More Minn. farmers, lenders using debt mediation

AP News
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Posted: Nov 09, 2009 11:15 AM

The University of Minnesota Extension Service reports that an increasing number of farmers and lenders are using mediation to resolve farm debt issues.

Low livestock prices and ripple effects from the general economy are contributing to the increase in troubled farm loans.

The Farmer-Lender Mediation program's annual report says that for the 12 months prior Oct. 1, there was a 55 percent increase in notices filed by lenders for loans eligible for mediation, totaling 3,107. These notices resulted in 1,192 requests for mediation, an 86 percent increase.

The report found 422 notices that led to agreements. For an additional 533 notices, farmers and lenders are still in mediation.

The total debt involved in mediation was $322 million, more than double the 2008 level.