Arkansas Farmer/Creditor Mediation Program
Farmer/Creditor Mediation - What is it?
Farmer/Creditor Mediation is the use of an independent third party, the mediator, to conduct a confidential meeting to provide farmers experiencing financial difficulties and creditors expecting their loan funds to be repaid, the opportunity to discuss the options that are available to everyone in mutually resolving their dispute.
How does it work?
The program was established in 1989 and is now part of the Arkansas Department of Agriculture. It is mandatory that a creditor offer mediation to a farmer to settle credit issues prior to taking any type of legal action to pursue a secured interest, but participation in the Farmer/Creditor Mediation Program is completely voluntary. This means that no one is forced to accept mediation, and if mediation occurs, no one has to agree to anything they do not want. The program is open to farmers with secured indebtedness totaling $20,000.00 or more.
Upon notice of a creditor’s Offer of Mediation to a farmer, our office sends an additional notice to the farmer confirming receipt of the creditor’s notice and reminds them that they have two weeks from the date of our notice to complete and return the enclosed Farmer Request for Mediation. Once the request for mediation is received, we have 21 days to schedule the mediation, and that mediation must take place within 42 days after receipt of the Request.
What are the benefits?
Farmers buy some time or gain some “breathing room” to develop available options to settle their debt issues and it allows for an initial dialogue between the farmer and the creditor to resolve the dispute prior to mediation. The mediation allows for a full discussion of all potential options without anyone feeling targeted, shamed or embarrassed. Creditors gain assistance from an independent third party to help them resolve the credit matter at hand.
For more information or assistance with this program, please contact:
Farm Mediation Coordinator
Arkansas Department of Agriculture
- Creditor Notice to Farmer of Right to Request Mediation (18.96 KB)
- Farmer Request For Mediation (66.4 KB)