42 USC 1480 - Administrative powers of Secretary

In carrying out the provisions of this subchapter, the Secretary shall have the power to
(a) Service and supply contracts 
make contracts for services and supplies without regard to the provisions of section 5 of title 41, when the aggregate amount involved is less than $300;
(b) Subordination, subrogation, and other agreements 
enter into subordination, subrogation, or other agreements satisfactory to the Secretary;
(c) Compromise of claims and obligations 
compromise, adjust, reduce, or charge-off claims, and adjust, modify, subordinate, or release the terms of security instruments, leases, contracts, and agreements entered into or administered by the Secretary under this subchapter, as circumstances may require, including the release of borrowers or others obligated on a debt from personal liability with or without payment of any consideration at the time of the compromise, adjustment, reduction, or charge-off of any claim;
(d) Collection of claims and obligations 
collect all claims and obligations arising out of or under any mortgage, lease, contract, or agreement entered into pursuant to this subchapter and, if in his judgment necessary and advisable, to pursue the same to final collection in any court having jurisdiction: Provided, That the prosecution and defense of all litigation under this subchapter shall be conducted under the supervision of the Attorney General and the legal representation shall be by the United States attorneys for the districts, respectively, in which such litigation may arise and by such other attorney or attorneys as may, under law, be designated by the Attorney General; except that

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(1) prosecution and defense of any litigation under section 1472 of this title shall be conducted, at the discretion of the Secretary, by
(A) the United States attorneys for the districts in which the litigation arises and any other attorney that the Attorney General may designate under law, under the supervision of the Attorney General;
(B) the General Counsel of the Department of Agriculture; or
(C) any other attorney with whom the Secretary enters into a contract after a determination by the Secretary that
(i) the attorney will provide competent and cost-effective representation for the Farmers Home Administration; and
(ii) representation by the attorney will either (I) accelerate the process by which a family or person eligible for assistance under section 1472 of this title will be able to purchase and occupy the housing involved; or (II) preserve the quality of the housing involved; and
(2) the Secretary shall annually submit to the Congress a report describing activities carried out under paragraph (1)(C), including the cost of entering into contracts with such attorneys and the savings resulting from expedited foreclosure proceedings;
(e) Purchase of pledged or mortgaged property at foreclosure or other sales; operation, sale or disposition of said property 
bid for and purchase at any foreclosure or other sale or otherwise to acquire the property pledged or mortgaged to secure a loan or other indebtedness owing under this subchapter, to accept title to any property so purchased or acquired, to operate or lease such property for such period as may be necessary or advisable, to protect the interest of the United States therein, to repair and rehabilitate such property, and to sell or otherwise dispose of the property so purchased or acquired by such terms and for such considerations as the Secretary shall determine to be reasonable and to make loans as provided herein to provide adequate farm dwellings and buildings for the purchasers of such property; except that the Secretary may not sell or otherwise dispose of such property unless
(1)  the Secretary assures that such property will meet decent, safe, and sanitary standards, including cost-effective energy conservation standards prescribed under section 1479 (a) of this title,
(2)  the recipient of the property is obligated, as a condition of the sale or other disposition of the property, to meet such standards with respect to the property before such property is occupied, or

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(3)  such recipient is precluded, as a condition of the sale or other disposition of the property, from using the property for residential purposes and the authority of the Secretary under this paragraph includes the authority to transfer section 1472 inventory properties for use as rental or cooperative units under section 1485 of this title with mortgages containing repayment terms with up to fifty years, or for use as rental units under section 1484 of this title with mortgages containing repayment terms with up to 33 years, to private nonprofit organizations, public bodies, or for-profit entities, which have good records of providing low income housing under section 1485 of this title; such a transfer may be made even where rental assistance may be required so long as the authority to provide such assistance is available after taking into account the requirements of section 1490a (d)(1) of this title; where the Secretary determines the transfer will contribute to the provision of housing for very low-income persons and families, the transfer may be made at the lesser of the appraised value or the Farmers Home Administrations investment;
(f) Processing of applications received prior to determination of nonrural status; assistance 
continue processing as expeditiously as possible applications on hand received prior to the time an area has been determined by the Secretary not to be rural or a rural area, as those terms are defined in section 1490 of this title, and make loans or grants to such applicants who are found to be eligible on the same basis as though the area were still rural;
(g) Rules and regulations for written notice of denial or reduction of assistance 
issue rules and regulations which assure that applicants denied assistance under this subchapter or persons or organizations whose assistance under this subchapter is being substantially reduced or terminated are given written notice of the reasons for denial, reduction or termination and are provided at least an opportunity to appeal an adverse decision and to present additional information relevant to that decision to a person, other than the person making the original determination, who has authority to reverse the decision, except that rules issued under this subsection may not exclude from their coverage decisions made by the Secretary that are not based on objective standards contained in published regulations;
(h) Assistance in connection with transfers and assumptions of property for nonrural areas 
notwithstanding that an area ceases, or has ceased, to be rural, in a rural area, or an eligible area, make assistance under this subchapter available for subsequent loans to permit necessary dwelling repairs and rehabilitation and in connection with transfers and assumptions of property securing any loan made, insured, or held by the Secretary or in connection with any property held by the Secretary under this subchapter on the same basis as though the area were still rural;
(i) Utilization of indebtedness 
utilize with respect to the indebtedness arising from loans and payments made under this subchapter, all the powers and authorities given to him under sections 1150 to 1150b of title 12;
(j) Fee inspectors and appraisers 
utilize the services of fee inspectors and fee appraisers to expedite the processing of applications for loans and grants under this subchapter, which services shall be utilized in any case in which a county or district office is unable to expeditiously process such loan and grant applications, and to include the cost of such services in the amount of such loans and grants; and
(k) Rules and regulations 
make such rules and regulations as he deems necessary to carry out the purposes of this subchapter.