The Small Business Loan Review Boards provide an independent review process for small business loan applicants who believe they were unreasonably denied for a small business loan.
What types of loans are eligible for review by the Small Business Loan Review Board?
Small businesses with gross revenues of $1 million or less in the preceding fiscal year can appeal to the Small Business Review Board. Eligible loan types include:
- Lines of credit
- Term loans
- Overdraft protection on corporate accounts
- Corporate credit cards
Requests for the acquisition or refinancing of commercial real estate or investment properties are not eligible for review.
What happens once I file an appeal?
The Commissioner of Banks appoints an employee from the Division of Banks (DOB) to be Small Business Loan Review Board's Administrative Secretary.
- The Administrative Secretary contacts the lender requesting copies of your entire loan package be sent to the DOB.
- Your loan package is presented for review at the Small Business Loan Review Board's next scheduled meeting.
- You are notified by mail of appeal decision.
Who serves on the Small Business Loan Review Boards?
Five members appointed by the Commissioner of Banks serve on each Small Business Loan Review Board.
- 3 members are small business representatives
- 2 members are representatives of bank or bank holding companies
At least 3 of the members of each Small Business Loan Review Board must either live or work within the respective region.
How many Small Business Loan Review Boards are there?
Massachusetts law states that there must be four regional Small Business Loan Review Boards.
- Boston Metropolitan Area Small Business Loan Review Board
- includes Suffolk, Essex, Middlesex, and Norfolk counties
- Southeastern Massachusetts Small Business Loan Review Board
- includes Bristol, Plymouth, Barnstable, Dukes, and Nantucket counties
- Central Massachusetts Small Business Loan Review Board
- includes Worcester County
- Western Massachusetts Small Business Loan Review Board
- includes Franklin, Hampden, Hampshire, and Berkshire counties
What happens during the Small Business Loan Review Board meetings?
Members of the Small Business Loan Review Board review each loan denial to determine if the basis of the denial was unreasonable. Based on the information presented, members vote to agree with the denial to recommend the lender reconsider the loan denial.
Will I have an opportunity to go before the Small Business Loan Review Board when my loan is reviewed?
Neither the applicant nor the lender is present during the Small Business Loan Review Board meeting. You can submit written material related to your application. These written materials will be included in the presented loan package. The decision is based on the information contained in the loan package and any other relevant information presented by you or the lender.
How long does the appeals process take?
The Small Business Loan Review Boards meet on an as needed basis. The meetings depend on the number of appeals awaiting review and the availability of board members.
If the decision is for a lender to reconsider my loan application, does the lender have to approve my loan?
No. The Small Business Loan Review Board can only recommend that a lender reconsider a small business loan denial. This does not guarantee an approval for your loan. However, lenders are encouraged to abide by the appeal decision.
What happens if the Small Business Review Board votes to agree with the lender's decision to deny application?
This ends the matter at the Small Business Loan Review Board level and the appeal is considered closed. However, the Review Board will provide you with information on alternative sources of financing, including information regarding relevant small business financing programs offered by the Commonwealth.
How do I contact the Small Business Loan Review Board?
If you have additional questions about the Small Business Loan Review Board or the appeal process, contact the Division of Banks (DOB). You may also write to the DOB at the address below.
Small Business Loan Review Boards
Division of Banks
1000 Washington Street, 10th Floor
Boston, MA 02118-6400