Billy Carter reportedly told the Justice Department in June that his loan from the Libyans called for 10 percent interest, and no payment of the principal, for a two-year period.
After that, the president's brother was quoted as saying, the loan was to be renegotiated.
The terms of the loan, which Billy Carter has refused to disclose publicly, were recounted yesterday by Rep. Harold L. Volkmer (D-Mo.) after an inspection of Justice Department records in the case.
According to a New York Banker, who asked not to be identified, "by the experience of commercial banks, the terms that were extended were extraordinary."
Billy Carter has admitted receiving a total of $220,000 from Libyan government officials. That admission first came in a June 11 interview under prodding by Justice Department officials who had learned of the payments from other sources. At the time of the interview, Billy Carter characterized only $200,000 of the total as a loan.
The $200,000 was paid to him on a check dated April 7 and transmitted to him a few days later, through an intermediary, by the chief Libyan diplomat here, Ali Houderi.
On April 7, corporations with the best credit rating were paying about 20 percent for loans tied to the prime rate. Corporations with slightly lower credit ratings were paying more.
According to Volkmer, Billy Carter said he put up his gas station in Plans, Ga., whatever equity he had in his house and some other property as collateral for the loan.
Subsequently, in the registration statement he filed July 14 as a foreign agent for the Libyans, Billy Carter described the entire $220,000 he got as a loan, although no loan agreement had been executed.
Billy Carter had contended in the June 11 interview that the other $20,000 had been partial reimbursement for $40,000 in expenses that he had incurred on behalf of the government of Col. Muammar Qaddafi.
Justice Department lawyers have refused to accept Carter's shifting explanations, and have characterized the entire $220,000 as "compensation" for Carter's promotional work for the Libyans.
Volkmer said the word "loan" was jotted down on the April 7 check, drawn on a Libyan account at the Riggs National Bank here and also contained in the Justice Department records. The other check, for $20,000, which was picked up for Billy Carter on Dec. 27, 1979, was not among the documents.
Members of the House Judiciary and Foreign Affairs committees scurried in and out of the Judiciary Committee's offices yesterday to inspect the Justice Department records for a brief six-hour span.
The four volumes of documents, two classified and two unclassified, had originally been turned over to the committees Tuesday in response to a proposed resolution of inquiry into Billy's Libyan ties. But Justice Department officials abruptly took the records back Tuesday evening, triggering sharp protests from both Democrats and Republicans who had little chance to inspect them.
"If this administration wants to come before the American public and say 'we're being forthcoming,' I don't see how you can achieve that by cutting off members of this committee," protested Rep. Elizabeth Holzman (D-N.Y.), a member of House Judiciary.
justice Department officials relented yesterday and sent the documents back to Capitol Hill for a final 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. peek. At one point, there were at least 13 members of Congress in the room trying to read the 12 volumes (three sets of four volumes each) that were available.
A Judiciary Committee spokesman said he did not expect these records to be returned again until the full House acts on the resolution of inquiry later this month.
In recommending adoption of the resolution, however, the Judiciary Committee said in a report filed yesterday that it expects President Carter to submit all the other documents sought, primarily White House and State Department records, for a similar "review" before the House vote. (The Foreign Affairs Committee has also endursed the resolution.)
Rep. Hamilton Fish Jr. (R-N.Y.) said he fully expects the House Judiciary Committee to launch hearings once the resolution of inquiry -- in itself, simply a demand for records -- is adopted. After looking at the Justice Department documents yesterday, he said "there are a lot of matters to be explored" concerning the Justice Department's handling of the Billy Carter case.