[USC02] 7 USC CHAPTER 50, SUBCHAPTER II: OPERATING LOANS
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7 USC CHAPTER 50, SUBCHAPTER II: OPERATING LOANS
From Title 7—AGRICULTURECHAPTER 50—AGRICULTURAL CREDIT

SUBCHAPTER II—OPERATING LOANS

§1941. Persons eligible for loans

(a) In general

(1) Eligibility requirements

The Secretary may make and insure loans under this subchapter to farmers and ranchers in the United States, and to farm cooperatives and private domestic corporations, partnerships, joint operations, trusts, limited liability companies, and such other legal entities as the Secretary considers appropriate, that are controlled by farmers and ranchers and engaged primarily and directly in farming or ranching in the United States, subject to the conditions specified in this section. To be eligible for such loans, applicants who are individuals, or, in the case of cooperatives, corporations, partnerships, joint operations, trusts, limited liability companies, and such other legal entities, individuals holding a majority interest in such entity, must (A) be citizens of the United States, (B) for direct loans only, have either training or farming experience that the Secretary determines is sufficient to assure reasonable prospects of success in the proposed farming operations, taking into consideration all farming experience of the applicant, without regard to any lapse between farming experiences, (C) be or will become operators of not larger than family farms (or in the case of cooperatives, corporations, partnerships, joint operations, trusts, limited liability companies, and such other legal entities in which a majority interest is held by individuals who are related by blood or marriage, as defined by the Secretary, such individuals must be or will become either owners or operators of not larger than a family farm and at least one such individual must be or will become an operator of not larger than a family farm or, in the case of holders of the entire interest who are related by blood or marriage and all of whom are or will become farm operators, the ownership interest of each such holder separately constitutes not larger than a family farm, even if their interests collectively constitute larger than a family farm, as defined by the Secretary), and (D) be unable to obtain sufficient credit elsewhere to finance their actual needs at reasonable rates and terms, taking into consideration prevailing private and cooperative rates and terms in the community in or near which the applicant resides for loans for similar purposes and periods of time. In addition to the foregoing requirements of this subsection, in the case of corporations, partnerships, joint operations, trusts, limited liability companies, and such other legal entities, the family farm requirement of subparagraph (C) of the preceding sentence shall apply as well to the farm or farms in which the entity has an operator interest and the requirement of subparagraph (D) of the preceding sentence shall apply as well to the entity in the case of cooperatives, corporations, partnerships, joint operations, trusts, limited liability companies, and such other legal entities.

(2) Special rule

An entity that is an operator described in paragraph (1) that is owned, in whole or in part, by other entities, shall be considered to meet the direct ownership requirement imposed under paragraph (1) if at least 75 percent of the ownership interests of each embedded entity of the entity is owned directly or indirectly by the individuals that own the family farm.

(b) Rural youths in 4–H Clubs, Future Farmers of America, etc.

(1) Loans may also be made under this subchapter without regard to the requirements of clauses (2) and (3) of subsection (a) to youths to enable them to operate enterprises in connection with their participation in 4–H Clubs, Future Farmers of America, and similar organizations.

(2) A person receiving a loan under this subsection who executes a promissory note therefor shall thereby incur full personal liability for the indebtedness evidenced by such note in accordance with its terms free of any disability of minority.

(3) For loans under this subsection the Secretary may accept the personal liability of a cosigner of the promissory note in addition to the borrowers' personal liability.

(4) Youth enterprises not farming or ranching.—The operation of an enterprise by a youth under this subsection shall not be considered the operation of a farm or ranch under this chapter.

(5) Equitable considerations for default.—

(A) Debt forgiveness.—

(i) In general.—The Secretary may, on a case-by-case basis, provide debt forgiveness to a borrower for a loan made under this subsection if the borrower was unable to timely repay the loan due to circumstances beyond the control of the borrower, as determined by the Secretary, including any natural disaster, act of terrorism, or other man-made disaster that results in an inordinate level of damage or disruption severely affecting the borrower.

(ii) Eligibility for future loans.—Notwithstanding any other provision of law, debt forgiveness provided under this subparagraph shall not be used by any Federal agency in determining the eligibility of the borrower for any loan made or guaranteed by the agency.


(B) Education loans.—Notwithstanding any other provision of law, if a borrower becomes delinquent or is provided with debt forgiveness with respect to a youth loan made under this subsection, the borrower shall not become ineligible, as a result of the delinquency or debt forgiveness, to receive loans and loan guarantees from the Federal Government to pay for education expenses of the borrower.

(c) Direct loans

(1) In general

Subject to paragraphs (3) and (4), the Secretary may make a direct loan under this subchapter only to a farmer or rancher who—

(A) is a qualified beginning farmer or rancher;

(B) has not received a previous direct operating loan made under this subchapter; or

(C) has received a previous direct operating loan made under this subchapter during 6 or fewer years.

(2) Definition of direct operating loan

In this subsection, the term "direct operating loan" does not include—

(A) a loan made to a youth under subsection (b); or

(B) a microloan made to a beginning farmer or rancher or a veteran farmer or rancher (as defined in section 2279(e) 1 of this title).

(3) Transition rule

If, as of April 4, 1996, a farmer or rancher has received a direct operating loan under this subchapter during each of 4 or more previous years, the borrower shall be eligible to receive a direct operating loan under this subchapter during 3 additional years after April 4, 1996.

(4) Waivers

(A) Farm and ranch operations on tribal lands

The Secretary shall waive the limitation under paragraph (1)(C) or (3) for a direct loan made under this subchapter to a farmer or rancher whose farm or ranch land is subject to the jurisdiction of an Indian tribe and whose loan is secured by 1 or more security instruments that are subject to the jurisdiction of an Indian tribe if the Secretary determines that commercial credit is not generally available for such farm or ranch operations.

(B) Other farm and ranch operations

On a case-by-case determination not subject to administrative appeal, the Secretary may grant a borrower a waiver, 1 time only for a period of 2 years, of the limitation under paragraph (1)(C) or (3) for a direct operating loan if the borrower demonstrates to the satisfaction of the Secretary that—

(i) the borrower has a viable farm or ranch operation;

(ii) the borrower applied for commercial credit from at least 2 commercial lenders;

(iii) the borrower was unable to obtain a commercial loan (including a loan guaranteed by the Secretary); and

(iv) the borrower successfully has completed, or will complete within 1 year, borrower training under section 2006a of this title (from which requirement the Secretary shall not grant a waiver under section 2006a(f) of this title).

(5) Annual report on term limits on direct operating loans

(A) In general

The Secretary shall prepare a report annually that describes—

(i) the status of the direct operating loan program of the Department of Agriculture; and

(ii) the impact of term limits on direct loan borrowers.

(B) Demographic information

(i) In general

The report shall provide a demographic breakdown, on a State-by-State basis, of—

(I) all direct loan borrowers; and

(II) borrowers that have reached the eligibility limit for direct lending programs during the previous calendar year.

(ii) Demographic information

The available demographic information shall include, to the maximum extent practicable, a description of race or ethnicity, gender, age, type of farm or ranch, financial classification, number of years of indebtedness, veteran status, and other similar information, as determined by the Secretary.

(C) Additional content

In addition to information described in subparagraph (B), the report shall provide—

(i) a demographic analysis of the borrowers impacted by term limits;

(ii) information on the conditions impacting the direct lending portfolio of the Department of Agriculture, including impacts by region and agriculture sector, and credit availability within those regions and sectors;

(iii) to the maximum extent practicable, information on the status of borrower operations impacted by term limits; and

(iv) recommendations, if appropriate, to address any identifiable unmet credit needs.

(D) Submission

The Secretary shall—

(i) annually submit to the Committee on Agriculture of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry of the Senate a copy of the report; and

(ii) make the report available to the public, including posting the report on the website of the Department of Agriculture.

(Pub. L. 87–128, title III, §311, Aug. 8, 1961, 75 Stat. 310; Pub. L. 92–419, title I, §120(a), Aug. 30, 1972, 86 Stat. 665; Pub. L. 95–334, title I, §114, Aug. 4, 1978, 92 Stat. 425; Pub. L. 97–98, title XVI, §1601(b), Dec. 22, 1981, 95 Stat. 1346; Pub. L. 99–198, title XIII, §§1301(a), 1302(b), 1303, Dec. 23, 1985, 99 Stat. 1518, 1519; Pub. L. 104–127, title VI, §§611, 661(f), Apr. 4, 1996, 110 Stat. 1087, 1107; Pub. L. 105–277, div. A, §101(a) [title VIII, §805(2)], Oct. 21, 1998, 112 Stat. 2681, 2681-39; Pub. L. 107–171, title V, §§5101, 5302(a), May 13, 2002, 116 Stat. 343, 344; Pub. L. 110–234, title V, §5101, May 22, 2008, 122 Stat. 1146; Pub. L. 110–246, §4(a), title V, §5101, June 18, 2008, 122 Stat. 1664, 1907; Pub. L. 113–79, title V, §§5101–5104, 5106(b)(1), Feb. 7, 2014, 128 Stat. 834–836, 838.)

References in Text

This chapter, referred to in subsec. (b)(4), was in the original "this title", meaning title III of Pub. L. 87–128, Aug. 8, 1961, 75 Stat. 307, known as the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act, which is classified principally to this chapter. For complete classification of title III to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 1921 of this title and Tables.

Section 2279(e) of this title, referred to in subsec. (c)(2)(B), was redesignated section 2279(a) of this title by section 12301(b)(3) of Pub. L. 115–334.

Codification

Pub. L. 110–234 and Pub. L. 110–246 made identical amendments to this section. The amendments by Pub. L. 110–234 were repealed by section 4(a) of Pub. L. 110–246.

Amendments

2014—Subsec. (a)(1). Pub. L. 113–79, §5101(1)–(5), designated existing provisions as par. (1) and inserted heading, in first sentence, substituted "limited liability companies, and such other legal entities as the Secretary considers appropriate," for "and limited liability companies", in second sentence, redesignated pars. (1) to (4) as subpars. (A) to (D), respectively, and substituted "limited liability companies, and such other legal entities" for "and limited liability companies" in two places, and, in third sentence, substituted "limited liability companies, and such other legal entities" for "and limited liability companies" in two places, "subparagraph (C)" for "clause (3)" and "subparagraph (D)" for "clause (4)".

Subsec. (a)(2). Pub. L. 113–79, §5101(6), added par. (2).

Subsec. (b)(1). Pub. L. 113–79, §5102, struck out "who are rural residents" after "youths".

Subsec. (b)(5). Pub. L. 113–79, §5103, added par. (5).

Subsec. (c)(2). Pub. L. 113–79, §5106(b)(1), added par. (2) and struck out former par. (2). Prior to amendment, text read as follows: "In this subsection, the term 'direct operating loan' shall not include a loan made to a youth under subsection (b) of this section."

Subsec. (c)(5). Pub. L. 113–79, §5104, added par. (5).

2008Pub. L. 110–246, §5101, inserted section catchline and, in subsec. (a), inserted heading, substituted "The Secretary may" for "The Secretary is authorized to" in introductory provisions, and inserted ", taking into consideration all farming experience of the applicant, without regard to any lapse between farming experiences" after "farming operations" in cl. (2).

2002—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 107–171, §5302(a), substituted "joint operations, trusts, and limited liability companies" for "and joint operations" wherever appearing.

Subsec. (c)(1). Pub. L. 107–171, §5101(1)(A), substituted "paragraphs (3) and (4)" for "paragraph (3)" in introductory provisions.

Subsec. (c)(1)(A). Pub. L. 107–171, §5101(1)(B), struck out "who has not operated a farm or ranch, or who has operated a farm or ranch for not more than 5 years" before semicolon.

Subsec. (c)(4). Pub. L. 107–171, §5101(2), added par. (4).

1998—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 105–277 inserted "for direct loans only," before "have either" in cl. (2).

1996—Subsec. (b)(1). Pub. L. 104–127, §661(f), struck out "and for the purposes specified in section 1942 of this title" before period at end.

Subsec. (b)(4). Pub. L. 104–127, §611(b), added par. (4).

Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 104–127, §611(a), added subsec. (c) and struck out former subsec. (c) which read as follows: "The Secretary may not restrict eligibility for loans made or insured under this subchapter for purposes set forth in section 1942 of this title solely to borrowers of loans that are outstanding on December 23, 1985."

1985—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 99–198, §1301(a), substituted—

(1) ", partnerships, and joint operations" for "and partnerships" wherever appearing after "corporations";

(2) ", partnerships, and joint operations" for ", and partnerships" wherever appearing after "corporations"; and

(3) "individuals" for "members, stockholders, or partners, as applicable," wherever appearing.

Pub. L. 99–198, §1303, in cl. (3) parenthetical, inserted provision treating blood or marriage related owner-operators of the entire farm interest as separate interest holders of not larger than family farms though collective ownership constitutes a larger than a family farm.

Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 99–198, §1302(b), added subsec. (c).

1981—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 97–98 substituted "corporations and partnerships, the family farm" for "cooperatives, corporations, and partnerships, the family farm" and "as well to the entity in the case of cooperatives, corporations, and partnerships" for "as well to the entity".

1978Pub. L. 95–334 substituted provisions setting forth eligibility criteria for loans to farmers and ranchers in the United States, and to farm cooperatives and private domestic corporations and partnerships controlled by farmers and ranchers and engaged primarily and directly in farming or ranching in the United States, for provisions setting forth eligibility criteria for loans to farmers and ranchers in the United States, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.

1972Pub. L. 92–419 designated existing provisions as subsec. (a) and added subsec. (b).

Effective Date of 2008 Amendment

Amendment of this section and repeal of Pub. L. 110–234 by Pub. L. 110–246 effective May 22, 2008, the date of enactment of Pub. L. 110–234, see section 4 of Pub. L. 110–246, set out as an Effective Date note under section 8701 of this title.

Effective Date of 1996 Amendment

Amendment by section 611 of Pub. L. 104–127 effective 90 days after Apr. 4, 1996, and amendment by section 661(f) of Pub. L. 104–127 effective Apr. 4, 1996, see section 663(a), (b) of Pub. L. 104–127, set out as a note under section 1922 of this title.

Effective Date of 1981 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 97–98 effective Dec. 22, 1981, see section 1801 of Pub. L. 97–98, set out as an Effective Date note under section 4301 of this title.

Farm Operating Loan Eligibility

Pub. L. 106–224, title II, §255, June 20, 2000, 114 Stat. 424, provided that: "During the period beginning on the date of the enactment of this Act [June 20, 2000] and ending on December 31, 2002—

"(1) sections 311(c) and 319 of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act (7 U.S.C. 1941(c), 1949) shall have no force or effect; and

"(2) in making direct loans under subtitle B of that Act (7 U.S.C. 1941 et seq.), the Secretary shall give priority to a qualified beginning farmer or rancher who has not operated a farm or ranch, or who has operated a farm or ranch for not more than 5 years."

Authority of Secretary To Make or Guarantee Certain Loans

Pub. L. 104–134, title II, §2002, Apr. 26, 1996, 110 Stat. 1321–313, provided that: "Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Secretary of Agriculture is hereby authorized to make or guarantee an operating loan under Subtitle B [7 U.S.C. 1941 et seq.] or an emergency loan under Subtitle C [7 U.S.C. 1961 et seq.] of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act (7 U.S.C. 1922 et. seq.), as in effect prior to April 4, 1996, to a loan applicant who was less than 90 days delinquent on April 4, 1996, if the loan applicant had submitted an application for the loan prior to April 5, 1996."

1989 Farm Operating Loans

Pub. L. 101–82, title III, §302, Aug. 14, 1989, 103 Stat. 582, provided that:

"(a) Direct Credit.—To the maximum extent practicable, the Secretary of Agriculture shall ensure that direct operating loans made or insured under subtitle B of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act (7 U.S.C. 1941 et seq.) for 1990 crop production are made available to farmers and ranchers suffering major losses due to excess moisture, freeze, storm, or related condition occurring in 1989 or drought or related condition occurring in 1988 or 1989, as authorized under existing law and under regulations of the Secretary that implement the objective of enabling farmers and ranchers to stay in business.

"(b) Loan Guarantees.—

"(1) In general.—Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Secretary shall make available in fiscal year 1990 guarantees to commercial or cooperative lenders for loans under subtitle B of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act [7 U.S.C. 1941 et seq.], to refinance and reamortize 1989 operating loans, or 1989 or 1990 installments due and payable on real estate debt, farm equipment or building (including storage facilities) debt, livestock loans, or other operating debt, of farmers and ranchers that otherwise cannot be repaid due to major losses incurred by such farmers or ranchers as a result of excess moisture, freeze, storm, or related condition occurring in 1989 or drought or related condition occurring in 1988 or 1989.

"(2) Reamortization.—Each fiscal year 1990 guaranteed loan for 1988 or 1989 natural disaster purposes, as described in paragraph (1), shall contain terms and conditions governing the reamortization of the debt of the farmer or rancher that will provide the farmer or rancher a reasonable opportunity to continue to receive new operating credit while repaying the guaranteed loan, as determined by the Secretary.

"(3) Eligibility.—Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any person eligible to receive payments under subtitle A of title I [7 U.S.C. 1421 note] shall be deemed eligible to have guaranteed, in accordance with this subsection, loans made to such person by a commercial or cooperative lender to refinance installment payments that are or become due and payable during 1989 or 1990, as described in paragraph (1), except that, to be deemed eligible to have such loan guaranteed, the person must otherwise—

"(A) be current in the person's obligation to the commercial or cooperative lender that agrees to accept the guarantee in consideration of allowing the person to make the 1989 or 1990 payment or installment over a period of time not to exceed 6 years from the original due date of such payment or installment; and

"(B) meet the criteria for guaranteed loan borrowers under subtitle B of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act established by the Secretary.

"(c) Use of Agricultural Credit Insurance Fund.—For purposes of providing guaranteed loans in accordance with subsection (b), in addition to funds otherwise available, the Secretary may use any funds available from the Agricultural Credit Insurance Fund during fiscal years [sic] 1989 or 1990 for emergency insured and guaranteed loans under subtitle C of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act (7 U.S.C. 1961 et seq.) to meet the needs resulting from natural disasters, except that funds available from such Fund first shall be used to satisfy the level of assistance estimated by the Secretary to meet the needs of persons eligible for emergency disaster loans."

Similar provisions were contained in the following prior act:

Pub. L. 100–387, title III, §312, Aug. 11, 1988, 102 Stat. 948.

1 See References in Text note below.

§1942. Purposes of loans

(a) In general

A direct loan (including a microloan, as defined by the Secretary) may be made under this subchapter only for—

(1) paying the costs incident to reorganizing a farm or ranch for more profitable operation;

(2) purchasing livestock, poultry, or farm or ranch equipment;

(3) purchasing feed, seed, fertilizer, insecticide, or farm or ranch supplies, or to meet other essential farm or ranch operating expenses, including cash rent;

(4) financing land or water development, use, or conservation;

(5) paying loan closing costs;

(6) assisting a farmer or rancher in changing the equipment, facilities, or methods of operation of a farm or ranch to comply with a standard promulgated under section 655 of title 29 or a standard adopted by a State under a plan approved under section 667 of title 29, if the Secretary determines that without assistance under this paragraph the farmer or rancher is likely to suffer substantial economic injury in complying with the standard;

(7) training a limited-resource borrower receiving a loan under section 1934 of this title in maintaining records of farming and ranching operations;

(8) training a borrower under section 2006a of this title;

(9) refinancing the indebtedness of a borrower, if the borrower—

(A) has refinanced a loan under this subchapter not more than 4 times previously; and

(B)(i) is a direct loan borrower under this chapter at the time of the refinancing and has suffered a qualifying loss because of a natural disaster declared by the Secretary under this chapter or a major disaster or emergency designated by the President under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5121 et seq.); or

(ii) is refinancing a debt obtained from a creditor other than the Secretary; or


(10) providing other farm, ranch, or home needs, including family subsistence.

(b) Guaranteed loans

A loan may be guaranteed under this subchapter only for—

(1) paying the costs incident to reorganizing a farm or ranch for more profitable operation;

(2) purchasing livestock, poultry, or farm or ranch equipment;

(3) purchasing feed, seed, fertilizer, insecticide, or farm or ranch supplies, or to meet other essential farm or ranch operating expenses, including cash rent;

(4) financing land or water development, use, or conservation;

(5) refinancing indebtedness;

(6) paying loan closing costs;

(7) assisting a farmer or rancher in changing the equipment, facilities, or methods of operation of a farm or ranch to comply with a standard promulgated under section 655 of title 29 or a standard adopted by a State under a plan approved under section 667 of title 29, if the Secretary determines that without assistance under this paragraph the farmer or rancher is likely to suffer substantial economic injury due to compliance with the standard;

(8) training a borrower under section 2006a of this title; or

(9) providing other farm, ranch, or home needs, including family subsistence.

(c) Hazard insurance requirement

(1) In general

After the Secretary makes the determination required by paragraph (2), the Secretary may not make a loan to a farmer or rancher under this subchapter unless the farmer or rancher has, or agrees to obtain, hazard insurance on the property to be acquired with the loan.

(2) Determination

Not later than 180 days after April 4, 1996, the Secretary shall determine the appropriate level of insurance to be required by paragraph (1).

(d) Private reserve

(1) In general

Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, the Secretary may reserve a portion of any loan made under this subchapter to be placed in an unsupervised bank account that may be used at the discretion of the borrower for the basic family needs of the borrower and the immediate family of the borrower.

(2) Limit on size of the reserve

The size of the reserve shall not exceed the least of—

(A) 10 percent of the loan;

(B) $5,000; or

(C) the amount needed to provide for the basic family needs of the borrower and the borrower's immediate family for 3 calendar months.

(e) Valuation of local or regional crops

(1) In general

The Secretary shall develop ways to determine unit prices (or other appropriate forms of valuation) for crops and other agricultural products, the end use of which is intended to be in locally or regionally produced agricultural food products, to facilitate lending to local and regional food producers.

(2) Price history

The Secretary shall implement a mechanism for local and regional food producers to establish price history for the crops and other agricultural products produced by local and regional food producers.

(Pub. L. 87–128, title III, §312, Aug. 8, 1961, 75 Stat. 310; Pub. L. 87–703, title IV, §401(4), Sept. 27, 1962, 76 Stat. 632; Pub. L. 90–488, §8, Aug. 15, 1968, 82 Stat. 771; Pub. L. 92–419, title I, §§120(b), 121, Aug. 30, 1972, 86 Stat. 665; Pub. L. 95–113, title XIV, §1448(b), Sept. 29, 1977, 91 Stat. 1012; Pub. L. 95–334, title I, §115, Aug. 4, 1978, 92 Stat. 425; Pub. L. 96–438, §1(3), Oct. 13, 1980, 94 Stat. 1871; Pub. L. 99–198, title XIII, §§1306, 1307, Dec. 23, 1985, 99 Stat. 1521; Pub. L. 101–624, title XVIII, §1818(b), Nov. 28, 1990, 104 Stat. 3830; Pub. L. 102–237, title V, §501(b), Dec. 13, 1991, 105 Stat. 1866; Pub. L. 102–552, title V, §516(f)(1)(A), (2), Oct. 28, 1992, 106 Stat. 4137, 4138; Pub. L. 104–127, title VI, §612(a), Apr. 4, 1996, 110 Stat. 1087; Pub. L. 113–79, title V, §§5105, 5106(b)(2), Feb. 7, 2014, 128 Stat. 836, 838.)

References in Text

This chapter, referred to in subsecs. (a)(9)(B)(i) and (d)(1), was in the original "this title", meaning title III of Pub. L. 87–128, Aug. 8, 1961, 75 Stat. 307, known as the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act, which is classified principally to this chapter. For complete classification of title III to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 1921 of this title and Tables.

The Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, referred to in subsec. (a)(9)(B)(i), is Pub. L. 93–288, May 22, 1974, 88 Stat. 143, as amended, which is classified principally to chapter 68 (§5121 et seq.) of Title 42, The Public Health and Welfare. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 5121 of Title 42 and Tables.

Amendments

2014—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 113–79, §5106(b)(2), inserted "(including a microloan, as defined by the Secretary)" after "A direct loan" in introductory provisions.

Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 113–79, §5105, added subsec. (e).

1996Pub. L. 104–127 amended section generally, substituting present provisions for provisions outlining purposes of loans made under this subchapter, authorizing loans to rural area residents to operate small business enterprises, authorizing loans for pollution abatement and control projects in rural areas and providing for limitations on such loans, and authorizing creation, from loan funds, of nonsupervised bank accounts to be used at discretion of borrower for necessary family living expenses.

1992—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 102–552, §516(f)(2), repealed amendment by Pub. L. 102–237, §501(b). See 1991 Amendment note below.

Pub. L. 102–552, §516(f)(1)(A), made technical correction to directory language of Pub. L. 101–624, §1818(b). See 1990 Amendment note below.

1991—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 102–237, §501(b), which directed the substitution of "systems (for purposes of this subchapter, the term 'solar energy' means energy derived from sources (other than fossil fuels) and technologies included in the Federal Nonnuclear Energy Research and Development Act of 1974) (42 U.S.C. 5901 et seq.), (12) training in maintaining records of farming and ranching operations for limited resource borrowers receiving loans under section 1934 of this title, and (13) borrower training under section 2006a of this title." for " 'systems.' and all that follows", could not be executed because "systems." does not appear in subsec. (a) was repealed by Pub. L. 102–552, §516(f)(2). See Construction of 1991 Amendment note below.

1990—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 101–624, §1818(b), as amended by Pub. L. 102–552, §516(f)(1)(A), added cl. (13).

1985—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 99–198, §1306, added cl. (12).

Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 99–198, §1307, added subsec. (e).

1980—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 96–438 added cl. (11).

1978—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 95–334, struck out "individual" after "title, to".

1977—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 95–113 inserted parenthetical provision extending the section to include farm equipment which utilizes solar energy and inserted definition of "solar energy".

1972—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 92–419, §§120(b), 121(1), (2), substituted "section 1941(a) for "section 1941", designated existing provisions as subsec. (a), and added cl. (10).

Subsecs. (b) to (d). Pub. L. 92–419, §121(3), added subsecs. (b) to (d).

1968Pub. L. 90–488 struck out from cl. (4) the concluding phrase, "including recreational uses and facilities", added cls. (5) and (6), and redesignated former cls. (5) to (7) as (7) to (9), respectively.

1962Pub. L. 87–703 authorized, in cl. (4), loans to be made for recreational uses and facilities.

Effective Date of 1996 Amendment

Pub. L. 104–127, title VI, §612(b), Apr. 4, 1996, 110 Stat. 1089, provided that: "Section 312(c)(1) of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act [7 U.S.C. 1942(c)(1)] shall not apply until the Secretary of Agriculture makes the determination required by section 312(c)(2) of the Act." [The Secretary's determination relating to hazard insurance under this provision was contained in interim rules published Mar. 3, 1997, and effective Mar. 24, 1997, see 62 F.R. 9351.]

Amendment by Pub. L. 104–127 effective 90 days after Apr. 4, 1996, see section 663(b) of Pub. L. 104–127, set out as a note under section 1922 of this title.

Effective Date of 1992 Amendment

Pub. L. 102–552, title V, §516(f)(1)(B), Oct. 28, 1992, 106 Stat. 4137, provided that: "The amendment made by subparagraph (A) [amending this section] shall take effect as if included in the Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990 [Pub. L. 101–624] at the time such Act became law."

Effective Date of 1977 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 95–113 effective Oct. 1, 1977, see section 1901 of Pub. L. 95–113, set out as a note under section 1307 of this title.

Transfer of Functions

Powers, duties, and assets of agencies, offices, and other entities within Department of Agriculture relating to rural development functions transferred to Rural Development Administration by section 2302(b) of Pub. L. 101–624.

Construction of 1991 Amendment

Pub. L. 102–552, title V, §516(f)(2), Oct. 28, 1992, 106 Stat. 4138, provided that: "Subsection (b) of section 501 of the Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and Trade Act Amendments of 1991 (Public Law 102–237; 105 Stat. 1866) [amending this section] is repealed. The Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act (7 U.S.C. 1921 et seq.) shall be applied and administered as if such subsection had never become law."

§1943. Limitations on amount of operating loans

(a) In general

The Secretary shall make or insure no loan under this subchapter—

(1) that would cause the total principal indebtedness outstanding at any one time for loans made under this subchapter to any one borrower to exceed, in the case of a loan other than a loan guaranteed by the Secretary, $400,000, or, in the case of a loan guaranteed by the Secretary, $1,750,000 (increased, beginning with fiscal year 2019, by the inflation percentage applicable to the fiscal year in which the loan is guaranteed and reduced by the unpaid indebtedness of the borrower on loans under the sections specified in section 1925 of this title that are guaranteed by the Secretary); or

(2) for the purchasing or leasing of land other than for cash rent, or for carrying on any land leasing or land purchasing program.

(b) Inflation percentage

For purposes of this section, the inflation percentage applicable to a fiscal year is the percentage (if any) by which—

(1) the average of the Prices Paid By Farmers Index (as compiled by the National Agricultural Statistics Service of the Department of Agriculture) for the 12-month period ending on July 31 of the immediately preceding fiscal year; exceeds

(2) the average of such index (as so defined) for the 12-month period that immediately precedes the 12-month period described in paragraph (1).

(c) Microloans

(1) In general

Subject to paragraph (2), the Secretary may establish a program to make or guarantee microloans.

(2) Limitations

The Secretary shall not make or guarantee a microloan under this subsection that would cause the total principal indebtedness outstanding at any 1 time for microloans made under this subsection to any 1 borrower to exceed $50,000.

(3) Applications

To the maximum extent practicable, the Secretary shall limit the administrative burdens and streamline the application and approval process for microloans under this subsection.

(4) Cooperative lending pilot projects

(A) In general

Subject to subparagraph (B), during each of the 2014 through 2023 fiscal years, the Secretary may carry out a pilot project to make loans to community development financial institutions, as the Secretary determines appropriate—

(i) to make or guarantee microloans consistent with the terms provided under this subsection; and

(ii) to provide business, financial, marketing, and credit management services to microloan borrowers.

(B) Requirements

Prior to making a loan to an institution described in subparagraph (A), the Secretary shall—

(i) review and approve—

(I) the loan loss reserve fund for microloans established by the institution; and

(II) the underwriting standards for microloans of the institution; and


(ii) establish such other requirements for making a loan to the institution as the Secretary determines necessary.

(C) Eligibility

To be eligible for a loan under subparagraph (A), an institution described in subparagraph (A) shall, as determined by the Secretary—

(i) have the legal authority necessary to carry out the actions described in subparagraph (A);

(ii) have a proven track record of successfully assisting agricultural borrowers; and

(iii) have the services of a staff with appropriate loan making and servicing expertise.

(D) Oversight

Not less often than annually, on a date determined by the Secretary, an institution that has a loan under this paragraph shall provide to the Secretary such information as the Secretary may require to ensure that the services provided by the institution are serving the purposes of this subsection.

(E) Limitation

The Secretary shall not make more than $10,000,000 in loans under this paragraph in any fiscal year.

(Pub. L. 87–128, title III, §313, Aug. 8, 1961, 75 Stat. 310; Pub. L. 90–488, §9, Aug. 15, 1968, 82 Stat. 771; Pub. L. 92–419, title I, §122, Aug. 30, 1972, 86 Stat. 665; Pub. L. 95–334, title I, §116, Aug. 4, 1978, 92 Stat. 426; Pub. L. 98–258, title VI, §604(a), Apr. 10, 1984, 98 Stat. 139; Pub. L. 105–277, div. A, §101(a) [title VIII, §806(b)], Oct. 21, 1998, 112 Stat. 2681, 2681-39; Pub. L. 110–234, title V, §5102, May 22, 2008, 122 Stat. 1146; Pub. L. 110–246, §4(a), title V, §5102, June 18, 2008, 122 Stat. 1664, 1908; Pub. L. 113–79, title V, §5106(a), Feb. 7, 2014, 128 Stat. 837; Pub. L. 115–334, title V, §§5201–5203, Dec. 20, 2018, 132 Stat. 4671.)

Codification

Pub. L. 110–234 and Pub. L. 110–246 made identical amendments to this section. The amendments by Pub. L. 110–234 were repealed by section 4(a) of Pub. L. 110–246.

Amendments

2018—Subsec. (a)(1). Pub. L. 115–334, §5201(1), substituted "$400,000" for "$300,000", "$1,750,000" for "$700,000", and "2019" for "2000".

Subsec. (b)(1). Pub. L. 115–334, §5201(2)(A), substituted "July" for "August".

Subsec. (b)(2). Pub. L. 115–334, §5201(2)(B), substituted "that immediately precedes the 12-month period described in paragraph (1)" for "ending on August 31, 1996".

Subsec. (c)(2). Pub. L. 115–334, §5202, substituted "subsection to any 1 borrower" for "chapter to any 1 borrower".

Subsec. (c)(4)(A). Pub. L. 115–334, §5203, substituted "2023" for "2018" in introductory provisions.

2014—Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 113–79 added subsec. (c).

2008—Subsec. (a)(1). Pub. L. 110–246, §5102, substituted "$300,000" for "$200,000".

1998Pub. L. 105–277 inserted section catchline, designated existing provisions as subsec. (a), inserted heading, substituted "this subchapter—" for "this subchapter", in introductory provisions, realigned margin of par. (1) and substituted "$700,000 (increased, beginning with fiscal year 2000, by the inflation percentage applicable to the fiscal year in which the loan is guaranteed and reduced by the unpaid indebtedness of the borrower on loans under the sections specified in section 1925 of this title that are guaranteed by the Secretary); or" for "$400,000; or", realigned margin of par. (2), and added subsec. (b).

1984Pub. L. 98–258 substituted "$200,000" and "$400,000" for "$100,000" and "$200,000", respectively.

1978Pub. L. 95–334 substituted provisions setting forth criteria for Secretary to make or insure loans under this subchapter for provisions setting forth criteria for Secretary to make loans under this subchapter.

1972Pub. L. 92–419 substituted "$50,000" for "$35,000".

1968Pub. L. 90–488 struck out from item (1) the proviso which limited the amount to be used for loans which would cause the indebtedness of any borrower to exceed $15,000 to 25 per centum of the sums made available for loans.

Effective Date of 2008 Amendment

Amendment of this section and repeal of Pub. L. 110–234 by Pub. L. 110–246 effective May 22, 2008, the date of enactment of Pub. L. 110–234, see section 4 of Pub. L. 110–246, set out as an Effective Date note under section 8701 of this title.

§1944. Soil conservation district loans; limitation; purchase of conservation equipment

Loans aggregating not more than $500,000 in any one year may also be made to soil conservation districts which cannot obtain necessary credit elsewhere upon reasonable terms and conditions for the purchase of equipment customarily used for soil conservation purposes.

(Pub. L. 87–128, title III, §314, Aug. 8, 1961, 75 Stat. 311.)

§1945. Repealed. Pub. L. 104–127, title VI, §613, Apr. 4, 1996, 110 Stat. 1089

Section, Pub. L. 87–128, title III, §315, Aug. 8, 1961, 75 Stat. 311, authorized Secretary to participate in certain loans made under this subchapter.

§1946. Liability of borrower

(a) Determination of interest rates

(1) The Secretary shall make all loans under this subchapter upon the full personal liability of the borrower and upon such security as the Secretary may prescribe. The interest rates on such loans, except for guaranteed loans and loans as provided in paragraphs (2) and (3),1 shall be as determined by the Secretary, but not in excess of the current average market yield on outstanding marketable obligations of the United States with remaining periods to maturity comparable to the average maturities of such loans, plus an additional charge not to exceed 1 per centum as determined by the Secretary, which charge shall be deposited in the Rural Development Insurance Fund or the Agricultural Credit Insurance Fund, as appropriate, and adjusted to the nearest one-eighth of 1 per centum. The interest rate on any guaranteed loan made under this subchapter shall be such rate as may be agreed upon by the borrower and lender, but not in excess of a rate as may be determined by the Secretary.

(2) The interest rate on a microloan to a beginning farmer or rancher or veteran farmer or rancher (as defined in section 2279(e) 1 of this title), or any loan (other than a guaranteed loan) to a low income, limited resource borrower under this subchapter shall not be—

(A) greater than the sum of—

(i) an amount that does not exceed one-half of the current average market yield on outstanding marketable obligations of the United States with maturities of 5 years; and

(ii) an amount not exceeding 1 percent per year, as the Secretary determines is appropriate; or


(B) less than 5 percent per year.

(b) Payment period; consolidation and rescheduling of loans

Loans made under this subchapter shall be payable in not to exceed seven years. The Secretary may consolidate or reschedule outstanding loans for payment over a period not to exceed seven years (or, in the case of loans for farm operating purposes, fifteen years) from the date of such consolidation or rescheduling, and the amount of unpaid principal and interest of the prior loans so consolidated or rescheduled shall not create a new charge against any loan levels authorized by law. A new loan may be included in a consolidation. Such new loan shall be charged against any loan level authorized by law. Except as otherwise provided for farm loans under section 1981b of this title, the interest rate on such consolidated or rescheduled loans, other than guaranteed loans, may be changed by the Secretary to a rate not to exceed the rate being charged for loans made under this subchapter at the time of the consolidation or rescheduling. The interest rate on any guaranteed loan under this subchapter that may be consolidated or rescheduled for payment shall be such rate as may be agreed upon by the borrower and the lender, but not in excess of a rate as may be determined by the Secretary.

(c) Line-of-credit loans

(1) In general

A loan made or guaranteed by the Secretary under this subchapter may be in the form of a line-of-credit loan.

(2) Term

A line-of-credit loan under paragraph (1) shall terminate not later than 5 years after the date that the loan is made or guaranteed.

(3) Eligibility

For purposes of determining eligibility for a farm operating loan under this subchapter, each year during which a farmer or rancher takes an advance or draws on a line-of-credit loan the farmer or rancher shall be considered to have received an operating loan for 1 year.

(4) Termination of delinquent loans

If a borrower does not pay an installment on a line-of-credit loan on schedule, the borrower may not take an advance or draw on the line-of-credit, unless the Secretary determines that—

(A) the borrower's failure to pay on schedule was due to unusual conditions that the borrower could not control; and

(B) the borrower will reduce the line-of-credit balance to the scheduled level at the end of—

(i) the production cycle; or

(ii) the marketing of the borrower's agricultural products.

(5) Agricultural commodities

A line-of-credit loan may be used to finance the production or marketing of an agricultural commodity that—

(A) is eligible for a price support program of the Department of Agriculture; or

(B) was eligible for a price support program of the Department of Agriculture on the day before April 4, 1996.

(Pub. L. 87–128, title III, §316, Aug. 8, 1961, 75 Stat. 311; Pub. L. 90–488, §10, Aug. 15, 1968, 82 Stat. 771; Pub. L. 95–334, title I, §117, Aug. 4, 1978, 92 Stat. 426; Pub. L. 97–35, title I, §160(b), Aug. 13, 1981, 95 Stat. 377; Pub. L. 98–258, title VI, §604(b), Apr. 10, 1984, 98 Stat. 139; Pub. L. 101–624, title XVIII, §1803(b), Nov. 28, 1990, 104 Stat. 3818; Pub. L. 104–127, title VI, §§614, 661(g), Apr. 4, 1996, 110 Stat. 1089, 1107; Pub. L. 113–79, title V, §5106(b)(3), Feb. 7, 2014, 128 Stat. 838.)

References in Text

Paragraph (3), referred to in subsec. (a)(1), was repealed by Pub. L. 104–127, title VI, §661(g), Apr. 4, 1996, 110 Stat. 1107.

Section 2279(e) of this title, referred to in subsec. (a)(2), was redesignated section 2279(a) of this title by section 12301(b)(3) of Pub. L. 115–334.

Amendments

2014—Subsec. (a)(2). Pub. L. 113–79 inserted "a microloan to a beginning farmer or rancher or veteran farmer or rancher (as defined in section 2279(e) of this title), or" after "The interest rate on".

1996—Subsec. (a)(3). Pub. L. 104–127, §661(g), struck out par. (3) which read as follows: "The interest rate on any loan (other than a guaranteed loan) made or insured under clause (5) of section 1942(a) of this title for activities that involve the use of prime farmland as defined in section 1927(a)(6)(C) of this title shall be the interest rate otherwise applicable under this section increased by 2 per centum per annum."

Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 104–127, §614, added subsec. (c).

1990—Subsec. (a)(2). Pub. L. 101–624 amended par. (2) generally. Prior to amendment, par. (2) read as follows: "The interest rate on any loan (other than a guaranteed loan) to a low-income, limited resource borrower under this subchapter shall be the interest rate otherwise applicable under this section reduced by 3 per centum per annum."

1984—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 98–258 inserted "(or, in the case of loans for farm operating purposes, fifteen years)" and substituted "Except as otherwise provided for farm loans under section 1981b of this title, the interest rate" for "The interest rate".

1981—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 97–35 redesignated existing provisions as par. (1), inserted reference to loans guaranteed under pars. (2) and (3), and added pars. (2) and (3).

1978Pub. L. 95–334 designated existing provisions as subsec. (a), inserted provisions relating to depositing of charges and provisions relating to interest rates on guaranteed loans, struck out provisions relating to payment and renewal of loans, and added subsec. (b).

1968Pub. L. 90–488 substituted provisions for determination of interest rate by taking into consideration current average market yield on outstanding marketable obligations of the United States with remaining periods to maturity comparable to the average maturities of the loans, adjusted to the nearest one-eighth of 1 per centum, plus not to exceed 1 per centum per annum as determined by the Secretary, for former prohibition of an interest rate exceeding 5 per centum per annum.

Effective Date of 1981 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 97–35 applicable to loans made after Sept. 30, 1981, see section 160(c) of Pub. L. 97–35, set out as a note under section 1927 of this title.

1 See References in Text note below.

§§1947, 1948. Repealed. Pub. L. 104–127, title VI, §§615, 616(a), Apr. 4, 1996, 110 Stat. 1090

Section 1947, Pub. L. 87–128, title III, §317, as added Pub. L. 92–419, title I, §123, Aug. 30, 1972, 86 Stat. 665, related to insured operating loans.

Section 1948, Pub. L. 87–128, title III, §318, as added Pub. L. 102–554, §8, Oct. 28, 1992, 106 Stat. 4146, related to special assistance to certain qualified beginning farmers and ranchers.

§1949. Graduation of borrowers with operating loans or guarantees to private commercial credit

The Secretary shall establish a plan, in coordination with activities under sections 2006a, 2006b, 2006c, and 2006d of this title, to encourage each borrower with an outstanding loan under this subchapter or with respect to whom there is an outstanding guarantee under this subchapter to graduate to private commercial or other sources of credit.

(Pub. L. 87–128, title III, §319, as added Pub. L. 102–554, §9, Oct. 28, 1992, 106 Stat. 4150; amended Pub. L. 104–127, title VI, §617, Apr. 4, 1996, 110 Stat. 1090; Pub. L. 113–79, title V, §5107, Feb. 7, 2014, 128 Stat. 838.)

Amendments

2014Pub. L. 113–79 struck out subsec. (a) designation and heading before "The Secretary" and struck out subsec. (b) which related to limitation on period borrowers were eligible for guaranteed assistance under this subchapter and contained transition rule.

1996—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 104–127 added subsec. (b) and struck out former subsec. (b) which provided for limitation on period for which borrowers were eligible for assistance under this subchapter and contained transition rule.

Suspension of Limitation on Period for Which Borrowers Are Eligible for Guaranteed Assistance

Pub. L. 107–171, title V, §5102, May 13, 2002, 116 Stat. 343, as amended by Pub. L. 109–467, §1, Dec. 22, 2006, 120 Stat. 3485; Pub. L. 110–234, title V, §5103, May 22, 2008, 122 Stat. 1146; Pub. L. 110–246, §4(a), title V, §5103, June 18, 2008, 122 Stat. 1664, 1908, provided for the suspension of former 7 U.S.C. 1949(b) limitation on period borrowers were eligible for guaranteed assistance, beginning Jan. 1, 2002, and ending Dec. 31, 2010.