Farm Loans:

Actions Needed to Safeguard Taxpayers' Interests

T-RCED-95-147: Published: Mar 31, 1995. Publicly Released: Mar 31, 1995.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO discussed the risks associated with the Farmers Home Administration's (FmHA) farm loan programs. GAO noted that: (1) FmHA farm loan programs have resulted in $12.5 billion in losses of taxpayer dollars; (2) about 98 percent of these losses have occurred in the direct loan program; (3) the FmHA loan portfolio totalled $18 billion as of September 1994; (4) 26 percent of the FmHA portfolio is at risk because it is held by delinquent borrowers; (5) the direct farm loan program is financially vulnerable due to inconsistent standards in FmHA field offices, certain loan policies that expose the program to losses, and conflicting program objectives; and (6) although FmHA and Congress have taken actions to address these problems, loan policies need to be strengthened and the basic mission of FmHA needs to be clarified.

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