The U.S. Department of Agriculture is providing $ 67 million in competitive loans under the new Heir Property Loan program, which will help agricultural producers and landowners resolve land ownership and heir estates issues.
Intermediate lenders – co-ops, credit unions, and nonprofits – can apply for loans of up to $ 5 million at 1% interest once the Farm Service Agency opens the two-month registration window. end of August.
Once the Farm Service Agency has selected the lenders, the heirs can apply directly to these lenders for loans and assistance. Heir ownership issues have long been a barrier for many growers and landowners to access USDA programs and services, and this restitution program provides access to capital to help growers find a solution to these issues. .
Heir property is a legal term that refers to family land inherited without a will or legal document of ownership. It has always been difficult for heirs to benefit from USDA programs due to the belief that they cannot obtain a farm number without proof of ownership or control of the land.
However, the Farm Service Agency offers alternative options that allow an heir to obtain a farm number. In states that have passed the Uniform Division of Heir Property Act (UPHPA), producers can provide specific documents to receive a farm number. To learn more about heir property, the Heir Property Restitution Program (HPRP) or the UPHPA, visit farms.gov/heirs/relending.
“While those affected are found in all geographic and cultural areas, many black farmers and other groups who have suffered historical discrimination have inherited property from their heirs,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said at the meeting. ‘a press conference today. “USDA is committed to revising policies to make them more equitable and examining barriers faced by heir landowners is part of that effort. This helps ensure that we protect the legacy of these family farms for generations to come.
The Heir Property Loan program is another example of how the USDA is working to restore trust with American farmers and ranchers, according to a USDA press release.
The HPRP is a loan and will need to be repaid according to the guidelines of the 2018 Farm Bill. The benefits of the program extend far beyond its participants. It will also keep farmland in use, protect family farming heritage and support economic viability.
To be eligible, intermediary lenders must be certified as a community development finance institution and have the experience and capacity to grant and manage agricultural and commercial loans of a similar nature.
If the applications exceed the amount of funds available, applicants with at least 10 years of experience with socially disadvantaged farmers located in states which have passed a law consisting in the enactment or adoption of the Uniform Partitioning Law heirs (UPHPA) will receive the first preference.
A list of these states is available on farms.gov/heirs/relending.
A secondary preference level is established for those who have end recipient requests already in progress, or who have already successfully returned PRHP funds. When several applicants are in the same level, or there are no applicants in levels 1 or 2, the applications will be funded in order of the date of receipt of the application.
A webinar will be held on Tuesday August 3, 2021 regarding the funding request. The interested re-lender must register via the FSA Awareness and Education Webpage.
Restitution to heirs:
Heirs can use the loans to resolve title issues by financing the purchase or consolidation of real estate interests and the financing costs associated with an estate plan. It may also include the costs and fees associated with redeeming fractional interests of other heirs in condominiums to clear title, as well as closing costs, appraisals, title searches, investigations, document preparation. , mediation and legal services.
The heirs may not use the loans for land improvement, development, acquisition or repair of buildings, acquisition of movable property, payment of operating costs, payment of fees. research or similar fees.
Intermediary lenders will grant loans to heirs who:
- Are natural or legal persons entitled to contract debt and settle the ownership and inheritance of a farm owned by several owners?
- Are a family member or heir related by blood or marriage to the previous owner of the property
- Agree to complete a succession plan
More information on how heirs can borrow from lenders under the PRPH will be available in the coming months.