Farmers Home Administration:

Farm Program Debt, Delinquencies, and Loan Losses as of June 30, 1987

RCED-88-134BR: Published: May 20, 1988. Publicly Released: May 20, 1988.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO provided information on the Farmers Home Administration's (FmHA) farm loan program, specifically the: (1) total state and national farm debt and the FmHA portion of the debt; (2) total number of loans, borrowers, and loan amounts for each major FmHA program; and (3) program loan delinquencies and losses.

GAO found that: (1) the FmHA loan portfolio was at risk because of continued delinquent loans and losses; (2) total farm debt from all lenders grew from $104 billion to over $210 billion between 1976 and 1985; (3) over the same period, FmHA farm debt increased from an estimated $5.5 billion to about $26.6 billion; (4) total farm debt decreased in 1986 to about $189.6 billion, while FmHA farm debt decreased slightly to about $26.6 billion; (5) as of June 1987, the FmHA direct loan portfolio for its major farm program was over $26 billion and consisted of 242,266 borrowers with 688,393 loans; and (6) delinquent loans in the FmHA major farm program rose from $164 million in 1976 to $7 billion in 1987. GAO also found that: (1) about 83,000 borrowers were delinquent in principal and interest payments on loans with an outstanding total principal of $13.3 billion; (2) about 33,000 borrowers have not made loan payments in over 3 years; (3) from 1978 through 1987, FmHA annual loan losses increased from about $41 million to over $1.1 billion for direct loans and from $277,000 to over $78 million for guaranteed loans; and (4) for the past 10 years, the greatest cumulative loan losses were in the emergency disaster and economic emergency programs.

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