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Home > All About the MDA > Minnesota Farmer Assistance Network > Farmer-Lender Mediation

University of Minnesota, Farmer-Lender Mediation

What is Mandatory Farmer-Lender Mediation?

First, and most important, to take advantage of the mediation opportunity, the debtor must request services within 14 days of a creditor’s notice.  Mediation is the use of a trained neutral facilitator —a mediator—to assist in the negotiations of parties in a dispute. Mediation is an informal and confidential process that generally requires less cost and time than adversarial court litigation.

A farmer in debt has the opportunity to renegotiate, restructure, or resolve farm debt through Mandatory Farmer-Lender Mediation. During a 90 day period, creditors in mediation may or may not collect on the debt. The use of the term mandatory does not mean that the farmer must use mediation. It means that no creditor can start a proceeding to collect debt against a property until the offer of mediation has been extended and, if the farmer so chooses, completed.

The goals of Farmer-Lender Mediation are to:

  • achieve open communications between the parties in order to resolve differences
  • create a non hostile environment
  • define the rights and responsibilities of the debtor and creditor
  • treat all parties with dignity and respect
  • produce agreements that are acceptable to all the parties involved