WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The U.S. House of Representatives passed bipartisan legislation aimed at increasing the debt cap covered by a farmer facing bankruptcy.
The Family Farmer Relief Act is cosponsored by three Iowa Representatives: Dave Loebsack, Abby Finkenauer, and Cindy Axne.
It boosts protection from $3 million to $10 million, reflecting a change in land values and the average size of U.S. farm operations. It allows them more protection in Chapter 12 bankruptcy, which allows farmers to restructure finances without having to liquidate their business or foreclose on the farm.
Axne says in a statement, "This bipartisan legislation provides a lifeline to struggling farm families by helping them avoid foreclosure.”
Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley has also introduced a version of the bill in the Senate.
U.S. farm debt now totals more than $400 billion, the highest level since the 1980s farm crisis.