicing, and compliance with all Agency regulations. No person may act as, or work for, both a loan packager and loan service provider on the same guaranteed loan. All lenders obtaining or requesting a loan guarantee are responsible for:
(i) Processing applications for guaranteed loans;
(ii) Developing and maintaining adequately documented loan files, which must be maintained for at least 3 years after any final loss has been paid;
(iii) Recommending only loan proposals that are eligible and financially feasible;
(vi) Monitoring construction and operation;
(vii) Distributing loan funds;
(xi) Obtaining Agency approvals or concurrence as required.
(2) This subpart, subpart B of this part, and subpart B of part 4287 of this chapter contain the regulations for this program, including the lenders' responsibilities. If a lender fails to comply with these requirements, the Agency may reduce any loss payment in accordance with the applicable regulations.
(b) Credit evaluation. The lender must analyze all credit factors associated with each proposed loan and apply its professional judgment to determine that the credit factors, considered in combination, ensure loan repayment. The lender must have an adequate underwriting process to ensure that loans are reviewed by persons other than the originating officer, and there must be good credit documentation procedures. The Agency will only issue guarantees for loans that are sound and have reasonable assurance of repayment. The Agency will not issue guarantees for marginal or substandard loans.
(c) Environmental responsibilities. Lenders are responsible for becoming familiar with Federal environmental requirements; considering, in consultation with the prospective borrower, the potential environmental impacts of their proposals at the earliest planning stages; and developing proposals that minimize the potential to adversely impact the environment.
(1) Lenders must assist the borrower in providing details of the project's impact on the environment and historic properties in accordance with 7 CFR part 1970, “Environmental Policies and Procedures,” (or successor regulation), when applicable; assist in the collection of additional data when the Agency needs such data to complete its environmental review of the proposal; and assist in the resolution of environmental problems.
(i) Provided the necessary environmental information to enable the Agency to undertake its environmental review process in accordance with 7 CFR part 1970, “Environmental Policies and Procedures,” or successor regulation, including the provision of all required Federal, State, and local permits;
(ii) Complied with any mitigation measures required by the Agency; and
(iii) Not taken any actions or incurred any obligations with respect to the proposed project that will either limit the range of alternatives to be considered during the Agency's environmental review process or that will have an adverse effect on the environment.