Only about half of the Utah farmers who received delinquency notices last November from the Farmers Home Administration have responded to the notices, and about $100,000 in debt has been written off.
It has been estimated that the federal government has loaned farmers about $23 billion - $8 billion of which is past due. Nationwide, 83,480 delinquency notices were sent out Nov. 25.E. Lee Hawkes, state FmHA director, said there are about 5,200 farmers in the nation who are delinquent borrowers. "About $1 billion has been written off nationwide," he said.
"There are 1,218 Utah farmers who have FmHA loans representing $107 million. Only 200 notices were sent out in Utah last November to farmers who were delinquent 180 days or more.
Of the 100 Utah farmers who replied to their delinquency notices, Hawkes said, 47 have had their loans rescheduled or reamortized; 13 loans have been deferred three years - during which time only the interest must be paid; rates have been reduced on 32 loans; and four farmers have had their loans written down.
"None of those four had his loan written off entirely, but the loans have been reduced - for a total of about $100,000."
Hawkes said his office will pursue the 100 farmers who have not responded to the delinquency notices. "I believe some of these 100 have gone bankrupt or moved off their farms."