Update (1415ET): It looks like the real inside scoop as to what's happening over at Treasury right now is coming courtesy of the CEO of Lendio, a startup focusing on lending to small businesses, who says he was on a recent conference call with the SBA and Treasury.
CEO Brock Blake said that a "power struggle" between the SBA and Treasury is holding up the extremely critical $350 billion loan program that's supposed to save all of America's non-chain restaurants, and other small and family-owned businesses.
1/ Wow. What a mess! Just got off a conf call with the SBA. The @SBAgov & @USTreasury are having a power struggle and this is turning into a disaster. Millions of small businesses will be lining up for loans tomorrow, yet those 2 organizations are fighting about process & forms.— Brock Blake (@BrockBlake) April 2, 2020
2/ Treasury releases an app for the PPP loans and the ENTIRE country has been filling it out in preparation for tomorrow. Our engineers have been working for 48 hours straight to build an automated experience... and now, the SBA is saying that THAT application is not complete!— Brock Blake (@BrockBlake) April 2, 2020
3/ It’s 12 hours before America’s small businesses will be applying... and they STILL haven’t released a new app for lenders.— Brock Blake (@BrockBlake) April 2, 2020
**There’s no way this will be ready by tomorrow.**
No one actually knows what’s needed to actually document the application. There’s been no updated
4/ ... guidance from the few documents they posted on Monday. At this point, there are WAY more questions than answers.— Brock Blake (@BrockBlake) April 2, 2020
Lenders are begging to get answers like:
-does the bank have to be an SBA-licensed lender to participate? Or just an FDIC bank?
-how does a lender apply to
5/ approved as a PPP lender? On Monday, the guidance said to just send an email to apply, but SBA is saying that’s not correct. The lender needs to complete a new expedited ‘750 application.’— Brock Blake (@BrockBlake) April 2, 2020
I asked when they would release the application (because many lenders are waiting..
6/ ... response to the email they sent. SBA’s answer: soon! 🤨— Brock Blake (@BrockBlake) April 2, 2020
-most lenders are worried they won’t have enough capital to fund the demand, and are asking how quickly they will be ‘reimbursed’ on the loans so they can replenish capital. No answers yet.
-while the low rate is..
7/ ..exactly what the SMBs need, many lenders are opting out of the program because they can’t make enough $ to even service the loans (0.5% per year is VERY skinny).— Brock Blake (@BrockBlake) April 2, 2020
-30m small businesses will be beating down the doors for capital tomorrow ... its a DISASTER waiting to happen.
8/ BOTTOM LINE: the SBA & the Treasury need to quit the power struggle, get aligned, provide REAL guidance (for ALL lenders, business owners, and agents) so that...— Brock Blake (@BrockBlake) April 2, 2020
... we can get much need capital into the hands of SMBs that are suffering right now!
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Update (1420ET): It looks like news wires like Bloomberg and Reuters have gotten a hold of that memo, or at least the details, judging by these headlines.
- IRS COULD TAKE UP TO 20 WEEKS TO ISSUE ALL PAPER CHECKS - HOUSE MEMO
- IRS TO BEGIN ISSUING PAPER CHECKS TO INDIVIDUALS DURING WEEK OF MAY 4 - HOUSE MEMO
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Around the country, millions of Americans are anxiously wondering when their stimulus checks will be arriving, as they hope to God that they have a job to come back to, or that - if they've already been laid off - the government stimulus money manages to save their employers and help them get their jobs back.
But as President Trump has said several times during the White House's daily press briefings, nothing like this has ever been done before. And while it sounds simple, as we explained the other day, handing out $2 trillion (or at least the amount that's been earmarked for unemployment expansion and stimulus checks) is harder than it sounds.
And as the administration continues to string people along - Steven Mnuchin said last week that "our expectation is three weeks" for those who have depository information on file - whispers about the timeline for the payments are seeing the 'whisper timeline' number are seemingly growing in proportion.
And now, CNN is now reporting that instead of the three week timeline that Mnuchin gave last week, which would have resulted in checks going out the week of April 6, the first checks likely won't go out until the week of April 13, and - what's worse - it could as long as 20 weeks for all the stimulus checks to go out, leaving millions of poor and desperate Americans (many of whom voted for President Trump) twisting in the wind.
Americans likely won't begin to see direct payments from the coronavirus stimulus bill until at least April 13 and it could take 20 weeks for all the checks to be mailed, Trump administration officials told lawmakers, according to a House Democratic memo obtained by CNN.
The timeline means tens of millions of Americans will have to wait to get badly needed assistance, despite repeated suggestions from Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin that the money would go out as soon as April 6. He said this past Sunday after passage of the $2.2 trillion stimulus bill that payments would not go out until mid-April.
CNN reported in March that former IRS officials said the wait would likely be weeks or months.
According to the memo cited by CNN, the IRS is expected to make about 60 million payments, likely starting during the week of April 13, for taxpayers who provided their direct deposit information via their 2018 or 2019 tax returns. Three weeks later, the IRS expects to start issuing paper checks to individuals whose bank information isn't already on file, a process that will take significantly longer. House Democrats expect that up to 5 million checks can be issued per week.
For those who don't have tax information on file, the checks will take even longer.
All of the information is based on conversations with Treasury and the IRS, the memo said.
And all of this is after a group of Democratic Senators pushed for a change in guidance that Elizabeth Warren said would get money into the hands of seniors' faster.
I joined @SenatorHassan, @SenSherrodBrown, and 31 other senators in urging @USTreasury Secretary Mnuchin & @SocialSecurity Commissioner Saul to reverse the IRS’s guidance and provide stimulus payments to Social Security beneficiaries even if they don’t file tax returns. pic.twitter.com/5g0NGf6CTx— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) April 1, 2020
The stimulus law signed by President Trump last week stipulates that individuals who earn $75,000 or less will receive $1,200, while couples that make $150,000 or less will receive twice as much, as well as an additional $500 per child. Payments decrease for those who earn more, and individuals earning more than $99k a year will get nothing.
Additionally, CNBC's Kate Rogers reported Thursday after on some issues between the SBA and Treasury about the small-and-medium-sized business section of that bill. "The SBA and Treasury are not on the same page," Rogers said.
Bottom line: If the Trump Administration doesn't figure all of this out quickly, the stimulus bill rollout could become the biggest government debacle since the rollout of healthcare.gov.