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Inside Washington (01/23/2008)
* WASHINGTON (1/24/08)--On Tuesday, Steven Preston, head of the Small Business Administration (SBA), said that loan volume for SBA’s signature loan program has decreased, and that originations dropped to 20,000 in the fourth quarter (American Banker Jan. 23). The agency is attempting to expand participation in its loan guarantee program, but Preston noted several roadblocks: slow loan turnaround times, a lack of support services for lenders, complex rules and paperwork. Because of these roadblocks, the SBA has lost 368 financial institutions the past two years--a 7% decline, Preston said. In November, the agency started a program to speed up payments of loan guarantees, but it faces challenges such as inefficient workflows and information technology systems. It could take until April or May to streamline the program, he said ... * WASHINGTON (1/24/08)--Rev. Jesse Jackson met with three Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) officials Tuesday after his Rainbow Push Coalition met at HUD’s offices to rally for action on the foreclosure crisis (American Banker Jan. 23). The coalition was briefed on Federal Housing Administration loans and a Hope Now alliance plan that would freeze starter interest rates on certain subprime mortgages. Meeting participants included FHA Commissioner Brian Montgomery, HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson and Deputy Secretary Roy A. Bernardi ...


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