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.

Who does it apply to?

The Act applies to farmers and most secured creditors of farm debt.

What is 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.

What is the mediation process?

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.

How will the Act affect farmers?

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.

How will the Act affect creditors?

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.

Are there exceptions?

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.