Print Friendly SENATE BILL NO. 1210 – Agricultural mediation/counseling
SENATE BILL NO. 1210
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S1210...............................................by AGRICULTURAL AFFAIRS
AGRICULTURAL MEDIATION - Adds to existing law to create the farm mediation
services within the Office of the Attorney General and to provide
application to agricultural lenders and agricultural borrowers before the
lenders can begin foreclosure procedures.
02/15 Senate intro - 1st rdg - to printing
02/16 Rpt prt - to Agric Aff
|||| LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF IDAHO ||||
Fifty-fifth Legislature First Regular Session - 1999
IN THE SENATE
SENATE BILL NO. 1210
BY AGRICULTURAL AFFAIRS COMMITTEE
1 AN ACT
2 RELATING TO THE ESTABLISHMENT OF AN AGRICULTURAL MEDIATION AND COUNSELING PRO-
3 GRAM; AMENDING CHAPTER 14, TITLE 67, IDAHO CODE, BY THE ADDITION OF NEW
4 SECTIONS 67-1410, 67-1411, 67-1412, 67-1413, 67-1414, 67-1415, 67-1416,
5 67-1417, 67-1418, 67-1419 AND 67-1420, IDAHO CODE, TO DEFINE TERMS, TO
6 PROVIDE APPLICATION OF THE ACT, TO CREATE THE FARM MEDIATION SERVICE
7 WITHIN THE OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, TO PROVIDE FOR FEES AND TO CRE-
8 ATE THE FARM MEDIATION ACCOUNT, TO PROVIDE PROCEDURES FOR VOLUNTARY MEDIA-
9 TION, TO PROVIDE FOR FINANCIAL COUNSELING TO THE BORROWER, TO PROVIDE FOR
10 MEDIATION, TO PROVIDE DUTIES OF MEDIATORS, TO PROVIDE WHEN A MEDIATION
11 MEETING MAY BE CALLED, TO PROVIDE FOR A MEDIATION RELEASE, TO PROVIDE FOR
12 AN EXTENSION OF DEADLINES AND TO PROVIDE FOR CONFIDENTIALITY; AND PROVID-
13 ING A SUNSET CLAUSE.
14 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Idaho:
15 SECTION 1. That Chapter 14, Title 67, Idaho Code, be, and the same is
16 hereby amended by the addition thereto of NEW SECTIONS , to be
17 known and designated as Sections 67-1410, 67-1411, 67-1412, 67-1413, 67-1414,
18 67-1415, 67-1416, 67-1417, 67-1418, 67-1419 and 67-1420, Idaho Code, and to
19 read as follows:
20 67-1410. DEFINITIONS. As used in sections 67-1410 through 67-1420, Idaho
22 (1) "Agricultural production" means the production of livestock, poultry,
23 field crops, fruit, or other animal and vegetable matter for food or fiber.
24 (2) "Agricultural property" means:
25 (a) Real property that is principally used for agricultural production;
27 (b) Personal property that is part of an agricultural production opera-
28 tion or used as security to finance such an operation, including equip-
29 ment, crops, livestock and proceeds of any security.
30 (3) "Creditor" means:
31 (a) The holder of a mortgage on agricultural property;
32 (b) A vendor of a contract for deed of agricultural property;
33 (c) A person with a statutory lien or a perfected security interest in
34 agricultural property; and
35 (d) A judgment creditor with a judgment against a debtor engaged in agri-
36 cultural production.
37 (4) "Farmer" means a person who owns or operates a farm or ranch primar-
38 ily for the purpose of agricultural production.
39 (5) "Mediation release" means an agreement or statement signed by all
40 parties or by less than all the parties and a mediator pursuant to section
41 67-1418, Idaho Code.
42 (6) "Mediator" means a person authorized under this act to serve as a
43 negotiator between a farmer and a creditor.
1 (7) "Person" means an individual, corporation, partnership, joint venture
2 or other recognized legal entity.
3 (8) "Program" means the agricultural financial assistance and counseling
4 program provided for in section 67-1414, Idaho Code.
5 67-1411. APPLICABILITY OF ACT. The provisions of this act apply to all
6 creditors of a borrower described below with a secured debt against the bor-
7 rower of twenty thousand dollars ($20,000) or more. The provisions of this act
8 shall also apply to borrowers from creditors when the creditor holds a secured
9 debt against the borrower of twenty thousand dollars ($20,000) or more. A bor-
10 rower for the purposes of this section and act shall be a farmer.
11 67-1412. FARM MEDIATION SERVICE CREATION. There is hereby created within
12 the office of the attorney general, the farm mediation service with such
13 powers and duties as may be prescribed in sections 67-1410 through 67-1420,
14 Idaho Code. The attorney general may contract with or employ such persons as
15 may be necessary to carry out the intent and provisions of this act. The
16 attorney general may promulgate rules and prescribe necessary forms to imple-
17 ment the provisions of this act. In the rules, the attorney general shall set
18 the compensation of mediators. Each party to the mediation shall pay a filing
19 fee of fifty dollars ($50.00) to be paid in advance of mediation to defray the
20 cost of mediation. The mediation service may waive the requirement for payment
21 of the fee upon a showing of financial hardship by any of the parties to the
22 mediation. All moneys received by the attorney general pursuant to this sec-
23 tion shall be deposited in the farm mediation account which is hereby created
24 in the dedicated fund.
25 67-1413. MEDIATION SERVICE. (1) A borrower who owns agricultural property
26 or a creditor may request mediation of the indebtedness by applying to the
27 farm mediation service. The farm mediation service shall make voluntary media-
28 tion application forms available. The farm mediation service shall evaluate
29 each request and may direct a mediator to meet with the borrower and creditor
30 to assist in mediation.
31 (2) A creditor desiring to initiate a proceeding to enforce a debt
32 against agricultural property which is real property, to forfeit a contract to
33 purchase agricultural property, to enforce a secured interest in agricultural
34 property or to otherwise garnish, levy on, execute on, seize or attach agri-
35 cultural property, shall file a request for mediation with the farm mediation
36 service. The creditor may not begin the proceeding until the creditor received
37 a mediation release, or until the court determines after notice and hearing
38 that the time delay required for the mediation would cause the creditor to
39 suffer irreparable harm.
40 (3) Upon receipt of a request for mediation, the farm mediation service
41 shall conduct an initial consultation with the borrower without charge. The
42 borrower may waive mediation after the initial consultation.
43 67-1414. FINANCIAL ANALYST. After receiving a mediation request, the farm
44 mediation service shall refer the borrower to a financial analyst associated
45 with the university of Idaho cooperative extension service, the department of
46 agriculture or other appropriate entity. The financial analyst shall assist
47 the borrower in the preparation of information relative to the finances of the
48 borrower for the initial mediation meeting. The information may include income
49 statements, balance sheet, and farm and family budgets. The financial analyst
50 shall also assist the borrower or creditor, upon request, in evaluating alter-
51 native financial and farm management scenarios.
1 67-1415. INITIAL MEDIATION MEETING. (1) Unless the borrower waives media-
2 tion, within twenty-one (21) days after receiving a mediation request, the
3 farm mediation service shall send a mediation meeting notice to the borrower
4 and to all known creditors of the borrower setting a time and place for an
5 initial mediation meeting between the borrower, the creditors and a mediator
6 directed by the farm mediation service to assist in mediation. An initial
7 mediation meeting shall be held within twenty-one (21) days of the issuance of
8 the mediation meeting notice. The failure of the borrower to attend the ini-
9 tial mediation meeting shall constitute a waiver of mediation by the borrower
10 and shall thereupon be cause for immediate issuance of a mediation release
11 under subsection (3) of section 67-1418, Idaho Code.
12 (2) If a creditor receives a mediation meeting notice under subsection
13 (1) of this section, the creditor and the creditor's successors in interest
14 may not continue proceedings to enforce a debt against agricultural property
15 of the borrower, to forfeit a real estate contract for the purchase of agri-
16 cultural property of the borrower, to enforce a secured interest in agricul-
17 tural property or to otherwise garnish, levy on, execute on, seize or attach
18 agricultural property. Time periods under and affecting those procedures stop
19 running until the farm mediation service issues a mediation release to the
21 67-1416. DUTIES OF MEDIATOR. At the initial mediation meeting and subse-
22 quent meetings, the mediator shall:
23 (1) Listen to the borrower and the creditors desiring to be heard;
24 (2) Attempt to mediate between the borrower and the creditors;
25 (3) Inform the borrower and creditor of rights and obligations both have
26 under this act, chapter 1, title 6, Idaho Code, and chapter 15, title 45,
27 Idaho Code;
28 (4) Advise the borrower and the creditors as to the existence of avail-
29 able assistance programs;
30 (5) Encourage the parties to adjust, refinance or provide for payment of
31 the debts;
32 (6) Advise, counsel, and assist the borrower and creditors in attempting
33 to arrive at an agreement for the future conduct of financial relations among
35 67-1417. MEDIATION PERIOD. The mediator may call a mediation meeting dur-
36 ing the mediation period, which is up to forty-two (42) days after the farm
37 mediation service received the mediation request. However, if all parties con-
38 sent, mediation may continue after the end of the mediation period.
39 67-1418. MEDIATION RELEASE. (1) If an agreement is reached between the
40 borrower and the creditors, the mediator shall draft a written mediation
41 agreement, have it signed by the creditors, and submit the agreement to the
42 farm mediation service.
43 (2) The borrower and the creditors who are parties to the mediation
44 agreement may enforce the mediation agreement as a legal contract. The agree-
45 ment constitutes a mediation release.
46 (3) If the borrower waives mediation, or if a mediation agreement is not
47 reached, the borrower and the creditors may sign a statement prepared by the
48 mediator that mediation was waived or that the parties did not reach an agree-
49 ment. If any party does not sign the statement, the mediator shall sign the
50 statement. The statement constitutes a mediation release. Unless the borrower
51 waives mediation, a creditor shall not receive a mediation release until the
52 creditor has participated in at least one (1) mediation meeting.
1 67-1419. EXTENSION OF DEADLINES. Upon petition by the borrower and all
2 known creditors, the farm mediation service may, for good cause, extend a
3 deadline imposed by section 67-1415 or 67-1417, Idaho Code, for up to thirty
4 (30) days.
5 67-1420. CONFIDENTIALITY. (1) All data regarding the finances of individ-
6 ual borrowers and creditors which is created, collected and maintained by the
7 farm mediation service is not open to public inspection, and is exempt from
8 disclosure as provided in chapter 3, title 9, Idaho Code.
9 (2) Meetings of the farm mediation service are closed meetings and are
10 not subject to the provisions of sections 67-2340 through 67-2347, Idaho Code.
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
The purpose of this legislation is to create the farm mediation
service within the office of the Attorney General, to provide
for fees and create the farm mediation account, to provide
procedures for voluntary mediation.
There may be some fiscal impact on the General Fund.
CONTACT: Senator John Sandy
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE/ FISCAL NOTE