Resolving Credit Issues
Armed with the knowledge of what you can pay, and with the help of a trained mediator, you can set up a plan to resolve old debts and get back to doing what you do best: growing food for all of us.
Farmers sometimes find themselves in a catch-22 situation, where they need to obtain supplies or equipment to get crops in the ground, yet don't currently have the operating capital to cover those expenses. A loan from USDA Farm Service Agency or other lender can help fill that gap, and the loan officer will work with the farmer to determine a workable loan and payment amount. But there may still be a problem: the farmer has outstanding debts that must be addressed to qualify for the loan.
Old debts can be intimidating, especially if a number of creditors are involved. It may seem painful and insurmountable. Some debts may be so old they've been sold to a collection agency that tried for several years to extract payment. While the farmer may have "forgotten" about those old accounts, credit rating businesses have a long memory and that history informs a decision by the loan officer about whether they can help get you through this gap.
Mediators with the Agricultural Mediation Programs can help farmers and creditors come up with a payment plan that will work for everyone. During an initial meeting or phone call, the mediator will explain the process and what information they will need, but farmers can help ensure success by taking the following steps. [read more...]