Due to COVID-19, mediation required under the Farmer-Lender Mediation Act has been extended from 90 days to 150 days before a creditor can enforce a debt or terminate a contract for deed. Producers must be given the option of mediation by a lender, if the lender intends to move against a producer’s agricultural assets used to secure a loan. The extension becomes effective the day following enactment and applies to any mediation request filed before July 31, 2020.
Extending the farmer-lender mediation deadline buys time for farmers who are unable to participate in face-to-face mediations due to public health guidelines. Many rural Minnesota residents don’t have reliable internet options, making alternatives like Zoom or Webex not available or practical for many farmers, which means mediation during this public health crisis is nearly impossible.