In North Dakota the Department of Agriculture is responsible for the North Dakota Mediation Service. The service helps financially distressed farmers and ranchers through assistance with credit and financial matters and resolving disputes. These mediations are facilitated by independent mediators or credit counselors.
“While our partnership helps with the financial aspects, farmers and ranchers should know that services are available to help deal with the mental and emotional toll,” said Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring. And that’s the traditional role of a good credit counseling agency.
Farm debt mediation is a very old process. It’s even a solution implemented in other countries like Canada and Australia.
To see if such credit counseling opportunities are available in your state I would suggest you contact your state Department of Agriculture.
These historically active programs are continuing and these departments actively encourage farmers to engage in debt settlement with their creditors. In fact the Rural Housing Service promotes debt settlement.
The United States Department of Agriculture even provides credit counseling through their farm loans programs.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) has the responsibility of providing credit counseling and supervision to its direct borrowers by making a thorough assessment of the farming operation. Here is a link to the FSA offices.
While this might not be a perfect opportunity for your credit counseling agency, it’s an opportunity worth investigating.
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