USDA suspends debt collections for farmers
LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) — Monday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the will be temporarily suspending past-due debt collections and foreclosures under the Farm Storage Facility Loan and the Direct Farm Loan programs.
These suspensions are to assist the farming community as the coronavirus pandemic has financially crippled much of the industry. According to USDA data, more than 12,000 borrowers (about 10%) will benefit from this suspension.
Deadlines for producers to respond to loan servicing actions have been extended, as well, and the Guaranteed Loan program has been made available to lenders.
The USDA is also actively working with the U.S. Attorney’s Office to stop non-judicial foreclosures and evictions that were referred to the Department of Justice.
“USDA and the Biden Administration are committed to bringing relief and support to farmers, ranchers, and producers of all backgrounds and financial status,” said Robert Bonnie, Deputy Chief of Staff, Office of the Secretary. “We are evaluating ways to improve and address farm-related debt with the intent to keep farmers on their farms earning living expenses, providing for emergency needs, and maintaining cash flow.”
The temporary suspension will likely continue until the national COVID-19 disaster declaration is lifted.