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Help farmers restructure loans – Not Insolvency

Jun 24, 2016 | ICSA in the Media | 0 comments

Seamus Sherlock urges farmers to think carefully when dealing with the very sensitive matter of financial debt.

Speaking on the possibility of a new one stop shop agency for people in financial debt, ICSA rural development Chairman Seamus Sherlock urged farmers to think carefully when dealing with the very sensitive matter of financial debt. 

“While I am glad to see TDs finally tackling the issue of debt, I urge farmers to proceed with caution before rushing down the road to insolvency.”

Continuing Mr Sherlock said 

“For many farmers and homeowners the biggest fear is that of losing their farm or family home and making spouse and kids homeless. Most farm debt that I have come across is secured by a legal mortgage over the family farm and home, and parting with these, in my opinion, is the last option for those whom I come in contact with. In many cases the thought of the shame associated with such a loss has led many to consider taking their own lives.”

“There is lots of talk at the moment of insolvency, clean breaks and fresh starts but once the farm is gone, no farmer will ever be able to farm again at the same level, it’s just not possible. What farmers need is realistic and sympathetic restructuring of their debt which will allow them to continue farming while making affordable payments to their bank. It may well be that Government intervention is required to ensure that the banks’ door remains open to farmers and that are they are encouraged to make settlements which do not countenance the nuclear option of a forced sale.”

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