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Archive for Tuesday, October 18, 2005

One of every $5 in 9-11 direct loans in default

October 18, 2005

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— Roughly $1 of every $5 in loans the Small Business Administration directly made to companies hurt by the 9-11 attacks has fallen into default, leaving the government with an uphill effort to recover millions of dollars in taxpayer money.

The agency is just now learning about the magnitude of businesses that went under or stopped making payments. Its 9-11 direct disaster loan program often gave recipients two years before their first payments were due, according to documents reviewed by The Associated Press.

The SBA directly lent $1.2 billion to more than 10,000 companies that made specific arguments about how their businesses were hurt by the suicide hijackings in 2001 that destroyed the World Trade Center in New York and damaged the Pentagon in suburban Washington. A plane bound for Washington crashed in rural Pennsylvania.

Of that amount, $245 million is in default, the records show. The SBA investigators consider a loan in default if it has been charged off or liquidated or is more than 60 days delinquent.

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