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Loans slow down but deposits grow at Community Bank of Santa Maria

Loans slow down but deposits grow at Community Bank of Santa Maria

Brooke Holland

Monday, April 18th, 2022

Total assets and deposits at Community Bank of Santa Maria grew in the first quarter of the fiscal year, even as new loans and net income decreased, the bank announced April 18.

Community Bancorp of Santa Maria, the holding company for Community Bank of Santa Maria, reported its total assets rose to $411.4 million by the end of quarter on March 31, an increase of 15% from a year earlier. Total deposits grew from $326.3 million on March 31, 2021, to $378.2 million a year later.

Net loans dropped 16% year over year, from $249.2 million on March 31, 2021, to $208.5 million a year later. Janet Silveria, the bank’s president and CEO, said loans dropped due to the bank’s participation in the federal Paycheck Protection Program in 2020 and 2021. The bank assisted more than 650 businesses with $81.5 million in loans, she said in a news release.

“As the vast majority of these loans have now applied for and received forgiveness, the loans have been paid off by the SBA resulting in a decline in total loans,” Silveria said.

The bank’s net income was $458,123 for the first quarter, a 19% decline from the first quarter of 2021. Silveria said the bank received “significant fee income” from the PPP loans, which contributed to the decline in net income once the PPP program ended .

The company news release said after adjusting for PPP loan fee income and provisions for loan and lease losses made in the first quarter last year, net income was “essentially flat” from 2021 to 2022.


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Biden Cancels $7 Billion in Federal Student Loans for Disabled Students Through Data-Sharing Program


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On the heels of President Joe Biden officially extending the student loan payment moratorium until August 31 — claiming it “will help Americans breathe a little easier as we recover and rebuild a little from the pandemic — it seems he is also returning hundreds of thousands of disabled borrowers behind on loan payments to good standing.

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The Biden administration recently announced that it has canceled $7 billion in federal student loan debt for some 350,000 borrowers with disabilities through a data-sharing initiative between the Social Security Administration (SSA) and the Education Department.

Through sharing information of individuals who were receiving benefits from the SSA, qualification for the Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) discharge program could be confirmed and student loans automatically cancelled.

TPD discharge is when your obligation to pay your William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program loans, Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program loans, Federal Perkins Loan (Perkins Loan) Program loans, and Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant Program service is discharged due to your total and permanent disability.

In a tweet, Chief Operating Officer of Federal Student Aid (and undefeated five-time Jeopardy! champion) Richard Cordray wrote, “Working together with @SocialSecurity, Federal Student Aid has provided much-needed relief for 350,000 borrowers with approximately $7 billion in student loans.”

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In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, most federal student loans and their interest rates have been paused since March 2020. But after a series of federal student loan payment pauses and extensions by President Biden and former President Trump, advocates were calling for more than short-term solutions.

Although many Republicans and private lenders are lobbying for the president to reinstate federal student loan payments, Democrats and loan forgiveness supporters have been even more vocal in pressing the president to extend payment obligations until the end of the year at least or abolish existing student loan balances altogether.

The Biden administration announced its intent to use this data-sharing initiative to streamline student loan relief for certain disabled borrowers in August 2021. It is believed that the Education Department will be issuing 15,000 to 20,000 TPD discharges every quarter through the initiative. In addition to the data-sharing initiative, Biden is also planning to suspend post-discharge monitoring of employment earnings and overhaul the TPD discharge program’s disability identification application process, according to Forbes.

With approximately 43 million Americans holding student loans and the average borrower owing around $36,000, loan forgiveness would immediately boost the economic health of these individuals and help address racial and economic equity issues. While many are calling for a more comprehensive student loan program rebuild, recent TPD efforts are consistent with the Biden administration’s stated goal of providing “targeted” student loan forgiveness.

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About the Author

David Nadelle is a freelance editor and writer based in Ottawa, Canada. After working in the energy industry for 18 years, he decided to change careers in 2016 and concentrate full-time on all aspects of writing. He recently completed a technical communication diploma and holds previous university degrees in journalism, sociology and criminology. David has covered a wide variety of financial and lifestyle topics for numerous publications and has experience copywriting for the retail industry.


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Santa Clarita Man Sentenced To Over 3 Years In Federal Prison For Fraudulently Obtaining COVID-Relief Loans

Santa Clarita Man Sentenced To Over 3 Years In Federal Prison For Fraudulently Obtaining COVID-Relief Loans

A Santa Clarita man was sentenced Monday to 41 months in federal prison for attempting to steal millions of dollars in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) COVID-relief loans for his companies by submitting fraudulent applications that included fake tax documents and information for non-existent employees .

Raymond Magana, 41, was sentenced by United States District Judge Stanley Blumenfeld Jr., who ordered him to pay $360,415 in restitution. At today’s hearing, Judge Blumenfeld called Magana’s crime “a despicable offense” and noted that Magana exploited a “national emergency” in order to “line his own pockets.”

Magana pleaded guilty in January 2021 to one count of fraud in connection with major disaster or emergency benefits.

In May and June 2020, Magana submitted to banks PPP loan applications that contained false statements about the number of employees and the amount of payroll expenses. Specifically, on June 3, 2020, Magana submitted a PPP loan application to Customer’s Bank for $940,416 for The Building Circle LLC, a company registered in his name.

In that application, Magana falsely claimed the company’s average monthly payroll was $376,167 for 40 workers. Magana admitted to submitting fraudulent tax documents that reported $4,402,000 in annual wages paid to 40 employees in 2019 and $852,000 paid in employee wages during the first quarter of 2020.

See Related: Santa Clarita Man Charged With Fraudulently Obtaining Nearly $2 Million In COVID Loans

IRS and California Employment Development Department records showed that the company never reported paying any employees, and the underwriting packet also did not include a list of employees or associates for the company, according to an affidavit filed with a criminal complaint in this case.

Investigators later determined that the Pico Rivera address given as The Building Circle’s headquarters was a 980-square-foot, single-family home that appeared to be a residence, not a business. Ultimately, the loan application was approved and $940,416 was funded to Magana’s shell company on June 4, 2020, the affidavit states.

Magana also applied for and received a PPP loan of $360,415 for Forward Builders LLC, another shell company, using fake tax documents and false employee information, and falsely claiming $1.73 million in employee wages.

When a bank manager contacted Magana after one of the business accounts receiving PPP funds had been frozen because of suspicious activity, he told the bank “We have all the documents, we got approved,” and he refused to agree to return the improperly obtained PPP funds, the affidavit states. The bank nevertheless kept the $940,416 in defendant’s bank account frozen, and Magana could not access it.

The actual loss from the two loans that were approved and disbursed was $360,415. Prior to today’s sentencing hearing, Magana deposited with the court $360,415 as his restitution payment.

Magana’s business partner, Steven R. Goldstein, 37, of Northridge, is serving a one-year federal prison sentence for committing fraud in connection with major disaster or emergency benefits. Goldstein pleaded guilty in December 2020 to a federal fraud charge and admitted in his plea agreement that he fraudulently obtained $655,000 in PPP loans for his companies by submitting false tax documents and fake employee information.

IRS Criminal Investigation and the Small Business Administration’s Office of Inspector General investigated this case.

Assistant United States Attorney Charles E. Pell of the Santa Ana Branch Office prosecuted this case.

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Number of Loans in Forbearance Approaches the 1% Mark

Number of Loans in Forbearance Approaches the 1% Mark

Nationwide, the number of loans in forbearance decreased by 13 basis points from 1.18% of servicers’ portfolio volume the prior month to just 1.05% as of March 31, 2022. According to the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) monthly Loan Monitoring Survey, an estimated 525,000 US homeowners are currently in forbearance plans.

“March was another month of lower forbearance rates, and a higher share of overall loans and forbearance-related workout loans that are current,” said Marina Walsh, CMB, MBA’s VP of Industry Analysis. “The share of loans in forbearance continues to dwindle and is just five basis points shy of hitting 1%—or 500,000 homeowners—after peaking at 4.3 million borrowers in June 2020. It has been a remarkable recovery for many homeowners in less than two years .”

By loan type, the share of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (GSE) loans in forbearance decreased seven basis points from 0.56% to 0.49%, while Ginnie Mae loans in forbearance decreased 12 basis points from 1.50% to 1.38%. The forbearance share for portfolio loans and private-label securities (PLS) declined 28 basis points from 2.72% to 2.44%.

By stage, 29.7% of total loans in forbearance are in the initial forbearance plan stage, while 57.2% are in a forbearance extension. The remaining 13.1% are forbearance re-entries, including re-entries with extensions.

Despite inflationary concerns and the rise in rates, modest improvements in the employment sector is supporting the rise in forbearance exits, as the US Department of Labor reported that the advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 1.1% for the week ending April 2, unchanged from the previous week’s rate. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending April 2 fell to 1,475,000, a decrease of 48,000 from the previous week’s unrevised level of 1,523,000. The four-week average was 1,511,500, a decrease of 29,750 from the previous week’s unrevised average of 1,541,250.

Of the cumulative forbearance exits for the period from June 1, 2020, through March 31, 2022, at the time of forbearance exit:

  • 29.2% resulted in a loan deferral/partial claim.
  • 18.9% represented borrowers who continued to make their monthly payments during their forbearance period.
  • 17.1% represented borrowers who did not make all of their monthly payments and exited forbearance without a loss mitigation plan in place yet.
  • 15.4% resulted in a loan modification or trial loan modification.
  • 11.4% resulted in reinstatements, in which past-due amounts are paid back when exiting forbearance.
  • 6.7% resulted in loans paid off through either a refinance or by selling the home.
  • The remaining 1.3% resulted in repayment plans, short sales, deed-in-lieus or other reasons.

By region, the five states with the highest share of loans that were current as a percent of servicing portfolio included: Idaho, Washington, Colorado, Utah, and Oregon. Conversely, the five states recording the lowest share of loans that were current as a percent of servicing portfolio were Louisiana, Mississippi, New York, West Virginia, and Oklahoma.

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