President Trump last week signed the Family Farmer Relief Act of 2019. The law raises the Chapter 12 debt limit from $4.1 million to $10 million. The bipartisan bill “will help family farmers reorganize after falling on hard times,” according to American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall.
The law allows more farmers the opportunity to qualify under Chapter 12 bankruptcies and gives producers and their creditors a better chance to reorganize and avoid mass liquidation. A recent analysis found the delinquency rates for commercial agricultural loans in both the real estate and non-real estate lending sectors are at a six-year high.
The bill was introduced this spring and passed both chambers of Congress earlier this month. House sponsor, Representative Antonio Delgado of New York, says the changes reflect the increase in land values, as well as the growth over time in the average size of U.S. farming operations and are meant to provide farmers additional options to manage the downturn in the farm economy.