SBA 9/11 Economic Injury Disaster Loans were a lifeline for small businesses and their employees after the September 11, 2001 Terror Attacks, but those lifelines are now strangling families who lost their businesses despite the loans. They still have to pay these business disaster loans because the SBA required a personal guarantee from business owners to receive any funds. Families who default on the loans lose their homes (which were required as collateral), are denied federal employment, have their tax refunds and other federal payments seized, and their children are ineligible to borrow federal funds for college. This petition calls on the Obama Administration to forgive 9/11 SBA Disaster Loans for families whose businesses have ceased and who are now personally financially insolvent.
The 9/11 Disaster Loans kept many small businesses afloat, helped the families of employees buy groceries for months. But business owners had to pledge all of their homes and agree to personally pay back these loans, so when the economy didn’t just bounce back after 9/11, and their businesses failed after several months, the individuals and their families were responsible for paying back the government.
Imagine trying to cover your coworkers’ paychecks for one month out of your own pocket. Think about covering that for several months. Former business owners who accepted the 9/11 Disaster Loans are personally responsible for paying back the government tens of thousands of dollars, or even hundreds of thousands of dollars, out of their own pocket.
Some of you might have noticed, but the economy hasn’t been that great over the last twelve years since 9/11. Many of these families are still struggling, and faced with paying the 9/11 Debt, their only other option is bankruptcy, in which case their children are excluded from Federal college loan and grant programs; they can never work for the Federal government; any annual tax refunds are automatically taken from them; any Social Security benefits would be taken; and they are constantly hounded by 3rd party collection agencies hired by the government while penalties and interest on the loan pile on at obscene rates. And in the case of bankruptcy, the government still doesn’t get paid.
It’s not right to punish these families, who had the courage to stand strong in the wake of 9/11 and not just give up on America, their businesses, and their coworkers.
Please take the time to sign this petition. My family is not the only family who is still paying the price of keeping our economy going after the 9/11 Attacks. It’s time for this burden to be lifted, and this debt forgiven.