Banks Facing Lawsuits Over Bailout Money

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Congress have authorized multiple bailout funds under the Payment Protection Program (PPP) for many private businesses affected by the sudden shutdowns as a result of the COVID-19 virus. However, it seems that most of that money has gone to companies that did not really need the money, resulting in the fund running out before small businesses could receive it.

Banking corporations such as JP Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo pushed their higher valued clients towards the top of the order for the PPP instead of doing first come first serve which is what the government mandated. The program, which was enacted last month as part of a $2.2 trillion relief package in response to the outbreak, offered loans of as much as $10 million that are guaranteed by the SBA and disbursed by lenders to small businesses. The loans convert to grants if proceeds are used to keep workers on the payroll and cover rent and other approved expenses for about two months, a short-term stopgap designed to help businesses get by until the economy reopens. The push meant the clients that didn’t need the bailout got the money over the smaller companies that desperately needed to stay afloat. This resulted in several lawsuits being filed in Los Angeles to seek the return of these loans. [1]

These issues highlight that some companies might not get the loans they need based on the bank they used. If you are a business owner, check with your bank that you are signed up for the loan itself.

[1] https://www.americanbanker.com/articles/wells-fargo-jpmorgan-among-banks-sued-over-aid-to-small-businesses

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