Farm Service Agency switches to phone-only appointments and streamlines lending process | Local News | Auburn, New York State | Auburnpub.com

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Citizen staff

USDA’s Farm Service Agency is making it easier for growers to get loans as it switches to conducting business over the phone to limit personal contact during the coronavirus pandemic.

The agency recently announced that the county FSA offices are open in New York by telephone appointment only until further notice, and staff are available to continue to assist agricultural producers with program registrations, the loan service and other needs. While program delivery staff continue to visit offices, they will work with farmers over the phone and use emails and online tools where possible.

In addition, the FSA is making the lending process more flexible and adding flexibilities for servicing direct and guaranteed loans to provide credit to producers in need.

The FSA said it was extending timelines for producers to respond to loan management actions, including consideration of loan deferral for financially distressed and delinquent borrowers, and would temporarily suspend loan accelerations, foreclosures non-judicial and referral of seizures to the Ministry of Justice.

The agency will consider a temporary deferral of payment when borrowers do not have a workable plan reflecting that family living expenses, operating expenses and debt can be repaid, and a temporary forbearance consideration for them. borrowers in the event of loan liquidation and foreclosure.

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“FSA’s programs and loans are essential for farmers and ranchers in New York City, and we want to continue our work with clients while taking precautionary measures to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus,” said the FSA executive director Clark Putman in a statement. “We recognize that farm loans are essential for annual family living and operating expenses, emergency needs, and cash flow at times like this. The FSA strives to find and use all options and flexibilities to provide producers with credit options and other program benefits. “

The FSA will accept additional forms and requests by fax or electronic signature. Certain services are also available online for customers with an eAuth account, which provides access to the farms.gov portal where producers can view USDA agricultural loan information and payments and view and track certain applications and payments. of the USDA program.

The FSA encourages producers to contact their county office to discuss these programs and the temporary changes to farm loan terms and available loan service options. For contact information for the service center, visit farmer.gov/coronavirus.


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