Small business owners experience problems applying for PPP loan forgiveness

HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. — Melissa Herrmann owns Eat Smart Nutrition Company, a nutrition consulting business that helps people with diabetes control their blood sugar better.

She applied for a Paycheck Protection Program loan. “I was approved immediately for the business loan. It was $4,100,” she said.

As long as she spends 60% of the loan on things like payroll and rent, she doesn’t have to pay back the loan. She told Action 9′s Jason Stoogenke that she did so, and she wants to apply for forgiveness. But, she said she needs a loan number and that her lender, Wells Fargo, hasn’t given it to her.

“I did receive a one-page letter from them that had stated that I was approved, but I never received anything with my loan number,” she said. “I’m ready to submit my forgiveness application and interest is beginning to accrue that I could otherwise have avoided.”

She said she called the bank, but didn’t get the answers she needed.

“It’s just another thing to deal with that we shouldn’t have to deal with as consumers and small business owners,” she said.

So she complained on LinkedIn and found she wasn’t alone. “Holly” posted, “Agree! Having the same issue.” “Helen” said, “I am also in search of the same.” “Abigail” wrote, “Well said. Same issues here.”

So Stoogenke took their concerns to Wells Fargo.

The bank told Stoogenke, “Customers who received a PPP loan through Wells Fargo will have their number automatically pre-filled for them in the application. They will not need to have them ahead of time to be able to apply for forgiveness. It is also important to note that all forgiveness applications for Wells Fargo PPP loans must be submitted using the Wells Fargo PPP loan forgiveness online application, accessible through Wells Fargo Business Online®, or the Commercial Electronic Office® (CEO®). We will notify customers once the online application becomes available.”

In a follow-up email, the bank added, “No payment is due during the deferral period,” which ends on the earlier of:

  • The date when the SBA remits any forgiveness amount to us or determines that the loan is not eligible for forgiveness or;
  • 10 months after the last date of the covered period.

"If the loan is forgiven, any interest accrued during the deferral period is eligible for forgiveness. There are no annual or documentation fees associated with the loan. However, if customers are late on payments after the deferral period, they may be liable for late fees for any portion of the loan that is not forgiven. For each payment of principal, interest, and/or fees that has not been paid in full within 15 (fifteen) days after its due date, they will be assessed a late charge of $15 or five percent (5%) of the amount due, whichever is greater."

Wells Fargo customers may also find answers here.