Here are some other notes…
Last call for ARC/PLC: If you have not yet enrolled your farms in either the ARC or PLC programs, time is running out rapidly! The signup for these programs will end on August 1st! It is imperative that you contact our office to schedule your appointment to enroll today. If you have enrolled your farms but have not gotten signatures from others receiving a share of the payments on the farm your farm is not enrolled. Farms that are not enrolled in the ARC or PLC programs for 2017 will not be eligible for benefits if they should become available. Call us today!
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Farm loan graduation reminder: FSA Direct Loans are considered a temporary source of credit that is available to producers who do not meet normal underwriting criteria for commercial banks. FSA periodically conducts Direct Loan graduation reviews to determine a borrower’s ability to graduate to commercial credit. If the borrower’s financial condition has improved to a point where they can refinance their debt with commercial credit, they will be asked to obtain other financing and partially or fully pay off their FSA debt. By the end of a producer’s operating cycle, the Agency will send a letter requesting a current balance sheet, actual financial performance and a projected farm budget. The borrower has 30 days to return the required financial documents. This information will be used to evaluate the borrower’s potential for refinancing to commercial credit.
If a borrower meets local underwriting criteria, FSA will send the borrower’s name, loan type, balance sheet and projected cash flow to commercial lenders. The borrower will be notified when loan information is sent to local lenders. If any lenders are interested in refinancing the borrower’s loan, FSA will send the borrower a letter with a list of lenders that are interested in refinancing the loan. The borrower must contact the lenders and complete an application for commercial credit within 30 calendar days. If a commercial lender rejects the borrower, the borrower must obtain written evidence that specifies the reasons for rejection and submit to their local FSA farm loan office. If a borrower fails to provide the requested financial information or to graduate, FSA will notify the borrower of noncompliance, FSA’s intent to accelerate the loan, and appeal rights.
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Supervised credit: Farm Service Agency (FSA) Farm Loan programs are considered supervised credit. Unlike loans from a commercial lender, FSA loans are intended to be temporary in nature. Therefore, it is our goal to help you graduate to commercial credit, and our farm loan staff is available to help borrowers through training and credit counseling. The FSA team will help borrowers identify their goals to ensure financial success. Through this process, FSA staff will advise borrowers in developing strategies and a plan to meet your operation’s goals and graduate to commercial credit. Ultimately, the borrower is responsible for the success of the farming operation, but FSA’s staff will help in an advisory role to provide the tools necessary to help you achieve your operational goals and manage your finances. For more information on FSA farm loan programs, visit www.fsa.usda.gov.
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Communications is key in lending: Farm Service Agency (FSA) is committed to providing our farm loan borrowers the tools necessary to be a success. A part of ensuring this success is providing guidance and counsel from the loan application process through the borrower’s graduation to commercial lending institutions. While it is FSA’s commitment to advise borrowers as they identify goals and evaluate progress, it is crucial for borrowers to communicate with their farm loan staff when changes occur. It is the borrower’s responsibility to alert FSA to any of the following:
Any proposed or significant changes in the farming operation;
Any significant changes to family income or expenses;
The development of problem situations;
Any losses or proposed significant changes in security
In addition, if a farm loan borrower cannot make payments to suppliers, other creditors, or FSA on time, contact your farm loan staff immediately to discuss loan servicing options. For more information on FSA farm loan programs, visit www.fsa.usda.gov.
Diana Strouse is the county executive director for the Huron and Erie County Farm Service Agency. For more information, call the agency at 419-668-4113.