If you are involved in the credit or rural industries you may be aware that the Farm Debt Mediation Act is now in effect, we discuss what you need to know.
The Act applies to farmers and most secured creditors of farm debt.
Farm debt is a debt incurred by a farmer in order to carry out a primary production business where the debt is secured by an interest over farm property.
A farmer or a secured creditor can begin the mediation process. This involves notifying the other party, having a mediator appointed by MPI and attending mediation. This must occur within 60 days from the request to mediate.
Ther Act is an early opportunity to resolve things before a default. The 60-day period allows some breathing room to make plans in good faith with the creditor.
Creditors will be prevented from taking enforcement action which they may otherwise be entitled to until they have followed the process set out in the Act.
In some instances, a creditor can apply to the High Court to appoint a receiver where property with a secured interest is in danger of being destroyed, damaged, removed or sold.