American Rescue Plan Debt Payments

Multiple lawsuits have been filed challenging Section 1005 of the American Rescue Plan Act and three federal district courts have issued preliminary injunctions requiring the Farm Service Agency (FSA) to stop issuing payments pursuant to ARPA Section 1005. These injunctions do not prohibit FSA from completing administrative actions leading up to payments, including providing payment notifications to potentially eligible borrowers.

FSA continues to mail payment notifications and accept signed notifications returned by eligible borrowers so that payments can be promptly made if permitted by the courts. USDA and the Department of Justice continue to vigorously defend Section 1005 in court.

The Build Back Better Act (BBBA), which was passed by the House of Representatives on November 19, 2021, and is currently under consideration in the Senate, contains provisions in Section 12101, which include support for economically distressed and other borrowers. If enacted, the BBBA would amend and replace the original debt payment program authorized by Section 1005 of ARPA. The BBBA legislation would provide full or partial debt payments on certain direct loans.

Under the amended Section 1005, no direct assistance would be provided on guaranteed loans or Farm Storage Facility Loans; however, the BBBA would provide funding for loan modification services for FSA direct and guaranteed borrowers to keep their operations resilient and avoid economic disaster.

For more information, see our American Rescue Plan frequently asked questions.

The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Section 1005 includes provisions for USDA to pay up to 120% of loan balances, as of January 1, 2021, for Farm Service Agency (FSA) Direct and Guaranteed Farm Loans and Farm Storage Facility Loans (FSFL) to any Socially Disadvantaged producer who has a qualifying loan with FSA. This includes producers who are one or more of the following: Black/African American, American Indian, Alaskan Native, Hispanic/Latino, Asian American, or Pacific Islander. 

The 120% payment represents the full cost of the loan to include 100% toward loan balances as of January 1, 2021, and the 20% portion is available for tax liabilities and other fees associated with payment of the debt. Any payments by borrowers made since January 1 will be reimbursed in full.

Read the Notice of Funding Availability for details on the Section 1005 implementation process. View our Frequently Asked Questions and if you need additional assistance, our Call Center is available at 877-508-8364. | Si necesita asistencia adicional, nuestro centro de llamadas está disponible 877-508-8364.

Translated Resources for the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Debt Payments

How to Participate

Eligible Direct Loan borrowers will begin receiving debt relief letters from FSA in the mail on a rolling basis, beginning the week of May 24. Information for Guaranteed Loan borrowers will be available within 120 days.

After reviewing closely, eligible borrowers should sign the letter when they receive it and return to FSA.  FSA employees will assist borrowers with their questions free of charge and will help producers complete any required documents. USDA will collaborate with community-based organizations and universities on outreach, technical assistance, and providing borrowers with access to financial, legal, and tax planning services.  Details about how to request a meeting with FSA are in each loan payment notification letter.

If you’re uncertain of your demographic designation on file at FSA, you can contact your local service center to verify your classification on record. If an update or correction is needed, you may either fill out USDA Form AD-2047 or work with your local service center to update your record, including race and ethnicity.

Eligible Borrowers

Eligible borrowers include those who are one or more of the following: Black/African American, American Indian, Alaskan native, Hispanic/Latino, Asian, or Pacific Islander. The American Rescue Plan Act uses Section 2501 of the Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990 as the definition of Socially Disadvantaged farmers and ranchers.

Form AD-2047

If you’re uncertain of your demographic designation on file at FSA, you can contact your local service center to verify your classification on record. If an update or correction is needed, you may either fill out USDA Form AD-2047 or work with your local service center to update your record, including race and ethnicity.

Eligible Loans

Eligible loans are those:

  • Made directly by FSA, including Farm Storage Facility Loans, Direct Farm Ownership Loans, Farm Operating Loans, including Microloans and Youth Loans, Emergency Loans, Conservation Loans, and Soil and Water Loans; and
  • Guaranteed by FSA and made by an approved lender, including Farm Ownership Loans, Farm Operating Loans, and Conservation Loans.

Both delinquent and current loans are eligible. Debts associated with these types of loans that have been referred for offset or collection are also eligible.

Certain USDA loans are not eligible, including Marketing Assistance Loans and Rural Development loans. Also, loans from commercial lenders such as banks, credit unions or Farm Credit institutions that do not include a FSA guarantee are not eligible.

About the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021

For much of the history of the USDA, socially disadvantaged producers have faced discrimination—sometimes overt and sometimes through deeply embedded rules and policies—that have prevented them from achieving as much as their counterparts who do not face these documented acts of discrimination.

On top of the pain caused by the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on the economy, socially disadvantaged communities are also dealing with a disproportionate share of COVID infection rates, hospitalizations, death and economic hurt. 

The American Rescue Plan Act seeks to address the cumulative effects of discrimination among socially disadvantaged producers with a program of debt relief and long-term racial equity work. 

The American Rescue Plan Act Section 1005 provides USDA with a new set of tools to increase opportunity, advance equity and address systemic discrimination in USDA farm programs, including historic debt payments for socially disadvantaged borrowers who hold a qualifying USDA farm loan. 

USDA is focused on carrying out Section 1005 Loan Payments in a responsible, expeditious manner and to begin a new era of building trust between USDA and socially disadvantaged producers. 

Find Your Local Service Center

We are committed to delivering USDA services to America’s farmers and ranchers while taking safety measures in response to the pandemic. Some USDA offices are beginning to reopen to limited visitors by appointment only. Service Center staff also continue to work with agricultural producers via phone, email, and other digital tools. Learn more at farmers.gov/coronavirus.

USDA Service Centers are locations where you can connect with Farm Service Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service, or Rural Development employees for your business needs. Enter your state and county below to find your local service center and agency offices. If this locator does not work in your browser, please visit offices.usda.gov.

Visit the Risk Management Agency website to find a regional or compliance office or to find an insurance agent near you.