USDA’s Farm Service Agency county offices are open in Delaware by phone appointment only until further notice. FSA staff are available to continue helping agricultural producers with program signups, loan servicing and other important actions.
The agency also is relaxing the loan-making process, and adding flexibility for servicing direct and guaranteed loans to provide credit to producers in need.
While program delivery staff will continue to come into to the office, they will be working with agricultural producers by phone, and using email and online tools whenever possible.
“FSA programs and loans are critical to Delaware farmers, and we want to continue our work with customers while taking precautionary measures to help prevent the spread of coronavirus,” said Sean McKeon, FSA state executive director. “We recognize that farm loans are critical for annual operating and family living expenses, emergency needs and cash flow through times like this. FSA is working to find and use every option and flexibility to provide producers with credit options and other program benefits.”
FSA is delivering programs and services including: farm loans; commodity loans; the Farm Storage Facility Loan program; disaster assistance programs, including signup for the Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program Plus (this includes producers now eligible because of losses due to drought and excess moisture in 2018 and 2019); safety net programs, including 2020 signup for the Agriculture Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage programs; conservation programs; and acreage reports.
FSA is relaxing the loan-making process, including: extending the deadline for applicants to complete farm loan applications; preparing direct loan documents even if FSA is unable to complete lien and record searches because of closed government buildings (once those searches are complete, FSA would close the loan); and closing loans if the required lien position on the primary security is perfected, even for loans that require additional security and those lien searches, filings and recordings cannot be obtained because of closed government buildings.
FSA is extending deadlines for producers to respond to loan servicing actions, including loan deferral consideration for financially distressed and delinquent borrowers.
FSA will temporarily suspend loan accelerations, nonjudicial foreclosures, and referring foreclosures to the Department of Justice. The U.S. Attorney’s Office will make the determination whether to stop foreclosures and evictions on accounts under its jurisdiction.
For more information, go to www.farmers.gov/coronavirus.