More than 12,000 farmers and livestock producers got a reprieve Wednesday from USDA pursuing actions against them on loan debts and foreclosures.
USDA on Wednesday announced it will temporarily suspend past-due debt collection and foreclosures for distressed farmer-borrowers under its Farm Storage Facility Loan and its Direct Farm Loan programs run by the Farm Service Agency.
USDA stated it would suspend "non-judicial foreclosures, debt offset or wage garnishments," as well as
suspend referring loan foreclosures to the Department of Justice. USDA also stated it would work with federal attorneys to stop judicial foreclosures and evictions that had been in the process of being pursued. USDA will extend deadlines for farmers and livestock producers to respond to loan-servicing actions and consider loan deferrals for financially stressed and delinquent borrowers.
USDA stated the action would affect more than 12,000 borrowers, or roughly 10% of all FSA borrowers. The suspension is in place "until further notice" as the national disaster declaration for COVID-19 remains in place.
Vilsack Confirmation Hearing Next Week
With the U.S. Senate's power-sharing agreement worked out, the Senate Agriculture Committee chair and ranking member on Wednesday set 9:30 Central, on Feb. 2 for Tom Vilsack's confirmation hearing to be Agriculture secretary.
Vilsack was nominated by President Joe Biden to return to the position he held for eight years under former President Barack Obama.
The hearing will be closed to the general public but will be livestreamed through the Senate Agriculture Committee's website.
Chris Clayton can be reached at Chris.Clayton@dtn.com
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