* WASHINGTON (3/20/08)--The Small Business Administration (SBA) yesterday released a revised Standard Operating Procedure
manual for lenders and development company loan programs. The document was reorganized and cut to 400 pages from 1,000. The electronic version can be downloaded as a PDF. Though the agency made significant structural changes, policy changes and clarifications to the document were limited ... * WASHINGTON (3/20/08)--The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) has expressed concerns
about commercial real estate (CRE) lending in a financial institution letter.
Given the weakness in the housing market, banks with CRE concentrations should take steps to strengthen their overall risk-management framework and maintain strong capital and loan allowances, said FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair ... * WASHINGTON (3/20/08)--Freddie Mac is looking for comment from the mortgage industry on the Home Valuation Code of Conduct, which provides standards designed to improve appraiser independence. The code is being adopted as a part of a March 3 agreement with the New York Attorney General and the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight. Starting Jan. 1, 2009, the enterprise will buy mortgages only from lenders who adopt the code. Comments most be postmarked by April 30 ... * WASHINGTON (3/20/08)--The U.S. Census Bureau is reminding U.S. businesses which received the 2007 Economic Census form that the forms must be returned within 30 days of receiving it. The old deadline was Feb. 12, and in most cases, the March reminder includes a fresh copy of the required form. Businesses can get help with their form, via the U.S. Census Bureau website
or by calling 800-233-6136 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday...