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Members, officers, and employees may accept opportunities and benefits that are “in the form of loans from banks and other financial institutions on terms generally available to the public” (House Rule XXV, clause 5(a)(3)(R)(v)). In addition, as reflected in a Committee advisory memorandum of May 23, 1997, a copy of which is reprinted in the appendix, the Committee has determined that Members and staff may accept a loan from a person other than a financial institution, provided that the loan is on commercially reasonable terms, including requirements for repayment and a reasonable rate of interest. That determination was based on a separate provision of the gift rule, clause 5(a)(3)(A), which allows the acceptance of “[a]nything for which the Member, . . . officer, or employee pays the market value.”
Whether a loan from a person other than a financial institution is on terms that are “commercially reasonable,” and hence acceptable under the Committee’s determination, will depend on a number of facts and circumstances. Thus, before entering into a loan arrangement with a person other than a financial institution, Members and staff should contact the Committee for a review of the proposed terms, and a determination by the Committee on whether the loan is acceptable under the gift rule.