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PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM

Although we have not been given a specific date, we expect to have access to the SBA portal sometime next week. In the interim, we have posted an application on our website linked directly below. We will be reviewing applications received and readying them for submission to the SBA. As soon as the SBA portal opens, we will begin submitting. We will only be accepting electronic applications. Note: This update reflects accurate information as of 1/13/21 at 12:00 pm EST

Apply for PPP Loan

Apply for Loan Forgiveness

Apply for PPP Loan

Apply for Loan Forgiveness

*The link(s) above will take you to a 3rd party site that Community First Bank of Indiana has contracted to securely input your application.
While the bank does not control this site, it is an approved vendor of the bank.

Updates from our CEO & President

Hello to all. It’s time, once again, to provide some updates on the PPP. First, let’s talk forgiveness. If you remember from prior communications, CFB successfully processed 641 first draw PPP loans, totaling slightly over $45 million. The forgiveness status of those loans is as follows:
• Fully forgiven and paid loans – 334 loans totaling in excess of $21 million
• Loans forgiven but with balances remaining – 21 loans totaling approximately $1.2 million
(The vast majority of the remaining balances were related to EIDL advances, which should be reimbursed by the SBA, in the near future.)
• Awaiting SBA decision – 30 loans totaling over $5 million
• PPP Loan Forgiveness Application not yet submitted – 256 loans totaling nearly $18 million

If you have used all PPP funds received and have not yet applied for loan forgiveness, we would like to remind you that the forgiveness application can be found on our website at www.cfbindiana.com. Also, on our website, you will find links to instructions and guidance for completing the forgiveness application. For borrowers with loans under $150,000, the SBA has revised Form 3508S to make the forgiveness process very simple. Guidance and instructions are also provided for those who don’t qualify to use the 3508S form. Those borrowers will complete either the 3508EZ or standard 3508 application. We encourage you to begin the process as soon as possible. Should you have questions regarding the process, please feel free to contact us via email at sba-loans@cfbindiana.com. We will either answer via email or give you a call. Please provide your phone number when emailing.

Moving on from loan forgiveness to 2nd draw PPP loans, approximately 100 of our first draw borrowers have applied, through CFB, for second draw loans. First time PPP borrowers may also apply through CFB. For both borrower classifications, the appropriate application can be found on our website. Below, you will find some helpful (hopefully) hints to help determine if a borrower is eligible for a PPP loan under the current program.
• Borrower must have been in business prior to February 15, 2020.
• 2nd draw borrowers must have experienced a 25% or greater decline in gross receipts for any calendar quarter of 2020 vs. 2019 or, alternatively, for the entire 2020 year vs. 2019.
• Borrowers may elect to use 2019 payroll information to calculate loan amount.
• 2nd draw borrowers ARE NOT required to have applied or received forgiveness for a first draw PPP loan to be eligible for a second round.
• Borrowers with a NAICS code beginning with 72 may qualify for a higher loan amount. This would include hotels, bars, restaurants and campgrounds, among others.
• There remain funds available in the program. At last report, the SBA had disbursed approximately $35 million of the $284 million committed to this round of the PPP.
• Forgiveness requirements remain largely the same as for first round PPP loans.

As with loan forgiveness, our team stands ready to assist you with this round of loan applications. Please feel free to review our website and contact us with any questions or if you need assistance. The same email address, sba-loans@cfbindiana.com is available for loan questions. Once again, our team is grateful for the opportunity to assist you with your PPP needs.

All the best,

 
 

Robb Blume

CEO & President

Community First Bank of Indiana

Greetings. 
 
Once again, the SBA has released a flurry of updates, guidance, forms and interim final rules, pertaining to all aspects of the PPP. Links to some of those newly released documents are on our PPP web page listed as "Resources". We are currently adjusting our systems to accommodate the new forms. For borrowers who received loans between $50,000 and $150,000 and have not been granted loan forgiveness, it would be advisable to read the "Procedural Notice - PPP Borrower Resubmissions of Loan Forgiveness Applications Using Form 3508S, Lender Notice Responsibilities to PPP Borrowers, and Offset of Remittances to Lender for Lender Debts". The other releases provided good information regarding borrower certifications, maximum loan amounts, and the forgiveness process.
 
As a reminder, if you are applying for a 2nd draw PPP loan and received your 1st round loan through another lender, you will need to have your SBA loan number for input into the application. If you used CFB for your 1st round, that item should prefill. We have been notified that the SBA may be contacting borrowers directly for information to complete loan reviews. Should you receive a direct inquiry from the SBA, please use caution when providing additional information. If you need the assistance of the bank in determining the identity of the requester, please forward the email to sba-loans@cfbindiana.com. We will try to assist you in determining if the email is legitimate. 
 
The SBA included a process for greater front-end scrutiny of applications for this round of applications. As a result, once an application is submitted to the SBA, they have been taking up to 72 hours to issue a loan authorization or rejection. Likewise, they have made it known that, for borrowers whose 1st draw loans are under review, there may be a greater delay in the processing of 2nd draw requests. As the bank receives notification of these situations, we are requesting an escalation of the review process to allow for faster processing of the 2nd draw app. Please understand, the bank does not have access or knowledge of SBA’s timelines for these reviews. We will pass along information as we receive it, but once the application is submitted to SBA, we have no control over processing time or approval dates. If the SBA declines to accept an application due to review of a 1st draw loan, we will attempt to resubmit on a daily basis.
 
For those who have received loan forgiveness but had EIDL advances deducted from the forgiven amount, the SBA has indicated they will be reimbursing the bank for the unforgiven amount. To date, we have not received any reimbursements. When we do, they will be applied to pay off the related loans. We have modified all of the relevant loans so that no payments are required. 
 
As with the first PPP round, the rules, procedures and requirements continue to be modified during the process. We will continue to do our best to provide you with updates, as we receive them. Thank you in advance for your patience with the process.
 
 

Robb Blume

CEO & President

Community First Bank of Indiana

Good afternoon,
 
I wanted to follow up Friday’s note with a further update. There has been some confusion and public misinformation regarding the current PPP “round two.” The information we sent out on Friday remains correct. A small number of specialty lenders have been approved for the earliest access to PPP funds. These do not include CFB or any other traditional community banks. Although we have not been given a specific date, we expect to have access to the SBA portal sometime next week. In the interim, we will be posting an application on our website for access by second draw PPP borrowers. We expect to have that application posted by noon on Wednesday. We will be reviewing applications received and readying them for submission to SBA. As soon as the SBA portal opens, we will begin submitting. We will only be accepting electronic applications. We have been assured, by the SBA and Treasury, that there are sufficient funds to meet projected needs and have been encouraged to be patient. We have also been told that, unlike previous rounds of PPP lending, SBA loan approval will not be instantaneous and could take a day or more to arrive. The program has been approved to allow loans through March 31, 2021, assuming sufficient funds are available.
 
A positive change is also being implemented to the loan forgiveness process. As part of the recently passed Economic Aid Act, a streamlined forgiveness process will be available to borrowers with loans of $150,000 or less. Prior to the most recent change, streamlined forgiveness was only available to borrowers with balances of $50,000 or less. A modified forgiveness application is expected no later than January 20. If you are a borrower with a loan between $50,001 and $150,000, we suggest you wait for the new loan forgiveness application to apply.
 
Last, the SBA issued a clarification on the handling of loans that have already been forgiven but had EIDL advance amounts deducted from the forgiven amount. On those loans, the SBA will remit, directly to the bank, funds equal to the EIDL advance, plus interest. Once received, the bank will apply the funds to the remaining loan balance. Loan forgiveness applications are now being processed without the EIDL advance deduction.
 
We hope you find this information helpful. You can continue to submit questions to www.sba-loans@cfbindiana.com, through your designated lending officer, or our Call Center. We will continue to update you as we receive new information. Thank you for the opportunity to be of service.
 

Robb Blume

CEO & President

Community First Bank of Indiana

Hi all,

I hope everyone had a healthy and happy holiday. The purpose of this communication is to let you know that the SBA has announced that the next round of the Paycheck Protection Program will start next week. The opening dates of January 11 (for those applying for first-draw PPP loans) and January 13 (for second-draw PPP loans) are limited to community development financial institutions, minority depository institutions, certified development corporations and microloan intermediaries. Community First Bank of Indiana does not fall under any of these categories.

At this point, we have only been told that we will be able to submit applications “shortly thereafter.” We will notify you as soon as we are able to take applications.

What we know now is that this round of the PPP will utilize a new and different application and a new submission portal (not ETran). As of this afternoon, neither of those items are available to banks. We have also been told that, unlike previous PPP application submissions which received an immediate approval or denial, applicants in this round may have to wait up to 24 hours before being approved and assigned a SBA Loan Number. Over the weekend, we will be reviewing and summarizing the information currently available, with the intent of providing a more detailed email on Monday. One thing we know for sure is that, for second time borrowers, the first PPP loan does not have to have already been forgiven for the borrower to be eligible for this round. However, all funds from the first loan must have been spent. Please look for our update on Monday and, if you would like to review the guidance and interim final rule, yourself, you may find the information at www.sba.gov.

As with the first round, we will do everything in our power to make sure our customers and applicants are taken care of. In addition to Monday’s email, we will send out an additional notification when the application is available on our website.

Thank you and have a great weekend!

Robb Blume

CEO & President

Community First Bank of Indiana

On December 1, the Small Business Administration released public data about Paycheck Protection Program borrowers—specifically, the borrowers’ names, addresses, exact loan amounts and who their PPP lenders were. This was done by court order following lawsuits brought by media organizations seeking the data.

We want you to know that we, as your bank, did not publicly disclose the data and played no role in the court decision. Our commitment to protect your privacy is paramount, and we follow all applicable laws and regulations.

Unfortunately, we have heard that some third party businesses are using information from the court-ordered data release to market themselves to PPP customers. These communications may reference our bank’s name and may even imply that we have some kind of relationship. You should be aware that we will communicate directly with you about your PPP loan and the forgiveness process. If you have any doubt, please call us directly. You can contact our call center at (765) 236-0600 or feel free to contact your lender directly.

As always, our commitment is to your business’ financial health. Thank you for your ongoing partnership.

 

Robb Blume

CEO & President

Community First Bank of Indiana

Greetings, once again, from PPP-land. I regret to inform you that today’s message is not a positive one. Earlier this week, the IRS issued an 8-page ruling regarding the tax-deductibility of expenses paid with proceeds derived from a PPP loan for which there is a reasonable expectation of forgiveness. Below is an excerpt from that ruling (emphasis added by me):

A taxpayer that received a covered loan guaranteed under the PPP and paid or incurred certain otherwise deductible expenses listed in section 1106(b) of the CARES Act may not deduct those expenses in the taxable year in which the expenses were paid or incurred if, at the end of such taxable year, the taxpayer reasonably expects to receive forgiveness of the covered loan on the basis of the expenses it paid or accrued during the covered period, even if the taxpayer has not submitted an application for forgiveness of the covered loan by the end of such taxable year.

For those of you who might have been delaying application for loan forgiveness in hopes of deferring tax liabilities into 2021, this ruling effectively negates that strategy. Based on this new information, we are encouraging you to begin the loan forgiveness application process as soon as it is convenient for you to do so.

On to another issue. If, when completing your loan forgiveness application, you are not able to achieve full loan forgiveness, please feel free to reach out to us for assistance. We want to help all of our borrowers in receiving the maximum forgiveness they are entitled to. At this point in time, the SBA does not have a process in place to submit an amendment or correction to an application, once it is submitted. This means that, if you mistakenly submit an application with less than full forgiveness, you will have an outstanding balance left to be paid. If you have a lender you are already comfortable working with, please feel free to call them. You can email us at sba-loans@cfbindiana.com or contact our call center at (765) 236-0600 and request a call from one of our loan experts.

To update you on our loan forgiveness numbers, the breakdown of our 641 loans is as follows:

  • 414 (67%) have not yet applied for forgiveness
  • 227 (33%) have applied
  • 128 (56% of applicants) have received full loan forgiveness
  • 25 (22% of applicants) have received partial forgiveness
  • 68 are awaiting SBA processing
  • 3 are awaiting CFB processing
  • 2 are pending requests for additional info by SBA

 

In total, approximately 84% of the loans that have been processed by the SBA have received full forgiveness.

On behalf of our entire CFB team, we thank you for your business and pass along our best wishes for a Happy Thanksgiving.

Robb Blume

CEO & President

Community First Bank of Indiana

Email: rblume@cfbindiana.com

Happy Friday to all! I wanted to share some information on the PPP loan forgiveness process and on the progress CFB has been making. Of the 641 PPP borrowers served by CFB, 175 (27%) have submitted their loan forgiveness applications through the CFB website. The status of those 175 applications is as follows:

  • 2 (1.1%) are pending additional information requests from the SBA            
  • 6 (3.4%) are in the process of CFB review
  • 23 (13.1%) have been partially forgiven. All of these loans received EIDL grants
  • 57 (32.6%) have been fully forgiven, resulting in no balance owed by the borrower
  • 88 (50.3%) are awaiting a final decision by the SBA.

 

Breaking down the numbers further, the 57 fully forgiven loans represent 70% of the 87 requests processed by the SBA. In all cases, so far, loan amounts not forgiven have been directly tied to grants through the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program.

If you have received a notice from CFB regarding a PPP loan with a remaining balance, it should include a modification agreement for e-signature. This modification will include the unforgiven principle balance on your original PPP loan, the accrued interest (from the loan funding date) on the unforgiven amount and a payment amount and due date. The payment amount will be based on either a 24 or 60-month amortization schedule, depending on the date of funding. Loans made prior to June 5, 2020 will be amortized over 24 months, while those made on or after June 5, 2020 will be amortized over 60 months. The amortization period will be calculated based on the date of funding, not the date of the modification. 

If you receive notice of a partially forgiven loan and would like to pay the balance in full, please complete the modification by e-signing the document. You may then remit payment within 5 business days without incurring additional interest. 

While the process can be very confusing, our team is here to assist you. In order to apply, you will access our website at www.cfbindiana.com and register your account. You will need the tax ID number or social security number you used on the application, along with the amount of your loans. By answering a few questions, you will be directed to the proper application form (3508S, EZ or long-form app). Should you have questions, you can send them to our email address (sba-loans@cfbindiana.com) or contact our call center at (765) 236-0600. If our customer service representatives are unable to answer your questions, they will have a lender contact you. If you already know your assigned lender, feel free to contact him or her, directly.

Thank you for the opportunity to be of service. We greatly appreciate the opportunity to earn your business! Best wishes for a beautiful weekend!

All the best,

Robb Blume

CEO & President

Community First Bank of Indiana

Email: rblume@cfbindiana.com

It’s time, once again, for a PPP update. This time, there have been some positive changes to report. As you may have heard, the SBA has approved, for loans under $50,000, a further streamlined application (Form 3508S). As of yesterday, Monday, October 19, you can find that application on our website. SBA has also released an updated FAQ, which can be accessed through the following link:
https://www.cfbindiana.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/Final-PPP-FAQs-October-7-2020.pdf

Loans between $50,000 and $2,000,000 may still qualify to use the EZ form, which still provides significant time savings.

In addition to some other changes, this FAQ addresses the timeframe for filing a loan forgiveness application. In short, loan payments may be deferred for up to 10 months after the 8 or 24 week covered period.

I would like to provide you with a few numbers from our PPP portfolio. In total, we have provided 641 PPP loans since the program began. Total dollar volume exceeded $45 million. Of those 641 loans, 122 have applied for loan forgiveness. 30 loans have received full forgiveness from the SBA, with 83 loans submitted and pending SBA approval. 6 of the forgiveness applications we have received are either in process or awaiting additional information. The majority of the loans that have been approved have been smaller in size. The SBA does not appear to be processing loans in chronological order of submission. Some larger loans were submitted over 60 days ago, so it appears that the SBA may be doing a more thorough review on larger dollar amounts.

We have received a few phone calls and emails regarding tax consequences related to PPP forgiveness and the use of PPP funds. If you have concerns regarding the tax implications of loan forgiveness, we suggest you consult with your tax advisor or CPA.

The possibility of a third round of PPP loans remains. However, it appears as though a further PPP funding will be tied to passage of another stimulus package. Given the current political environment, chances of passing such a bill prior to the elections seem to be dimming. If additional stimulus is passed that includes PPP availability, we will do our best to notify you through email and posting on our website.

Once again, thank you for choosing CFB as your PPP lender.

We appreciate the opportunity to be of service.


Sincerely,

Robb Blume

CEO & President

Community First Bank of Indiana

Email: rblume@cfbindiana.com

The purpose of this update is to notify you of important changes to the deferral period described in the promissory note (the “Note”) that you executed in connection with the Paycheck Protection Program (the “PPP”) loan you received from the Bank. These changes result from amendments to the CARES Act that were adopted subsequent to the origination of your PPP loan and are automatically applicable to your loan. No additional action is required from you at this time regarding these changes.

As a result of the amendments to the CARES Act, the deferral period under the Note has been extended until the earlier of (a) or (b) below:

(a) if you submit an application for forgiveness of your PPP loan within 10 months after the end of the “loan forgiveness covered period” (as defined below), your deferral period is extended until the date on which the Small Business Administration (the “SBA”) (i) remits the loan forgiveness amount on your PPP loan to the Bank, or (ii) notifies the Bank that no loan forgiveness is allowed on your PPP loan; or

(b) if you do not submit an application for forgiveness of your PPP loan within 10 months after the end of the loan forgiveness covered period, your deferral period is extended until the date that is 10 months after the last day of your loan forgiveness covered period.

The “loan forgiveness covered period” covers the period beginning on the date your PPP loan was originated (the “Origination Date”) and ends on the earlier of (a) the date that is 24 weeks after the Origination Date, or (b) December 31, 2020, unless you have otherwise made an election to use the original 8-week period.

We will notify you when the SBA remits the loan forgiveness amount for your loan to the Bank. If you do not submit an application for loan forgiveness by the applicable deadline, or the SBA notifies us that some or all of you loan is not eligible for forgiveness, we will notify you of the date on which your first payment is due.

If you have any questions about the change to the deferral period for your PPP loan, please contact your loan officer. If you have any legal, tax or accounting questions regarding when or how to apply for forgiveness of your PPP loan, we encourage you to contact your attorney, tax advisor, or accountant as we cannot provide legal, tax or accounting advice to you.

Hello to all and happy Friday! Once again, I am sending an update on the PPP loan forgiveness landscape without much substantive change to report. While there continues to be discussion regarding additional streamlining of the forgiveness process, there have been no approved changes to the existing program. With the distraction of the upcoming election and the focus on additional stimulus funding, it appears that the chances of additional streamlining may be waning. Treasury Secretary Mnuchin has stated his support of such changes, but he has also acknowledged that it would likely take additional legislative action to bring it about. He has also stated that he would not advise delaying forgiveness application in hopes of further streamlining. Based on those comments and the lack of legislative progress, we are suggesting those borrowers who have spent their PPP funds on eligible expenses and have gathered the necessary supporting documentation consider submitting their applications for loan forgiveness. This can be done through our website www.cfbindiana.com/paycheck-protection-program/.

You will need your loan amount and tax identification number of the borrower to start the process. So far, the vast majority of borrowers submitting their forgiveness application have qualified to use the EZ application. This streamlined application should save a considerable amount of time from the original, full-length application. For those that may not qualify for the EZ application, I would suggest starting early, as the full-length application may take considerably longer.

There has also been talk of a potential 3rd round of PPP loans, available for new borrowers and for those who accessed the program in the first two rounds. Should this 3rd round come to fruition, CFB will again be participating and ready to process your request. We will keep you updated with any further developments regarding another round of funding.

One of the most common concerns we have heard is that PPP loan payments are scheduled to begin soon. This is NOT the case. Changes were made to the program extending the deferral period for up to 10 months after the “Covered Period” during which funds were spent or after application for forgiveness was submitted. Loan due dates have been modified in CFB’s system so that you will not be billed for payments until the expiration of the modified deferral period.

Due to the number of changes made during the PPP program, it is nearly impossible to address all of the scenarios in an update letter. Additional information can be found at www.sba.gov/ppp. Questions directed to our dedicated email sba-loans@cfbindiana.com will be answered as quickly as possible.

Once again, we thank you for choosing Community First Bank of Indiana to assist with your PPP loan. We hope the experience has been satisfactory. We especially thank those of you who have banked with us in the past and welcome those who have recently moved your banking relationships to us. We hope to have the opportunity to be of service to all of you in the future.

Best wishes for a great weekend to all!

Robb Blume

CEO & President

Community First Bank of Indiana

Email: rblume@cfbindiana.com

Direct Dial: (765) 456-4312

Happy Friday! It’s been at least a couple of weeks since our last update. So, I thought I would let everyone know that there has not been much new to report. While we continue to hear about legislative support for further streamlining of the PPP loan forgiveness process, there has been no vote or other definitive movement on the issue. As we near the end of August and loan forgiveness continues to be tied to other legislative issues, the likelihood of a “fast fix” appears to be decreasing. At this point, it does not appear that any further streamlining is likely for loans over $150,000. I think there is still a possibility of some additional relief for those loans under $150,000, but it will likely be tied to an additional stimulus package and I wouldn’t venture to guess when or if that may be passed.

Based on the above information, we are encouraging borrowers with loan amounts above $150,000 who have spent the PPP funds on payroll to compile the necessary supporting documents and to consider submitting the loan forgiveness application now. We would also suggest consulting with a tax advisor or accountant to discuss the best timing for your individual circumstance. Over the few weeks, we have submitted 16 loan forgiveness applications through the SBA portal and have not yet received an approval. The SBA can take up to 90 days to give final approval.

Earlier this week the SBA released an interim final rule addressing certain technical issues related to business owners and certain non-payroll costs. The rule revised PPP’s owner-employee compensation rule addressing the amount eligible for forgiveness to exempt employees who own less than 5% of a C-corp or S-corp borrower, determining that owner-employees at this threshold cannot meaningfully influence decisions about the use of PPP loan proceeds.

For non-payroll costs, SBA clarified that monies attributable to tenants or sub-tenants of a PPP borrower, or for home-based businesses, household expenses do not qualify for forgiveness. Examples are provided within the rule. Rent payments to a related third party are eligible under certain conditions outlined in the rule.

Read the Interim Final Rule here. 

That’s all for now. Best wishes for a happy and healthy weekend. 

Robb Blume

CEO & President

Community First Bank of Indiana

Email: rblume@cfbindiana.com

Direct Dial: (765) 456-4312

Happy Friday my PPP friends! We have now reached the end of the PPP loan application period and are a short time into the loan forgiveness process. We have received a few applications for loan forgiveness and will begin processing those through the SBA next week. For borrowers with loans of $150,000 or less, we are encouraging you to wait to see if Congress passes pending legislation that would allow for automatic forgiveness upon submission of a one-page attestation. We expect a resolution on that issue by the end of August. We will continue to update you as new information becomes available.

I am also providing a link HERE to the SBA’s most recently released FAQ regarding loan forgiveness. I hope you find it helpful.

Thank you, once again, for choosing CFB for your PPP loan. We appreciate the opportunity to be of service.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Robb Blume

CEO & President

Community First Bank of Indiana

Email: rblume@cfbindiana.com

Direct Dial: (765) 456-4312

Hello again, my PPP friends! I mentioned in yesterday’s webinar that, because there have been no recent, substantive changes in loan forgiveness guidance, I did not expect to send out an update today. However, this morning I received a piece from the American Bankers Association that included the following excerpt:

ABA joined a broad coalition of nearly 150 trade associations and advocacy groups in strong support of a bipartisan bill that would expedite the forgiveness process for most borrowers who received loans through the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program. Sponsored by Sens. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) the Paycheck Protection Program Small Business Forgiveness Act would allow PPP loans of $150,000 or less to be automatically forgiven once the borrower completes a one-page forgiveness document.

The bill is expected to ease the forgiveness process for approximately 86% of PPP borrowers, in addition to saving an estimated $7 billion and hours of paperwork, the groups said. “This bipartisan legislation would ensure our nation’s small business owners can focus their time, energy, and resources back into their business and communities instead of allocating significant time and resources into completing complex forgiveness forms,” they noted.

A group of 51 state bankers associations also submitted a letter yesterday in support of the bill. “Banks of all sizes will continue to support their business customers and do their part to spur the economic recovery to come,” the associations said. “In order to help our nation’s smallest small businesses, we urge Congress to quickly pass the Paycheck Protection Program Small Business Forgiveness Act to provide necessary relief to millions of small businesses.”

 

Based on this information and the continuing discussions around Senator Rubio’s bill, we remain hopeful that further streamlining of the forgiveness process is still a possibility. As noted, this bill would save time for our borrowers and for the bank. We have posted a webinar recording on our website, along with the attendant slide deck. As of now, we don’t have plans to do another presentation but, we are always available to answer questions. For now, even though we have made the Forgiveness Application available on our website, our advice remains to stay patient with the process and continue gathering payroll and other supporting documentation.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Robb Blume

CEO & President

Community First Bank of Indiana

Email: rblume@cfbindiana.com

Direct Dial: (765) 456-4312

Welcome to PPP Forgiveness Update #8. Thanks for reading and thanks to those of you that tuned in to Wednesday’s Loan Forgiveness Webinar. We will be presenting another webinar next Thursday, July 9 at 3:00 p.m.  Information to access the webinar will be forwarded in the near future. As discussed in the webinar, there have been numerous changes to the loan forgiveness rules. The majority of these changes have simplified the process so it is not nearly as onerous as the initial application and rollout made it seem. This is especially true if a borrower is able to cover 100% of the loan amount through payroll costs, which we are encouraging all of our borrowers to try to do.

There are two things that I wanted to highlight in today’s update. First, the SBA eTran Portal is still not taking applications for loan forgiveness. This means that, even if you submit your application to the bank and we approve for submission to the SBA, the application cannot be forwarded to the SBA until the portal opens. This means the 90 day window for SBA approval does not start until the portal opens.

Second, another bill, authored by Senator Rubio and a few others, seems to be getting some consideration in the Senate. This could drastically alter the process for forgiveness and we recommend that borrowers consider waiting before applying when possible. Highlights of the bill are as follows:

  1. Changes to Current Program Rules
    1. PPP Loan Forgiveness changes:
      1. For loans under $150,000: Borrowers are not required to submit to the lender documentation required by section 1106(e) of the CARES Act, but must attest to a good faith effort to comply with the PPP loan requirements, and retain relevant records for one year. The Administrator may audit a small portion of these loans to ensure against fraud.
      2. For loans between $150,000 and $2 million: Borrowers are not required to submit to the lender documentation required by section 1106(e) of the CARES Act, but must complete the certification required by that section, retain relevant records and worksheets for two years, and may complete and submit demographic information. After lenders review the application for completeness, they shall submit the application to the Administrator. The Administrator shall audit a small portion of these loans to ensure against fraud.

 

  1. Add eligibility of 501(c)(6) organizations as long as funds are not used for lobbying and they have fewer than 50 employees.

 

  1. Increase allowable expenses to include
    1. “Covered supplier costs” are expenditures to a supplier pursuant to a contract for goods that are essential to the PPP recipient’s operations.
    2. “Covered worker protection expenditure” includes adaptive investments to help a loan recipient comply with federal health and safety guidelines related to COVID-19 during the period between March 1, 2020, and December 31, 2020.

 

A summary of the bill is linked here, for your review. I don’t know when or if this bill might be passed but, I will keep you posted as we hear updates. Please remember, borrowers have up to 10 months after the 24 week forgiveness period to submit the application for loan forgiveness. If it looks like this bill may pass, it may be worth waiting for it in order to reduce borrower paperwork. If you prefer to move forward with the application now, we are processing applications through our website and will be ready to submit these to the SBA when they begin accepting them.

All in all, it looks like the loan forgiveness process will be much less cumbersome than when originally presented. We are looking forward to assisting each of you to ensure maximum loan forgiveness for all.

Once again, I thank all of you for choosing CFB for your PPP loans. We have been fortunate to be able to serve over 600 businesses, many of whom are working with us for the first time. We hope your experience has been a satisfactory one. We have been humbled by the outpouring of thanks from many of you. During the busiest times of the PPP process, those thanks served as great encouragement to our staff, many of whom were working long hours to make sure we were able to assist as many as possible. The kind comments were greatly appreciated.

Best wishes for a safe, healthy and happy Fourth of July weekend!

Robb Blume

CEO & President

Community First Bank of Indiana

Email: rblume@cfbindiana.com

Direct Dial: (765) 456-4312

Happy Monday to all of our PPP friends! You may have noticed that there was no Friday update last week. That is due to the lack of substantive changes being made to any aspect of the program, including forgiveness. While there have been some minor modifications and clarifications, most have been specific to individual industries and will not apply to most of our borrowers. As you probably know, tomorrow, June 30th, is the last day to apply and be approved for a PPP loan. We are continuing to accept loan applications through noon tomorrow, with the intent of finishing all approvals by 5:00 EST. Once we have processed all applications, we can turn our attention to the loan forgiveness process.

We will be putting on two webinars (possibly more, if demand dictates) to discuss the basics of the PPP loan forgiveness rules and to introduce CFB’s forgiveness application tool. Wednesday’s webinar will begin at Noon EST. If you would like to participate, please copy and paste this link (https://meet.google.com/wjg-goid-sjs) in your internet browser to join the video. The dial-in number is +1 320-429-8169, pin 588750817. The presentation should last no more than 20 minutes, with a Q&A session to follow. Our platform will accommodate up to 250 participants. With about 600 PPP borrowers, you may want to call in early. Our second presentation will be held on Thursday, July 9th at 3:00 pm, EST. The call-in information for that webinar will be provided at a later date. These webinars are intended to provide a high-level overview of the forgiveness guidance and process. We will also continue to provide links to access SBA and Treasury publications relating to PPP loan forgiveness.

While there are variables that impact each of our borrowers’ forgiveness calculations, there are a few things that we believe to be true for the vast majority. Those are as follows:

  • With an increased forgiveness period of 24 weeks, we believe nearly 100% of our borrowers should qualify for full loan forgiveness.
  • Utilizing the 24-week forgiveness period, most borrowers will quality based on payroll alone. This will simplify the documentation needed.
  • Because borrowers have up to 10 months following the forgiveness period to apply for forgiveness, there should be adequate time to gather and submit the appropriate documentation.
  • Because the interest is also forgiven, there is no reason to rush to be “first in line” to have forgiveness applications submitted and processed.
  • The forgiveness tool we have chosen should prove to be a simple one to use.

 

While we are holding the webinars to provide assistance for those who need it, many, if not most of you, will be able to complete the forgiveness application without assistance from the bank. If additional help is needed, we will still have the SBA processing number, (765) 456-4306, available to provide assistance.

Thank you again for choosing CFB to provide your PPP financing. Many of you who were not previously customers have chosen to move business to our bank and we truly appreciate it! For all, as we move forward through the loan forgiveness process, we understand that financing needs created by this pandemic will not necessarily end with the PPP program. If you need further assistance or if you have other borrowing needs, please keep us in mind.

All the best,

Robb Blume

CEO & President

Community First Bank of Indiana

Email: rblume@cfbindiana.com

Direct Dial: (765) 456-4312

Hello again, PPP customers. I’m happy to be writing to report on good news. What follows, in italics, is an excerpt from a newsletter, sent today, from the American Bankers Association:

The Small Business Administration today released a three-page “EZ” Paycheck Protection Program loan forgiveness application requiring less documentation and fewer calculations than previously required. Form 3508EZ applies to borrowers who meet any one of these three criteria:

  • Applied for the PPP loan as self-employed, an independent contractor or a sole proprietor with no employees.

  • Did not reduce salary or wages for any employee by more than 25%, and did not reduce the number or hours of their employees (excepting laid-off employees who refused an offer to return).

  • Did not reduce salary or wages for any employee by more than 25% during the covered period and experienced reductions in business activity as a result of health directives related to COVID-19.

 

The streamlined forgiveness form is expected to smooth the forgiveness application process for a substantial portion of PPP borrowers. SBA also updated the regular Form 3508 to reflect recent changes made by Congress in the PPP Flexibility Act and issued a new interim final rule that implements changes made by the PPPFA.

The bolded/underlined emphasis was added by me to emphasize that a borrower only needs to meet one of the criteria in order to use the streamlined form. This should encompass a very high percentage of our borrowers. We are also providing links below to the referenced documents and information. These may help in your preparation and understanding of the process and required documentation. We want to emphasize that we will NOT begin taking applications until July 1, at the earliest. We will do so through a link on our website. Please do not complete and send the applications now. They may still change and we want to avoid duplication of effort. The application that we post on our website will prefill certain information and will save time for both you and the bank.

As a reminder, if you were not a CFB customer prior to the PPP and have had a satisfactory experience with us, we would love to expand our relationship! We have a tremendous staff of commercial, mortgage and consumer lenders, a great treasury management officer, and some of the friendliest and most helpful retail bankers you will ever find. We would love the opportunity to continue to be your bank beyond the PPP process! Our locations can be located on our website – www.cfbindiana.com/locations.

 
Links to referenced documents:

The SBA has released a new PPP Loan Forgiveness Form, Form 3508EZ:

 

Also, the SBA released a revised and shorter version of the full PPP Loan Forgiveness Application:

 

Thank you!

Robb Blume

CEO & President

Community First Bank of Indiana

Email: rblume@cfbindiana.com

Direct Dial: (765) 456-4312

Time for the weekly PPP update that I know you all look forward to! Our legislative bodies continue to make progress on passing and communicating changes to the forgiveness rules and process. This week saw President Trump sign into law the changes that were discussed in last week’s update. Further clarification has been given regarding some of those changes. Specifically, there are avenues for relief of the “headcount rule” for those companies that have either not recalled all of their previous employees due to lack of business and for those who have tried to recall workers but the workers have refused to return. Additional discussion around these topics will follow, at a later date. The interim rule also clarifies that if a borrower submits an application for forgiveness within 10 months of the end of the forgiveness period, the borrower will not have to make any payment on the loan before the date the SBA remits the forgiven amount to the lender. The rule also confirmed that the last day a lender can obtain approval for a PPP loan is June 30th.


Unfortunately, no ruling has been made yet regarding a de minimis loan level, under which a streamlined process for forgiveness would be applicable. As mentioned in the previous update, every state banking association has issued support for legislation creating this threshold. We in the banking industry remain hopeful that this will be implemented prior to the start of the forgiveness process.


CFB has made some changes to our forgiveness plan. With the period for new loans ending on June 30th, we have decided to begin accepting applications for forgiveness on July 1. Whether your loan was directly processed by CFB or processed through Windsor, we will be working with you to process forgiveness applications. With any luck, legislation will be passed streamlining the process for smaller loans. Regardless, we will be prepared with an accurate and efficient system to assist in applying for loan forgiveness. We also plan to present at least one and possibly more informational conference calls or webinars to assist those with questions. In the interim, we continue to encourage you to collect supporting documents such as payroll records, bank loan statements, rent and utility receipts and any other documentation supporting qualified expenses.
We thank you again for your business and your patience with this continually evolving process. Best wishes to all for a great weekend.

With thanks,

Robb Blume

CEO & President

Community First Bank of Indiana

As many of you may have already heard, the Senate has passed a bill amending PPP forgiveness guidance that will likely benefit all of our PPP borrowers. While the bill is still awaiting the President’s signature, we believe it is unchanged from the version passed by the House. The most significant changes are as follows:

  1. Extends the covered forgiveness period from 8 weeks to 24 weeks or until December 31, 2020, whichever is earlier
  2. Requires at least 60% of the loan to be used for payroll costs to be considered for forgiveness
  3. Increases the maximum allowable “other expenses” from 25% of forgiveness to 40%
  4. Extends deferral period until forgiveness amount is determined
  5. Requires the borrower to apply for forgiveness before 10 months after the last day of the covered period
  6. Extends the maturity period for unforgiven amounts to five years (requires mutual agreement of bank and borrower on loans already closed).

It is our hope and belief that, with these changes, nearly all of the PPP loans made by CFB will be fully forgiven. We are still awaiting word on possible changes that would simplify the forgiveness process for loans at a de minimis level. The most recent updates I have read have set that level at $350,000. Loans below that amount would simply require submission of a borrower attestation, along with certain supporting documents. This change has not been passed but, neither has it been dismissed. As in earlier updates, I would encourage you to contact your government representatives to ask for their support of this change.

Because of the possibility of additional changes, we are still encouraging each of you to continue to gather documentation (payroll information, receipts, leases, etc…) evidencing payroll and other qualifying expenses, while continuing to wait to submit a forgiveness application. We are moving forward in developing our process for processing forgiveness applications, with a goal of finalizing and releasing our process by June 15. We will continue to issue updates, as new information becomes available. 

We thank you for your continued patience through this evolving process. We appreciate the opportunity to be of service. Please feel free to contact us if you have questions prior to the next update.

Sincerely,

Robb Blume

CEO & President

Community First Bank of Indiana

As the process of reopening the economy continues, I hope that all of you are remaining healthy and beginning to see signs of recovery in your businesses. While we are not yet close to being fully “open,” we are seeing and hearing encouraging signs from many of our customers.


As many of you may have read or heard, the House of Representatives has passed a bill modifying several items within the Paycheck Protection Program. Key items included a lengthening of the “forgiveness period” from 8 weeks to 24 weeks. This modification would allow an extended period of time in which a borrower can spend the PPP funds and have them forgiven. There has been some discussion in the Senate about a 16-week forgiveness period. We will have to wait and see what time period they settle on, if they pass any changes. Also, the house bill reduces the minimum payroll amount from 75% to 60%, allowing more flexibility in the use of PPP funds. The bill also stretches the deadline to rehire workers and extends the repayment period on unforgiven amounts from two years to five. These should all be positive changes for PPP borrowers and I encourage you to let your Senators know that you support them.


An additional piece of news is that 51 different state banking associations (Puerto Rico is the 51st, in case you were wondering) have, in a letter to the Treasury Department and the U.S. Small Business Administration, called for a de minimus exception for small borrowers that would provide complete PPP loan forgiveness upon the completion of a simplified, one-page attestation. While the de minimus level was not specified, this change would save many hours of documentation and calculation for both borrowers and banks. We also encourage you to support this initiative.


While the timeline for final approval of the proposed changes is not concrete, we hope to see them discussed and passed in the next several days. Until then, we are encouraging our borrowers to continue compiling payroll, utility and interest data. We do not believe it would be productive to complete the forgiveness application prior to a final ruling on the proposed changes. We will continue to notify you as we receive additional information and will be sending you a current application when we start the forgiveness process.


Best wishes for a great weekend and continuing recovery.

Robb Blume
CEO & President
Community First Bank of Indiana

We would like to give you some updated information regarding PPP loan forgiveness. While no formal rule changes or guidance has been issued, a couple of points have been clarified.

First, the current 8 week payroll forgiveness period can begin on either the date the loan is funded or on the date a borrower’s first payroll during that period is funded. All non-payroll expenses should be tracked from date of funding.

Second, the reference to lease payments being part of forgivable uses included Real & Personal property lease payments, meaning that equipment leases are included.

Third, the term “incurred and paid” has been clarified to mean incurred or paid. This means that payroll or other expenses incurred but not yet paid during the forgiveness period can be counted toward forgiveness.

Last, SBA and Treasury have stated that borrowers won’t be penalized for a reduced headcount if employees have been offered employment but have refused to come back. We suggest documenting any employment offers, in writing.

We still expect further guidance to be released but, we do not have a firm date. We do know that there are numerous conversations regarding expanding the forgiveness period, creating a threshold below which all loans would be 100% forgiven, eliminating the 75% payroll requirement and other changes which increase the ease of forgiveness.

State, regional and national banking associations are doing a fine job of lobbying for additional information and an easing of forgiveness requirements. If you are so inclined, it never hurts to urge your representatives to assist on this issue.

We thank you again for your continued patience as we await further instructions on how to process forgiveness requests. We will continue to provide additional communications, as we receive them.

Best wishes for wonderful holiday weekend.

Robb Blume
CEO & President
Community First Bank of Indiana

We are pleased to have been able to help so many organizations secure funds through the SBA Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The PPP allows for all or a portion of the loan and accrued interest to be forgiven if the proceeds are used for payroll and certain non-payroll costs over the 8 weeks after receiving the loan proceeds. The final Loan Forgiveness Application (“Application”) with borrower instructions was just released by the SBA. You can find the application by clicking the button above.

We are in the process of reviewing the final application and establishing procedures for processing the more than 540 PPP loans that were originated by Community First Bank. We expect to send a formal instruction package on or about June 1, 2020 which will include an electronic means of providing us your Application. We will be encouraging all borrowers to submit their Application and supporting documentation through a secure link on our website. Once we have our secure website open to accept Applications, we will send another email to start the process.

Please do not submit any information at this time. Additional instructions will be sent on or about June 1, 2020. 

The PPP provides all lenders 60 days to approve the Application for the loan forgiveness amount. Although we will strive to process your application as quickly as possible, given the volume of Applications that will be received by Community First Bank we cannot promise that your Application will be processed any faster than 60 days. We will be communicating with all PPP customers throughout this process. We thank you for your patience.

You may contact us at (765) 456-4306 or contact your relationship officer directly.

Sincerely,

Robb Blume
CEO & President
Community First Bank of Indiana

Slides from our PPP Forgiveness Application Webinar

Overview of the basics of the PPP loan forgiveness rules & introduction of CFB’s forgiveness application tool

PPP Forgiveness Application Webinar Recording

 

If you have questions during business hours (M-F, 9:00 am-5:00 pm), please call (765) 236-0600.  If you have questions outside of business
hours, please email sba-loans@cfbindiana.com
and include a call back number and a representative will assist you with your questions.