The question of whether accountants, lawyers, and other consultants are entitled to “agent fees” for helping small businesses obtain loans under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), a creature of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the CARES Act), has become a major source of litigation for lenders across the country. In the first decision on this issue, handed down last week, a federal district court judge out of the Eleventh Circuit dismissed a complaint filed by a CPA firm against several lenders. The court ruled that the plain language of the CARES Act and its implementing regulations do not require that lenders pay a fee to borrowers’ agents. Accordingly, the court held that, absent an agreement between the parties regarding fees, the CPA firm could not state a claim for relief against the lenders.
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